His groovy tunes

Crooning in style:

His groovy tunes
He’s your ‘DJ waley babu’. He’s the one who gets you up and dancing in a party. He’s Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia. The name doesn’t a ring a bell, does it? That’s because you know him by his stage name: Badshah. Just like his songs, rapper Badshah is synonymous with swag, groovy beats and party anthems.

A civil engineering graduate, Badshah has been passionate about music all his life. But he never imagined that he would pursue it professionally until fate gave him a chance. “Even during my schooling, I performed in the school choir. After my engineering, I even had a job, but never really liked it. Thankfully, I got a chance in music and there has been no looking back ever since,” says this crooner. Now, Badshah prefers to believe that he was always a musician who just happened to be a civil engineer.

Musically hit
Badshah’s discography is one big list of chartbusters. Initially, he earned a fan following in the Punjabi music industry with ‘Fugly’, ‘Jatt James Bond’ and more. Lady luck came knocking on his doors when Dharma Productions wanted him to jazz up his (and Indeep Bakshi’s) song ‘Saturday Saturday’ for their movie, Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania. Soon, he shared screen space with Sonam Kapoor on ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’.

Just like the song, the party had just begun for this singer. His success became definite when all the party circuits in the country started to play his numbers and Bollywood staked its claim on him. And the new musical star gave us songs like ‘Selfie Le Le Re’, ‘Chaar Shanivaar’, ‘Kar Gayi Chull’, ‘Kala Chashma’, ‘The Breakup Song’ and more.

Rapper Jay Z believes rap music is poetry with a beat. And Badshah agrees with him. For this rockstar, the flow of rap is very important. And he wants to bust the myth that rap is only about talking fast or shouting. “In rap, there are rhymes and rhythms you cannot ignore. A lot goes into seeing which words you emphasise on, where you need to pause or have to continue with lyrics. And all this needs to go with the beat of the song,” explains Badshah.

Rap in almost every Bollywood song today can spell doom for independent rap artistes. And Badshah, who became more popular after venturing into the glitzy world of Hindi cinema, has the same concerns. “It is only after venturing into Bollywood that I have a pan-India presence. I am very grateful for that. But I am positive that conventional rap is winning a lot of hearts. I can see it grow more and more and just hope it doesn’t fade out. I want rap to grow as a genre,” he says.

So, where does rap fit in the musical map of the country? Badshah states, “India has a culture that is constantly changing. People love what they can relate to and today, they are groomed to listen to all kinds of music.” But he also says that the rap that is prevalent in the nation today isn’t technically rap. “Right from its roots in the West, rap has always been touted as rebellion music. But in India, I think we have created a whole new genre. I won’t call it rap; I would call it ‘pop rap’ or ‘Bollywood rap’, which caters to the party culture in the country,” says this young artiste.

What sets him apart
The beauty of Badshah’s rap lies in the fact that he wasn’t just another Yo Yo Honey Singh. What Honey Singh failed at, Badshah made his strength. Which means, his rap was much more appealing to listeners, who by then, had gotten bored of the same old rap involving drugs, alcohol and women. But today, songs with rap seem to be riding high on all music charts. And when a group of ladies sing ‘DJ Waley Babu’ in kirtan style at their prayer meet, you know you have done something right.

However, Badshah doesn’t believe rap is all about sexist or offensive lyrics. “The current rap you hear is more of the daily banter of youngsters, that is then translated into a song. Take for instance, ‘Abhi Toh Party’. It’s a party song that was released for Disney,” he justifies.

Apart from composing songs, Badshah recently stepped into the world of reality shows as a judge on Dil Hai Hindustani, where many aspiring rap artistes come specially to get a thumbs up from him. Ask him about this new role and he says, “This is my first time judging at a reality show. I am honoured to be doing it with Karan sir, Shalmali, and Shekhar. I love the experience of discovering new talent and listening to talented voices from all over the world. It definitely is a tick off my bucket list.”

Badshah is now gearing up to release his upcoming album, ‘Original Never Ends - ONE’, this month. Calling it the most challenging project so far, Badshah states, “It has taken me many years to get this album finalised. A lot of hard work has gone into it and I hope my fans like it.”

Along with everything else, Badshah is also happy about the modern times we are living in today, because of which he gets to experience music from around the world. It turns out this rockstar admires many a musical artistes. “I like the production by Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake and the way Dr Dre uses his keys. I also love Drake’s, J Cole’s and Raxstar’s style of writing. And Steel Banglez inspires me to keep getting better,” he states.

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