Bohemia does not follow the current rappers
Since your seminal Punjabi rap initiated years ago, we have more
from this region rapping to success. Do you agree with their
style? I’ve been married now for couple of years, I am
furnishing new house, putting chandeliers, discussing carpets,
curtains with my wife. I don’t even listen to music these days. So,
it won’t be really nice to ask me about them because I am not
keeping up with them. I am past critiquing. I am thankful to music,
because when she came into my life, I was a loser, homeless, and
she rescued me.
After working with Akshay Kumar in his film, you never went back to Bollywood.
That’s because Bollywood was never designed for me. I am the car that doesn’t have the right tyres for that road. My needs and wants are different. Bollywood is good for artists who come from Punjab, Pakistan. It gives them a job, puts food on their plates, and turn them into successful people. But it’s a model you work for, it’s a job to do. And I am not that guy. I have been a writer myself, I can’t read someone else’ lyrics. Besides, I don’t stay in India. Akshay paaji is like ‘hey, there is another film,’ but to do that I have to come to India. I am too much from the bay area, California, where we are hippies. I was raised in the hippie culture.
But Bollywood is now adopting pre-existing Punjabi song, rather than asking singers to make music especially for them.
That’s been happening for many, many years when Bollywood remade Pakistani songs 30 years ago, and RD Burman ji straight up copied western songs 60 years ago and got sued too. These singers want to retain their own music and also be taken by Bollywood. So, they are making a model where they make a song not with a limited vision for your own album, but ‘making’ a song eyeing Bollywood in its beat, tempo, note. This is a genius model. When they write pop songs, they are not discussing their lives, not a drama that happened with his own sister- because that will never be a content that interest Bollywood. I am like sushi, like acquired taste. In a whole room most will hate it, why are you having kacchi fish. Only two people will fall in love with Sushi. My music is acquired tastes- not for the masses.
Since you started rapping and took out, how have you evolved?
I have single handed done something that hasn’t happened in the history of Indian music. I created Punjabi rap, a new genre of music, which none of the big Bollywood musicians did either, with no disrespect to them. And I was ahead of my time. I saw rap music coming to India. I feel like the incarnation of Mirza Ghalib. Rap makes kids pick up their pens and write, which has changed the way kids react and exercise music. While Bollywood is too much into the play/stage Shakespearean world, hip hop is not that. Now Badshah, Raftaar are doing it too, though now it’s very commercial because Bollywood is a bigger magnate.