All songs can’t be preachy: Dino James

All songs can’t be preachy: Dino James

The rapper is known for his songs ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Loser’. He aims to make music that is relevant and resonates with the masses

His songs resonate with anyone who listens to them; from making a song about his dog Hancock to a track about distant lovers, rapper Dino James has created a space for himself in the industry. 


He collaborated with Kaprila Keishing for his
latest song ‘Dooriyan’.

After the success of ‘Tandav’, which beamed aggression, he felt that this had to be followed by something soothing and romantic. This resulted in his latest track, ‘Dooriyan’, which within days of its release, was trending on YouTube. 

In an interview with Metrolife, Dino talks about his influences, inspiration and more.  

What influences your rap?

I am not a musician, I don’t know music. I only had a desire — to talk about my life. It is always important how you start anything. I started off by telling my stories — about my dog, about a situation where I was broke, heartbroken and depressed — but I soon realised that it was everybody’s story. I feel blessed that I can use this art form to vent.  

What do you keep in mind when you are writing a song?

All songs can’t be preachy, meaningful or motivational; then everyone would get bored. I am not a politician or a preacher, there has to be entertainment in a song.
Sometimes a beat or a topic with many possibilities might motivate me to write or think of a song. I jot down points that I want to say and discuss it people whose feedback I think matters.

Lately, most of your songs are about heartbreak... does it have anything to do with your relationship status? 

No, not exactly. I mean, most songs in India are about heartbreak and love. Very rarely do we hear a song such as ‘Baapu sehat ke liye ... haanikaarak hai’ or ‘Give me some sunshine’.
Even if it is a party song, most of the time, it has some reference to a relationship. Having said that, it depends on the comfort zone of an artiste. I think this is my comfort zone. 

Tell us about the song ‘Girlfriend 2.0’...

When I thought of making this song, I was working on the track, ‘Bhokali’, which took up a lot of time. So, I thought of working on a chorus with a relaxed track and that has a laidback vocal with a dance vibe to it. It is nothing to do with my track ‘Girlfriend’, like many believe. 

Who do you look up to?

I admire a lot of people. I am a huge AR Rahman. I think he is a magician. I also admire Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan. I listen to their interviews quite often. I look up to MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar too. All of their stories inspire me to look ahead in life.

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