Close this search box.

In conversation with Irfana Hameed- Score Indie

Irfana Hameed grew up in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. This emcee, singer and trumpet player started with Carnatic vocal and veena training in her early years. Cut to college, and she found poetry and hip-hop. The rest is history. 

Irfana began to sing solo as well as one-half of the duo Irfana and Taslina. She has already tasted the first sips of success with the clinically acclaimed EP with Taslina, Ko-Lab. You can also hear her voice on Netflix’s Masaba Masaba – the title track I am your King. Her song Kannil Pettole from the Malayalam movie Thallumaala made it extremely clear that her hip-hop chops were real. 

Her last two tracks – London Dry and Sheila Silk – have been received well. They have established Irfana’s ear for a good beat, eye for visual storytelling and soul for what the culture wants. 

Here’s what Irfana said when The Score Magazine caught up with her. 

Which Kendrick Lamar hit you the hardest and why?

I don’t remember if it was just one song but most of the songs on “good kid maad city” were the first Kendrick songs to truly hit me. Maybe it was Swimming Pools. I think it’s because his lyrics were so powerful and the sound matches the intensity. It was just a deep awakening experience to what hip-hop could be.

What’s the first song you composed but never released?

I used to write many songs in high school and college but I really can’t remember what the first one was. At the time I wasn’t a career musician so I never thought about releasing any songs. 

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard of it or you?

Old school rhymes and hard bars and fun dark content, HOPEFULLY relatable, energizing, funny and thought provoking.

Describe your transition from listener to artist. What music did you grow up with? When did you decide you wanted to make music?

I grew up mostly on old Tamil film songs and hip-hop. I decided I wanted to make music when I came back from college and things started to organically align in that direction.

You got signed by Def Jam India! First female artist to achieve this feat. Tell us everything.

Thank you! It was definitely a highlight of my journey so far. It fastballed me into the world of labels and commercializing music so it has been humbling, inspiring, educational, and loads and loads of fun. I’m super thankful to the Universal team for putting me on, it definitely changed how I looked at the possibilities of my career in hip-hop.

Tell us about your music – London Dry and Sheila Silk.

London Dry has my love for writing cool lyrics in it with a new sound. It’s personalized to my lifestyle (Goa at the time) and brings out parts of my dark side and I love that.

Sheila Silk is my sensual side. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process from writing, to working with Riidem, to my homie and director Sisnu and I conceptualizing the video, to Aqib(mainly) and all of us running around trying to make the production happen. It was intense but that’s my experience, I hope you like the output although you wouldn’t be able to tell through it, what a journey it was pastedGraphic.png

What inspires your aesthetic on and off stage/video? Are you involved in choosing the visuals?

Yes I’m extremely involved in the visuals! It’s a huge part of my process, I usually conceptualize what I want the song to show and then work with directors and stylists etc. to flesh out the whole idea while staying precise to the essence of the piece.

What are you working on now? When can we get another single?

Very soon ! Hopefully this month if all goes well, and stay tuned because some crazy new shit’s coming out – may even be an EP!

A quick shout-out to readers of The Score Magazine.

Thank you guys for reading, follow my music on Spotify and watch my videos on YouTube and keep up with my life on Instagram ! I’m here to entertain and empower, so I’m truly grateful for all your support and hope to grow exponentially!

Related Posts
Share this


Sign up to our

Get every issue straight to your inbox for Free

Subscribe now