Renowned rapper, song writer and music producer Bohemia, also known as the King of desi hip hop dazzled the crowd with his electrifying performance at the F Bar in Connaught place, New Delhi. A rapper who is the pioneer of Punjabi hip hop and is accredited for enriching the hip hop culture was at his best. The artist with the pure energy of his musical prowess regaled the audience throughout the evening. He began with some of his latest hits and then continued with some of his older songs in his old-school hip hop style. He ensured the dance floor stayed packed throughout the evening. He performed some of his best-known hits including School di Kitaab, Kali Denali and many more. All of F Bar reverberated to his signature lyrical ability and his exotic style left the audience asking for more.
36 year-old rapper has been in the industry for more than 15 years. He has sung for Bollywood movies like Chandni Chowk to China, 8 x 10 Tasveer and Breakaway. Guardian20 caught up with Bohemia after his performance where the rapper talked about his journey, experiences and the evolution of hip hop in last 5-8 years. Excerpts:
Q. What’s your take on evolution of hip hop?
A. For me hip hop has always been a life savior. Ever since I started thinking about the stuff which I always felt like addressing, it made me more passionate from inside. I started off with ghazals and shayaris. I was always into music, I used to play keyboard and do my riyaz. If we talk about the present scenario or about the evolution of the genre, it has definitely burgeoned. Every person who has introduced himself to hip hop has their own set of values for the art and culture, me listening to any song which is labeled as a hip hop song might not appeal to me at all. One should know the real sense of hip hop when it comes to representing the culture.
Q. Nowadays we see so many new rappers making a name so early in their careers. How different is it from the time when you began?
A. Back in the days when I was struggling to get a shed on my head, I was a homeless kid. Nowadays, I see rappers being served on the platter. It was really hard to adapt a culture which was never mine. But now it’s totally different, as you can see it. You can analyze and compare my rap material with the present rap material of the other rappers. It’s way too different.
Q. You are the face of desi hip hop. How has the journey been for you?
A. The journey has been amazing with a lot of ups and downs, with a lot of phases. Acceptance and rejection always play a vital role in everyone’s life. It’s you who can get the best out of rejection and worst out of an acceptance.
Q. As we know about your collaboration with the stay up movement, what is it all about?
A. To “Stay Up” means to produce and possess positive and progressive vibes on a daily basis. One’s attitude and actions are focused towards moving forward in life, even if progression is small and hard to achieve. This idea of continuous optimism is limited to no particular subject or genre and simply promotes a forever rising motion from one’s current position. Those who engage in an activity for which they have passion; stay up. Together, we can celebrate the pursuit of a better tomorrow.
Q. Your relationship with the superstar Akshay Kumar is very strong and brotherly. Tell us about the bond you both share?
A. Akshay paaji is one person whom I have always looked up to. He’s very humble and down to earth. And yes, he does treat me like his younger brother and I too, respect him as my elder brother.
Q. An Indian artist with whom you would love to work with?
A. Well, there are a number of artists I respect and would love to work with. Lata Mangeshkar ji is one of them. She is a legend, no doubt about it. I respect her from the core of my heart.
Q. What inspired you to create music?
A. My journey into the world of music was inspired by the poet Mirza Ghalib. His poetry touched millions of hearts and I’m also one of them. His deep thoughts and thought provoking satires had all the bits to take the world by storm. I certainly believe that the younger generation should study the age of Ghalib, and also the rappers who lack inspiration and the right kind of content.