Back to basics, how did singing come about for you, especially a genre like hip-hop?
My first introduction to hip-hop was as a battle dancer. In Canada, where I was born and raised, I used to compete in street and club battles. Over time, I became possessed by the music to the point that I wanted to create it. Hip-hop is my genre of choice because of its raw nature and urban street appeal.
Almost all your songs are different, in regards to lyrics and video, especially your latest release, "Sifar". How do you find the inspiration to write for them all?
Making films is almost as fun as making music, because it's all about story telling. I try to write a plot with a conflict and a resolution into all of my songs. Then, when making a music video, the story easily translates from audio into a visual medium. I am open to a myriad of different types of genres and styles because I want to break boundaries. As a hip-hop artist, I don't want to be confined into a rap/hip-hop/R&B stereotype. So, I look at my own life and friends lives to find inspiration of any kind, and turn into music!
"Saali Bitch", was released online due to censor regulations. Your thoughts on the matter? Do you think India is still far behind in being open minded?
I believe that if a product has strong content, it will find its audience. The economic diversity of India is a good reason why the Indian media is shy to promote content liberally. Additionally, the
literacy rate affects the way media spreads in the country. The US is ranked #45 and India #134 with regards to their population's literacy rate - so yes, our censor regulations are similarly far behind. Despite that, the youth of every country, including ours, wants exclusive and fresh sounds! So they don't mind searching for it online if it is not handed to them on a platter.
Your friendship with Rakhi Sawant soured after "Saali Bitch". May we ask what happened and if things are back to normal?
Bheja Fry 2 set your goal of being a music director on the road, leading to many other successful projects. How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been a dream come true!! My team and I work very hard and it's been a long time coming. Still, it's just the beginning of a long journey! I always feel hungry for more work, no matter how much is on my plate. I want to be a top music director - hopefully one day I'll have so much to do that my head will explode one song at a time! I'm patiently awaiting that day.
You've worked with some notable international artists such as Sean Paul, Mobb Deep and Rishi Rich. Is there anyone out there who you really want to collaborate with?
I think the artists of the moment are Bruno Mars or Adele! I would love to collaborate with either of them!
We all know how dynamic your live stage show are. Any new dates planned soon? A tour perhaps?
I've been tucked away in the studio for a minute now and show season is around the corner. So, yes!! You can catch me at a venue near you soon.
You've studied acting in quite a few esteemed academies, any plans of launching yourself as a mainstream hero?
No. I'm a focused performing artist, and I do enjoy acting, but music is my first love and will always occupy my heart. :)
Your stint with Bindaas Live, making bakras of innocent passer bys, kept many entertained. Do you miss it?
Yes!! The first time I ever drove a car in India was during their shoot. I lied to my production team and said I had a license and had driven many times! The next thing I knew, I was wearing a mustache and driving a taxi pretending to be a part-time drug dealer. Good times, I must say...
We saw you brave the wild in Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao. Any fond memories? If offered, would you do a reality show again?
I loved the jungles of Taman Nagara in Mayalsia. I had fun creating and singing "Chal Be Shaney Task Kar" in a coffin with 10 huge snakes slithering all over me! Plus, I walked away with a few good friends too! So, yes... I wouldn't mind getting out of the studio to do a reality show if it was interesting!
Reporter: Nadia I.