I wish I could sing, says rapper Badshah

He raps to the groovy beat, and now, rapper Badshah promises to learn to croon just as well. The artiste talks about his initial misgivings about Bollywood and the social responsibility of music

You know Badshah as the man behind the hit number, Saturday Saturday, from Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. Now, the rapper and composer is back with his latest single, Bandook. The song is in collaboration with British recording artiste, Raxstar, and interestingly, its music video deals with domestic violence. Intrigued? Here’s what Badshah has to say on music and social responsibility, and his initial reluctance about all things Bollywood:

Q. How did the collaboration with Raxstar come about for Bandook?
A. MTV approached both of us when we were in London, and asked us to compose a song for their platform Spoken Word. I have been a huge of Raxstar and I wanted to create something meaningful with him. We met, and Sunit, the man behind the music, played us a couple of beats. We zeroed in on what is now Bandook.

Q. The song and the video are about domestic violence and karma. Where do music and social responsibility meet?
A. I’m a performer and my job is to entertain. But if people are influenced by what I say, I would like to use that platform to make a difference. I don’t think artistes have a social responsibility per se. It is entirely up to them whether they want to make a difference through their work.

Q. What do you prefer — singing or rapping?
A. I wish I could sing (laughs)! It’s a lot easier to sing. In rap, you don’t have melody to fall back on. If I sing, I can impress you with my rhythm and melody, but when I rap, it’s only expressions, lyrics and wordplay. I think that is more difficult, and I love it. Having said that, I’m learning to sing these days and you will probably hear me in the future.

Q. Your song, Saturday Saturday, was a hit. Now you’ve sung a song for the Sonam Kapoor-starrer, Khoobsoorat. Was Bollywood always on your mind?
A. No. Honestly, I didn’t want to enter Bollywood. I felt being a part of Hindi films diluted an artiste’s ability in some way. But thankfully, I have been proven wrong about that. For my song in Khoobsurat, Rhea Kapoor and her team gave me a free hand and didn’t change a thing about the song I created. I love to make my kind of music and would not want to compromise on that. If Bollywood likes it, too, that’s an added advantage.

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