EPR Iyer is an Indian rapper, poet, hip-hop artist, singer, and songwriter who is known for his informative and communicative raps, which mainly focus on addressing social issues such as corruption, communalism, violence against women, and farmer suicides.
EPR (also known as Emcee Poet Rapper) was born on Monday, 3 April 1989 (age 34 years; as of 2023) in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. His zodiac sign is Aries. He attended A. K. Ghosh Memorial School and Asutosh College in Kolkata. He holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from NSHM Knowledge Campus in Kolkata. EPR Iyer – Facebook
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
His father is a former classical singer.
Wife & Children
EPR is unmarried and has no children.
EPR established a rap-metal band named ‘!Banned’ in Kolkata in 2009. While he led the vocals, Kuntal De played rhythm guitar, Roheet Mukherjee played bass guitar, and Anup Hela played drums. The band was active from January 2009 to March 2010. It participated in various competitions held at cultural festivals of many colleges in Kolkata. Some of the events at which the band performed and emerged as winners include ‘Eclecia 2009’ at the Heritage Institute of Technology (HIT), ‘AGON 2009’ at the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital (CNMCH), ‘Srijan 2010’ at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), and ‘Sanskriti 2010’ at the Jadavpur University. It also won the ‘Times of Youth Challenge’ organised by The Times of India in 2010. The band, however, disbanded in April 2010 when the bass guitarist Roheet Mukherjee left to join another city band named Five Little Indians.
EPR formed a rock band named Underground Authority in 2010 with members named Adil Rashid, Sourish Kumar, and Soumyadeep Bhattacharya. The band soon started performing at events across colleges in different cities in India. In 2010, the band even appeared in the reality show India’s Got Talent and reached the finals. Over 12 years, they performed about 700 gigs. EPR decided to exit the band in April 2023 to pursue a career as a solo rapper. His final performance as a member of Underground Authority took place on 13 May 2023. Rolling Stone India
On 13 March 2018, he formed a hip-hop group named Adiacot (A Dream in a Cup of Tea) along with a producer, GJ Storm aka Kuntal De. The group, which is registered under the name Adiacot Entertainment, aims to address social issues and raise awareness. EPR was inspired to create Adiacot after meeting two kids, Sagnik Chowdhury, and Soumyadeep Dasgupta, from Shillong who used to take classes from him. They once shared a desire to have a group, which led to the formation of the crew Adiacot. With the assistance of videographer Jo, also known as Souvanik Kundu, they released their first video song titled ‘Gully Mein Apne Kutta Bhi Sher Hai,’ which got one million views; the song was a diss track for the rappers Divine and Emiway Bantai.
EPR made his debut as a solo rapper with the album ‘Protest Poetry’ in 2020. The album featured 17 songs, including collaborations with other artists like Nikhita Gandhi, Karma, and Void. Some notable tracks from the album include Srini Bana Epr, Ekla Cholo Re, Kaun Virus?, and Raastafari. The album received widespread praise from listeners and earned EPR the title of ‘Protest Poet.’ In 2023, he released an album named ‘Uncertainty Principle.’
EPR appeared as a contestant in a rap/hip-hop reality show titled MTV Hustle in 2019. In the show, he performed raps on topics such as farmer suicides, depression, acid attacks, and corruption. EPR emerged as the runner-up, while M-Zee Bella won the show.
In 2022, he appeared as one of the four squad bosses, along with Dino James, Dee MC, and King Rocco, on the show in season 2. In 2023, he continued to be a squad boss in season 3 of the show alongside Dino James, Dee MC, and Ikka.
EPR’s song ‘Religious Extremism,’ which he had performed during a rap battle on the show MTV Hustle 2.0, gained widespread attention. In the rap, he addressed sensitive topics like the slogan ‘Sar tan se juda,’ used by some fundamentalists for beheading those who insult Islam and Prophet Muhammed. EPR criticized the slogan and touched on issues like the 2022 Nupur Sharma case and the murder of Kanhaiya Lal. While some praised his bravery, others criticized him and accused him of seeking fame by addressing these topics. Some netizens even requested the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to provide him protection due to safety concerns for addressing controversial issues in his rap. The Free Press Journal
EPR has got a tattoo of a Native American girl inked on his right tricep.
