He grew up in Pakistan and moved to the US at a very early age, but he has covered a musical journey longer than that. Meet Punjabi rapper Bohemia who is considered a pioneer in Punjabi rap and has sung for many A-listers in Bollywood including Akshay Kumar in Chandni Chowk to China.
His initial days of struggle included working at studios and living out of his car before he realised his passion for music and poetry. “I was good at poetry from a very young age. So, I put music and poetry together and thankfully people started loving it and then they termed it as a genre,” says Bohemia who was recently in Lemp Brewpub to promote his latest album Thousand Thoughts.
Performing for the Indian crowd was encouraging for the Rap sensation. “I was amazed by the ambience and the kind of crowd that we had. I never knew there would be so many takers for my music here in Delhi. The crowd here is a lot like the crowd we have in Pakistan or the US. At the end of the day we are all South Asians separated by borders. We look alike, speak alike, eat alike and enjoy the same genres of music too.”
Giving credit for his success to Hindi movies, Bohemia is all praise for the current musical scene in India. “India has a lot of folk music, classical music, filmi or commercial music and ever since I have done the numbers for Hindi movies, more and more people have started identifying with my kind of music and begun loving it.
Bollywood is a big force and without it you cannot think of achieving some recognition. It reaches really far and wide. It makes you a hit even in places you otherwise would not have even heard of.”
Bohemia who has performed with big names like Snoop Lion, Akshay Kumar, Mika, Rishi Rich, etc, says the art form needs more recognition and lot has to be done foe it. “First it was Punjabi beats that made their way to Bollywood, then came Punjabi lyrics and now it is rap that has made its way in too. It has just started to get recognition and I believe a lot can still be done.”
A true Punjabi at heart who enjoys the tandoor delicacies the most in Delhi, says, the girls in Delhi are pataake vargi kudiaan ne (they are as beautiful as fire crackers!). “Of course, the South Asian beauty has no comparison the world over, we are blessed is what I would say.”
Finally, talking about the amount of talent in India, he says, “There is no dearth of talent in India, it’s just that the rapping talent is beginning to surface now,” he signs off.