“Mai khud ko kho chuka hu” (which roughly translates to “I have lost myself”) is a line that keeps on repeating in Maghrib, the new song by Bangalore-based rapper/singer Agaahi Raahi (aka Farhan Ahmed). However, in this process of “losing himself”, Agaahi Raahi finds a new sound that is reflected both in his musicality and his lyricism.
Known for his hard-hitting political raps in 2020’s crossover project Yeh Hai Bagawat, Agaahi Raahi has never sounded this calm and ambient as he does in Maghrib. Maybe, this is a new sound that he is experimenting with after a year-long sabbatical from releasing music. This new approach definitely works as it allows him to get as personal as he can.
As the rapper himself admits, he has never shied away from speaking up about his community and identity. This time, he just wishes to focus on himself. Maghrib stems from a low point in his life which is further fueled by a banking job and a shift in cities. The result is this song that is bound to soothe listeners right from the opening seconds, thanks to the production by Circle Tone and Natiq (along with Faizan providing backing vocals).
The lyrical content isn’t all-too merry but it still carries a message of hope with one interpretation being that you have to lose yourself to truly find yourself. Maybe, Agaahi has found himself or he’s still in the process of finding himself. But for now, this song is sufficient enough to reflect his mood.
And if the overall ambiance wasn’t enough, Maghrib is also accompanied by an equally soothing visual for which Agaahi recruits Vyshnav (both of whom are a part of the Bangalore hip-hop collective Wanandaf). Vyshav uses Pondicherry as the setting while Agaahi stars as himself. The result is a fresh 5-minute short that is bound to add more soul to the single.
Shifting between the beaches and the colonial structures of the settlement, Agaahi’s protagonist wanders under the sun, donning a sharp, white suit. He wanders alone, searching for a purpose until he starts dancing in the end. The reckless wandering of the beginning is replaced with a carefree dance routine, possibly signifying the acceptance of change.
With usually “chilled-out” songs succumbing to overdone lo-fi tropes and outdoor-location videos limited to a cliched travel vlog aesthetic, Maghrib is truly cinematic in terms of both the song and the music video.
Verdict: Introspective, soothing, and vibey. Very, very vibey.