He has got a peacock on the upper part and another tattoo inked on the lower part of his left arm.
He has got a tattoo inked on his right forearm.
He has got his nipples pierced.
- Poem: ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost
- Poet(s): Wilfred Owen, Pablo Neruda, Siegfried Sassoon
- Writer: Gabriel García Márquez
- Album(s): ‘The Black Album’ by Metallica, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ by Eminem, ‘No Pressure’ by Logic
- K-pop Song: ‘How You Like That’ by BLACKPINK
- Quote: Until the lion learns to speak the tales of hunting would be weak!
- In an interview, EPR revealed that his real name is Yagya Swami Krishna Swami Santhanam Srinivasan Iyer; however, owing to the length of the name, he is mostly called Santhanam Srinivasan Iyer. SVF – YouTube
- EPR developed an interest in rap during his school days. According to him, he was influenced by listening to English rock music on channels like MTV, Channel [V], and VH1.
- EPR started writing songs in 2002.
- Since his school, A. K. Ghosh Memorial, did not organise a lot of fests, he started trying to look for a bigger stage. After learning that The Telegraph in Schools (TTIS), a student-run newspaper in East India, would host a huge fest at Swabhumi in Kolkata, he formed a band named ‘Miasma’ with his friends to compete in the event. The group later competed in various western-band competitions at inter-school festivals, primarily from 2005 to 2007.
- EPR was diagnosed with cholesteatoma in 2013; cholesteatoma is an abnormal collection of skin cells deep inside the ear which leads to hearing impairment. According to EPR, doctors had said that he would not be able to make it to the stage ever again. He, however, participated in the Hornbill International Rock Contest in Kohima, Nagaland, along with the band Underground Authority after 3 months of recovery from the surgery in December 2013. The band emerged as the winner, and its members received awards for Best Band, Best Vocalist, Best Bassist, Best Drummer, and Best Guitarist runner-up at the event.
- EPR refers to himself as a “reporter from the streets” as he uses rap to address issues in society and the country.
- According to EPR, his primary genre is socio-political writing.
- EPR believes that neither Gully Boys nor any other Punjabi rappers, who wear a lot of jewellery and showcase guns, introduced rap in India. According to him, Indian hip-hop has deeper roots, and the first significant hip-hop culture in India emerged in the Northeast. While talking about the same, in an interview, he said,
Contrary to what people think now, Indian rap didn’t start from the gullies. Earlier, you had to wear oversized clothes and jewellery to be considered a true rapper. After Gully Boy, you need to speak in Mumbai street lingo to earn credibility. I don’t subscribe to either. Art is subjective and what I wear on stage doesn’t matter to me, as I live hip hop.”
- In an interview, EPR shared that he began his journey in rap battles by participating in text-based rap battles within the ‘Insignia Rap’ community on Orkut; this platform allowed individuals to engage in text battles with emcees from around the world.
- EPR once dissed rappers Divine, Raja Kumari, and DJ Nucleya. While talking about this, in an interview, he revealed that Nucleya reached out to him after hearing the track and expressed interest in collaborating on a track with him. EPR added that although he initially had a strained relationship with the rappers he dissed, over time, they developed a good friendship.
- In an interview, he revealed that he studied Urdu for five months to write the song ADR / ABR.
- He often smokes cigarettes.
- EPR loves animals, especially cats. He often posts their pictures on social media.
- He is well-versed in English and Japanese languages.
- He is an avid traveller and likes hiking. He shares his travelling experiences on social media.
- EPR was once part of the theatre company Hypokrites.
- According to him, he teaches rap in his free time. In an interview, he shared that he taught rap and poetry at an institute named Home Sweet Cruizer Lane (aka The Haveli) in Kolkata, which was later closed.
- EPR was initially offered the opportunity to host the show ‘MTV Hustle’ in 2019; however, he declined the offer as he preferred to participate as a contestant.