You can't escape mumble rap today. From Future, Travis Scott, Lil Baby and Cardi B in the US to Emiway Bantai and KRSNA in India, mumbling words over a hard beat – while using your voice as an instrument – is quite the rage with teen fans. It is a phrase American hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa first coined on a radio show back in 2016, speaking of younger rappers from Generation Z.
The mainstream heavyweight that Badshah is, he directs focus where it's due. He raps in a heavy drawl that could get mistaken for mumble rap. So when we called the veteran rapper the king of mumble rap, he graciously responded, “I am not actually, MC Stan is.”
MC Stan is the winner of Bigg Boss 16, known for his belligerent lyrics which are part of desi hip-hop's distinct socio-political grammar. Badshah was performing for the first on-ground edition of Seagram’s Royal Stag Boombox (RSBB) with singer Jasleen Royal, singer Dino James and DJ Yogii. The four-city food and music festival is travelling to youth hubs Indore and Pune, after completing packed shows in Manipal and Bhubaneshwar.
Badshah, Bali, Nikhita Gandhi and DJ Yogii will share the RSBB stage at Indore on April 8 while DJ Suketu will replace DJ Yogii for the Pune edition on April 15. FPJ spoke to Jasleen Royal, Badshah, Dino James (who collaborated with Badshah on his latest track 'Woh') after their gig in Bhubaneshwar.
Tell us about how your latest project 3:00 AM sessions came into being? Why that hour?
The first song from the sessions was put out at 3:00 AM which was like 7-8 years ago. A lot of fans relate to it so much because you're the most vulnerable when you're alone at that hour. It's like my journal. I talk to people, I talk to my family, I talk to my mike, basically. And there are no layers. It's just naked feelings.
Check out one of his popular songs ' Kar Gayi Chull':
What do you say to naysayers who troll you for your mainstream success?
It's bound to happen and the best thing is to accept it and just move on and do your work. There are people who have been listening to you for the longest time but with new talented artists getting fame each day, the listeners want to move on to someone else. It's a trending fan base. So every day, I am probably losing and gaining fans. It's a cycle.
Watch Badshah performing at Royal Stag Boombox Bhubaneshwar:
Jasleen Royal |
What is the coincidence that the festival also has your second name- Royal. Does it feel special?
Ya, it definitely does. I think it's a sign from the universe that I really belong at Royal Stag Boombox and I can own it.
What songs can we expect from your set?
I am doing songs like 'Kho Gaye Hum Kaha', 'Ranjha' and 'Love You Zindagi'. We will also be giving a special preview of the songs we have done for Royal Stag Boombox, so I am really excited to see what the reaction of the people is going to be like.
Watch one of Jasleen's most played wedding songs:
Your hits have become wedding anthems. How does it feel?
'Din Shagna Da' (from the film Phillauri) was obviously a wedding song but Ranjha was never intended to be a wedding song and I am so happy that now it’s become another wedding anthem.
Recently, I did this Tamil song for Hansika Motwani which went on to become a wedding song. I am so happy to be a part of such a special day in people’s lives; their happiness rubs off on me and that makes me really happy.
You have sung English, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati songs. What are your tips for upcoming singers who want to have a multi-lingual career?
I just did a Tamil song so you can add that language too. As a composer when I was doing 'Nachde Ne Saare', I dubbed Siddharth Mahadevan, he is not a Punjabi, so I was just correcting his diction and everything. I have grown up listening to Rahman sir, he’s had songs in so many languages, so I find it very fascinating.
Watch Jasleen Royal performing at Royal Stag Boombox Bhubaneshwar:
Dino James |
You have collaborated with Badshah on the new song 'Woh'. How does it feel to be sharing the stage with him again?
Badshah is family, so I have a comfort zone with him. He is a brother to me, a very powerful artist, very intelligent human being and a very creative guy and it has always been a pleasure having him around.
Who are your rap idols?
My god of hip hop is Marshall Mathers aka Eminem. Apart from him, I like Tupac, Lil Wayne. I am a big Kendrick Lamar fan and these days, I am listening to a lot of UK Drill, Tom Z and Central Cee.
You're an inspiration for other Youtube musicians, having made your start on social media. What is your advice for them?
Be yourself and don’t be in a hurry. Take it easy and things will come to you. Don’t compare your journey to someone else. Believe in yourself and move forward.