Spotlight: Neel Kumar ’22 is ‘MasalaKing’

From athletics to STEAM to Creative Arts programs, students here have dedicated themselves to many fields of talent. Many students agree that there are few people as enthusiastic about their hobbies as Neel Kumar ’22.

Calling himself The Masala King, Kumar has a passion for making music, specifically rap and hip-hop. Kumar’s dedication to his music has led to his success, boasting over a thousand followers on his Instagram, @therealmasalaking.

Kumar started producing music in kindergarten when his parents gave him a computer.

“I just learned how to use Garage Band and make music from there,” Kumar said.

He continued with Garage Band and used it for hobby music-making up until 9th grade. Unfortunately, Kumar suffered from a major concussion that year, and he had to stay home for over a month to recover. In this time period, he re-discovered a lost love: music-making.

Before his concussion, Kumar was not producing as much music, as his time was occupied by schoolwork and social life. The tracks that he created he kept to himself and didn’t share publicly.

While stuck at home with his concussion, Kumar said he listened to a lot of music and, soon enough, found himself back on GarageBand because it was one of the few things he could do.

“Music was my escape and my healing,” Kumar said.

Kumar’s hope for each new piece of music is to provide his listeners with an escape in the same way he did, and he hopes to inspire people to produce music and inspire people in other ways.

“When I make my music, I want it to be relatable. I write about things that I have on my mind—things that other people have on their minds—but don’t know how to express them. This is what I strive to be: someone who is a voice for other people,” Kumar said.

Kumar, who says that he is exceptionally passionate about his hobby, hopes to inspire many people on a small scale and on a large scale. In school, he aims to encourage students to make music, even if that means just starting with GarageBand. He has plans for what he has advertised as his “best work yet.”