Meet the the youngest star in Bangladesh.
10-year-old Rana Mridha is a Gully Boy, Dhaka’s Gully Boy. “Gully” means “a narrow lane” in many of the Indo-Aryan South Asian languages including Hindi, Bangla and a few more which is common throughout South Asia.
The gully rap culture phenomenon has matured a lot in Mumbai, India. While Dhaka has always had a rap and hip hop community, they were not representing the actual everyday life. Discovered at the Dhaka University area by a student of Arabic Language and Literature, Mahbub Hasan Tabib – who happened to be an enthusiast for writing hip hop lyrics – the young Rana, a school dropout, used to sell flowers at the Shahbagh corner of the university campus. He made about 500 taka a day ($6).
It was then when he made an impression on people by memorizing songs he watched on television. Tabib’s personal interest in everyday life combined with Rana’s real-life story created a sensation overnight and made him the youngest star in Bangladesh and every song Rana released since became viral content for rap music in the city crossing 10 million views.
Part of the money that is generated through streaming his music online goes to his education. He has been rightfully guided by his mentor to not take any corporate sponsorship, to keep the spirit alive and keep on talking about the issues that matter.
Gully Boy Rana on Spotify.