On my pinboard

On my pinboard

On my pinboard

Hard Kaur
Rapper and Hip-hop musician

British Indian rapper and hip-hop singer Hard Kaur prefers to describe her style of rap as “hard core”. Hard confesses that though she never set out to be a  musician, music has not  only changed her life but also transformed the shy and  vulnerable person she was into a tough woman who has survived the male-dominated sphere of rap.

Best known for her work in ‘Ek Glassy’, Hard has worked for some Bollywood films such as ‘Johnny Gaddaar’, ‘Ugly Aur Pagli’, ‘Singh Is Kinng’, ‘Kismat Konnection’, ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’, ‘Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag’ and ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’. She shares her thoughts on a range of thi that keep her going.

(As told to Nina C George)

1  |  Music

The works of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and James Brown have influenced me tremendously. Much later in my life, I chanced upon the work of legendary rapper KRS-One who is quite original and has a style of his own. He never struck gold but brought in some originality to rap music. Rap music has gone through different phases. It was once called the music that created a sense of social awakening in people. It was also known as ‘gang rap’ and much later, became party music as well. For me, rap music is a celebration of rhythm.

2  |  Inspiration
My fans

My fans and the people I meet inspire me. I am who I am and I don’t believe in changing myself too much for anybody. This is one trait some people like but some others don’t take kindly to my straightforward ways. I must add that my mother too has inspired me and continues to do so in many ways. There’s family and friends but mothers always go a step further to be there for you in both good and bad times. My mother and I, in fact, look after each other, especially after my father passed away.

3  |  Philosophy
Stay positive

I try to see the positive in everything. If something doesn’t go the way I’ve planned, then I don’t brood over it but believe that God has something better and bigger in store for me. If I believe that something will happen, then it certainly will. I try not to get bogged down by negative feelings and don’t let negative people get to me.

4  |  Books
James Redfield

I barely get enough time to sit with a book but the one book that has stayed with me is ‘The Celestine Prophecy’ by James Redfield. It talks about staying positive no matter what. The good vibes that the book gave me the first time I read it return whenever I read it even today. When I meet lovely people who are positive, the thoughts highlighted in the book come flooding back. I try to read books that promote a positive
feeling in me.          

5  |  Cuisines
French duck roast

I love French duck roasted in plum sauce. I also relish Jamaican food which is available in every corner of England. I particularly like the Jamaican ‘curry chicken’ and the ‘curry goat’ which we call ‘chicken curry’ and ‘mutton curry’, respectively. They also use Scotch bonnet pepper which is why I like their food. The flavour of the pepper does well to spice the dish up. I’ve also learnt to cook and serve some delicious food to friends and family over the years.

6  |  Travel

Oh, I feel like running away all the time. But the one place that beckons me is New York. There’s a sense of rudeness about the place but it really teaches you how to stay strong. You feel the competition around you all the time. My first recording was in New York when I was 21 years old. Just as much as I like the skyscrapers in Manhattan, I like to stroll down the streets of Queens where people barely have enough to eat.

7  |  Theatre
Anupam Kher

I haven’t watched too many plays but a play by Anupam Kher called ‘Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’ is something that I thoroughly enjoyed watching, not only because of the content but because of Anupam, who is a thorough gentleman. I had walked in late and there were many people like me who came in after the play started. He was kind enough to stop the play, allow people to settle down and start all over again. Not many artistes do this because it’s hard to get back the same expression and emotion required for particular scenes.