Indore’s dynamic beat maker, Harsh Choudhary, who goes by the moniker Hashparker, has been grinding relentlessly, honing his musical skills since his school days. He dived into the world of music production, soaking up knowledge from YouTube tutorials, with a special love for the thrilling art of sampling.
Over time, he built strong ties within the hip-hop community, connecting with incredibly talented underground artists from the scene. In 2022, he dropped his debut album, ‘Doordarshan,’ featuring a lineup of impressive rappers like Bagi Munda, wolf.cryman, Alf4zi, Tarun, and Notreal. Just a year later, he joined forces with rapper Notreal to produce his sophomore effort, ‘Yeh Duniya Tumhari Hai,’ which was released on September 5, 2023.
Hashparker’s journey isn’t short of remarkable moments; the 2020 single ‘Khushnuma,’ alongside Karun, stands as another testament to his dedication and passion for his craft.
We recently caught up with this musical maestro to delve into his latest release, the world of underground hip-hop, his enduring love for music production, and the incredible journey that has led him to where he is today. Read our exclusive interview below and don’t forget to vibe to ‘Yeh Duniya Tumhari Hai’ right here.
This conversation was edited and condensed for clarity.
1. Can you tell me about yourself? What was your life like before becoming a producer?
“Yeah, I’m Harsh Choudhary, 23 years old, from Indore. Originally, I’m from a small town called Nagda, in Madhya Pradesh. I started producing music six years ago. I was completely into electronic music at first, but later ventured into hip-hop and experimental genres during the lockdown. The impact was profound, and life before becoming a producer was quite sorted. I used to focus on many things other than studies, and I wasn’t doing well in that regard. However, in 2016, I mustered the courage to open up to my dad about my passion for making music. I had no family background in music; I was just a kid who wanted to create music. It’s a part of me.”
2. How did you start producing music, and what exactly inspired you to get into music?
“Back in school, when I was in 8th and 9th grade, a lot was happening around me. I used to dance a lot, and that’s what got me completely into music. I began to explore how sounds were created, but I was most drawn to electronic music. Artists like Quix and Flume, both incredibly talented, inspired me to start producing. I used to listen to their music on repeat and began discovering more artists in the same genre. Eventually, I realized that making music brought me peace and happiness.
The internet, YouTube, and other resources were my biggest support. I met a guy in my hometown, a very close friend who’s like a brother to me. He goes by the name npstr and is a DJ and a UK bass music producer. He introduced me to a lot of bass-related music, and I started learning it all from YouTube tutorials. I tried my hand at it and created a Lo-Fi beat, which I released on SoundCloud. That release marked a significant milestone as it got me my first recognition. A few months later, it was featured on Boxout Radio, and that’s when my musical journey truly began. I went on to create a lot more bass music, but that first one was Lo-Fi.”
3. You collaborated with well-known rappers in ‘Doordarshan’; could you please tell us about that?
“Yeah, so I was working on a few music samples at the time. I saw Doordarshan and immediately delved into their shows, binge-watching the serials. Doordarshan was a channel known for its high quality. I selected a few songs from the shows and sampled them. This was during the lockdown, and the indie and hip-hop scenes were gaining momentum. I started listening to all the rappers from the scene.
Since I was from the community, had some contacts. On ‘Doordarshan,’ I took a pen and paper and compiled a track list with the features I wanted. I approached all of them and began working on the tracks, sampling sounds from the shows. I aimed to maintain a nostalgic sound throughout the EP. Each track on the EP is named after the serials that used to air on Doordarshan. The creative process was beautiful, and I was inspired by all of them. It was like a manifestation to bring them all together, and we made it happen.
This EP marked my debut, and I was low on funds. So I even conducted a fundraiser to gather funds for visuals, artwork, mixing, and mastering.”
4. You’ve been working with the rapper Notreal; could you please tell us how you two met?
“Yes, so I went to Indore to learn DJing, and through a friend, we got connected. The moment I realized that we were going to create something together, our minds connected similarly, and we started making music. We produced some tracks and uploaded them to SoundCloud. It was something I had always wanted to do, and he has been a great collaborator since then. We performed gigs together, and now we’re more like a family because it’s been a long journey. I’ve known him for more than 4 years now, and it has been a beautiful ride. He’s like a brother to me.”
5. Okay, could you please tell us about your recent album ‘Ye duniya tumhari hai,’ and what’s the thought behind the sounds you’ve chosen?
“After ‘Doordarshan,’ I took a year-long break due to the disappointing response. It affected me deeply, especially when people promised promotions, features, and even interviews from big magazines, but then backed out. This demotivation led to self-doubt. Notreal and I had a few tracks we had worked on, but we left them during the break. In 2023, we realized it had been too long and an inner urge prompted us to create something once again. As mentioned in the intro, we wanted to make something for ourselves after all the ups and downs. We discussed why we weren’t releasing music and the emotional toll it was taking on us. We shared our deep desire to create something meaningful. We then came up with the title ‘This World Is Yours,’ but we wanted to relate more to our audience, so we changed it to ‘Ye Duniya Tumhari Hai.’ It was something that instantly resonated with us, and we started working on all the tracks.
