From Edgelord To Monk Mode - Palash Bhise Opens Up About His Journey As Splash
25 May 2018
Meeting Splash (Palash Bhise) at a food court under a metro station; having him open up about his current ‘monk mode’ - as a fitness trainer, with a strict vegan diet and his experiments with no-fap (while I substituted lunch with a Burger King meal), left me temporarily motivated. How can you not associate with a former pot-head who, like you, relied on fleeting existence to get by; lying in bed all day scrolling through memes and social media instead of ‘dropping tunes and getting shit done’:
‘Getting shit done’ is the best way to begin talking about this upcoming artist who suddenly emerged on Apple Music as ‘spotlight artist’ in April with his EP ‘UR’. This placed him 11th on the international iTunes’ hip-hop chart after he emerged from his exile as a cyber recluse. ‘UR’ was released via Elements (Mo Joshi’s independent label), exclusively on Apple Music.
Once fed with context to the EP and his lyrics, ‘UR’ comes across as an album which breathes life into every 20 plus year old’s dilemmas that arise from the classic conflict: knowing what the right thing to do is vs understanding why we cannot. Splash’s own addictions being the recognized pre-cursors for his desire to vent.
“I used to call myself a ‘potty mouth’. All my lyrics were really vulgar – I would make fun of women just because it was funny, while at the same time claiming to respect them. It all came from pornography. I was massively affected by pornography […] The EP was me transitioning into monk mode [...] from ‘potty mouth’ Splash.”
Bhise’s willingness to release ‘UR’ after battling with 3 years of depression, should not simply be understood as an ‘addict to clean’ success story where everything now exists in rainbows and sunshine. Despite meeting a transformed individual who “10 months ago would have battled to make someone like me feel comfortable around him”, I still cannot imagine the rapper prancing in daisy laden meadows post his stint with inflicted darkness. The fact that Bhise has now sealed and put behind him an experience he feels comfortable to present to the world, emerges from a space of an awareness of his own being.
Surrounded by archetypes in hip-hop which stereotypically rely on ‘not giving a fuck’, we see someone who has been pushed to the curb of hollow misery, resurrecting as a fitness trainer and an inspirational speaker (on his Instagram channel). The artists’ conscious lyrics make ‘UR’ an archive of everything that the rapper had been struggling with; an emblem of transition and a narration of his road to recovery; "Fitness helped me come out of it. Flexing it all over my Insta and Snapchat - it was a common feature, regular highlight - drugs made me lazy as fuck especially pot.”
Bhise’s ‘Splash’ moniker emerged as an identity on Snapchat, a space he was comfortable sharing with a select group of friends. He now shares his positive energy by posting motivational videos on Instagram along with shots of him progressing with fitness in the gym.
His early identity was the product of a screen-based narcissism - a slave to his own desire, Splash was initially the result of an identity fuelled by social media, drugs and pornography.
Splash is currently working on a host of projects including a mixtape with Chandigarh based Uday Bakshi; a collaboration with Chennai based producer Ezzyland and rapper Abeezio; and a “fun little side project called The Trill Midgets”:
“I only surround myself with real ones - and I am more than confident that this is a wave that everybody will recognise.”
A constant source of support for Splash has been The Capital Crew which features in ‘Squad Mera Ghatak’, the last track from the EP. The crew comprises of Splash’s homeboys from South East Delhi with Rapboy Monti and producer Susazi and, Daniel shooting videos for the crew.
Susazi worked with Splash on ‘UR’, with his production sensibilities backing each one of the rapper's experiences expressed in the EP. Each track on the release is context driven, most interesting of all being ‘Monk Mode’ and ‘Kamehameha’ which include references to Dragon Ball Z’s Son Goku; “an inspiration for those of us who wish to ascend into their divine self”:
“Monk Mode has Dragon Ball Z references and bars about feeling one with God and having control of my life and where it is headed (creating my reality).”
Returning full circle from an edgelord to a fitness enthusiast who motivates people against the same addictions he holds responsible for his demons, you can connect with Palash on his very active Instagram handle (xthirdeyeaestheticx).
Listen to a preview of ‘UR’ below: