In 2016 Saransh Batra was brainstorming a couple of ideas for his college theatre society and ended up penning down his first ever rap, since then he never looked back. In the next few years, Saransh took up the stage name Saar Punch, a fun wordplay between his nickname Saar and “sarpanch”, a name given to the village leader. Saar was following the hip-hop scene for quite a long but took his time and entered the arena only when he knew he had something solid to share. Saar has always been a free bird, a peculiar mind that has always found pleasure in making mistakes, learning from them, and expressing these experiences lyrically!
His motto has always been “Music is timeless if you do it right.” With this idea, he dropped his project, “Oopar-Neeche” in July 2022. The album presents itself as a movie, promising to take its listeners on an emotional rollercoaster called life. The album stems from the complexities of life, encompassing the fun moments and moments where one feels lonely and helpless. “I come from a very simple background, like every other person, I too struggled with high school and engineering college took a huge toll on my mental health. Through my songs, I want to let people know that even artists like us dealt with the same problems earlier and some of us still do.” Saar has always been grateful to his friends and family for pushing him through the darkest times in life and this album is the perfect representation of the immense love and support he received throughout his life.
The entire album transcends as a cinematic story- falling in love, heartbreaks, toxic coping mechanisms and finally finding peace within oneself. Saar wants to make music that would allow his listeners to create a series of pictures, a visual, and a feeling of resonance and relatability.
The album comprises six songs and a fun skit. The first track “Kaloli” (Ft. Burrah and Bharg) is a beautiful amalgamation of the groovy East Coast riffs and the streets of West Delhi. The choice of upbeat drums and the backing guitar riff adds an extra oomph to the track. Lyrically, the track talks about the moments Saar enjoys with his friends and, unlike other mainstream rappers who rap about money, being a gangster, and running after materialistic things, Saar finds happiness in the simplest things in life. On the other hand, Burrah brings the streets of West Delhi into life with his verse talking about the eccentric lifestyle of West Delhi boys. The second track, “Maykhana” (Ft. Bharg) is a soft RnB banger with smooth jazz chords and perfect bounce that ties Bharg’s verse into a perfect knot. Lyrically, the track is a laid-back love song that talks about the beauty of being madly in love and wanting to wake up to a face you adore. A perfect song for the simps and the hopeless romantics!
The third track, “Vish” (Ft. Bharg and Lambo Drive), has a one-of-a-kind drum bounce and Lambo’s sonic selection puts this track on a greater discography. On a lyrical note, the track seizes the dark themes of toxic coping mechanisms and hints at a mentally strained Saar who relives his trauma. This song is an anthem for people who are running from their problems instead of addressing them and taking the pain and burden with them every day with a fake smile. The fourth track, Khudbakhud (Ft. Rawal), is the entire album summed up in a song, says Saar. The track poetically describes the dexterities of life. The song is smooth, and moody, with a crazy 808 pattern and the heavenly saxophone played by Aniket Chaturvedi in this track is a cherry on top. The song is a self-acceptance note in itself wherein Saar talks about finally acknowledging his trauma, seeking ways to resolve them and being in peace with himself, and not waiting for other people to come to his aid.
The skit, Big Ass is a funny unfiltered conversation between Saar and his friends which not only talks about an “ideal” partner but also as a bridge connecting the next two songs with the entire album. The next track, “Hosh Nahi” (Ft. Lambo Drive) is a complete banger and a hardcore rager. The spikey snare and the off-beat hi-hats create a signature touch to the song. Finally, the last track, “Kuchh Bhi” (Ft. Tarun) is the perfect closure to the entire album. The ballad is the perfect blend of melodies, rhythms, and emotions. Lyrically, it is a touching idea of falling in love with oneself, healing and focusing on growth, and letting the good times roll.
The album’s artwork is made by Jaidev Tripathi and is a creative illustration that represents Saar and his life in bits and pieces. Be it Ring Road, Rajouri Garden where he grew up and spent most of his childhood, or his terrace where made most of his music and hung out with his friends and his three nieces who can be seen in the artwork, because of who the storytelling in the album is purely innocent. One can also see Saar on a roller coaster which represents the idea behind the name of the album- “Oopar Neeche”, that the ups and downs of life are what made him the person he is today.
“You cannot compete with someone who is having fun, I am planning on having fun with my music”, and with this idea, Saar strives to keep making music.