After listening to more of the Alchemist, Dean, and Kenny Beats, I realized that sampling is my passion, just like I did with ‘Doordarshan.’ In my sampling folder, I had a collection I always wanted to sample. We wanted to compile everything we had, but in an organized way. The album encompasses a variety of hip-hop/rap genres. I created a beat pack exclusively for Notreal, except for ‘Duniya Freestyle’ because it was already made. ‘Duniya Freestyle’ features a ‘Doordarshan’ montage sample. ‘Paisa’ is a pitch-mixed sample of tabla and tombs. ‘ToddFodd’ contains my favorite sample of all time, from Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Ae Hawa’ track.
All these tracks sample from Bollywood and mainly from sources where I added my touch through sampling. The sound led us to a different reality, but we didn’t want to be confined by boundaries; we made what we wanted. I randomly created these beats and sent them to Notreal, as we were not in the same place due to our jobs. I was in my hometown. We gradually followed the process of releasing singles and then the entire compilation. ‘Ye Duniya Tumhari Hai’ is for people like us, dreaming and struggling for a better life every day. When life has its off days, we wanted ‘YDTH’ to be their guardian angel album, something they can turn to when they feel like they have no one.”
6. Tell us about the musicians who influence your production, and who are your favorite artists?
“Mac has always been my all-time favorite rapper and an incredible artist. He helped me through tough times when I wasn’t feeling like myself. My favorite producers include Alchemist, Rick, Angelo, Kenny Beats, Dean, Ye, and Sez. A special shoutout to Sez for shaping the culture in India. Aside from hip-hop, I also enjoy artists like zhu, Muramasa, Flume, and San Holo.
When it comes to rappers, there are so many I admire. Some are from here, like Bagi, Rebel, Tienas, Kabeer, Tarun, and Encore. I love ABJ’s poetry, and my all-time favorite is my friend, Notreal. However, sounds from around the world have also left a big impact on me, from artists like Amine, Jpegmafia, and A$AP Rocky. I’ve been working on some new school vibes that will be coming to life soon.
I have a deep appreciation for both Frank Ocean and Travis Scott, even though they have completely different styles. I enjoy experimenting with sounds all the time. Whenever I sit down, I come up with something. It may either get released or remain in my collection, but it’s always fire. Musicians from all genres influence me a lot.”
7. Could you please share your top 5 favorite DHH producers who create exceptional music? Also, are there any underground producers that people should discover?
“Sez, Hisab, Bharg, Zero Chill, and Rebel are some of my top picks. You should also check out ARSLAN; his drum work is fantastic. Parimal, one of my favorite producers, and I both started putting out music around the same time. It’s great to see him collaborating so well with Hanumankind; it’s truly motivating. And, of course, Acharya is a genius.
Currently, I’m listening to Devang, Chaar Diwaari, and Seedhe Maut’s ‘Lunchbreak’; they have some sick tracks. I’m loving the track ‘Khoon’; Kahlon went crazy on it.”
8. What are your thoughts on the lack of recognition that producers often face despite the importance they hold?
“Oh wow, so in India, I’ve noticed that music production hasn’t received the recognition it truly deserves. Only recently, over the past year or so, people have started showing some interest in getting to know producers better, which is a positive trend. I’ve noticed that now, there’s a growing focus on sound and production, and that’s a good thing.
The issue isn’t with the producers themselves; it’s more about how the category of ‘rapper’ tends to overshadow the talented individuals who create the music behind the scenes. This trend has been going on for years, even in Bollywood, where decisions are made about who gets the spotlight. Surviving as a music producer can be challenging because the understanding of this role isn’t widespread yet. However, as this awareness grows, I hope producers will receive the recognition they deserve.”
9. Would you like to share what you’re currently working on? Are there any collaborations or projects in the pipeline?
“I’m working on a completely new sound, heavily influenced by A$AP. Currently, I have a few big announcements on the way. Additionally, I’ll be releasing an EP in 1-2 months.
There are also some surprise drops planned. I have collaborations with Bharat, Devang (a little secret and surprise project), and I’m not sure about Bagi Munda; I sent him a beat, and we’ve been working on something.”
10. Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring producers?
“Too be honest, I’ve felt that I’ve chased expectations and recognition a lot as a producer. My advice is to believe in yourself wholeheartedly. There’s no reason to stop. Always remember why you started and why you’re holding on. Keep creating, even if it’s sitting in your drive. It’s all part of your growth, and your progress will shine someday. Expect a lot from yourself, but don’t expect the world to give you everything. Time will play its role in your journey when the time is right.”