The singer and rapper behind the hit song’s, Saturday Saturday and Proper Patola - Badshah a unique name in the industry! The man who brings out versatility through his music, talks about his audience, inspirations, collaborations and much more to Kulwinder Kaur Kainth!
Hey Badshah! How you doing?
I’m doing great, working in a hotel room that faces the Arabian Sea, can’t be better!
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Delhi but moved to Chandigarh when I was 17.
So Badshah, where does this name come from?
This name has many reasons, partly because I’m a big Shahrukh Khan fan and partly because I live like a Badshah lol.
Tell us how did you get involved in music? Have you always had apassion?
I was always passionate about music, and when I say always I mean always. Although never really thought of pursuing music professionally, it just happened. I make music purely for the love of it.
What are your views on clean lyrics and music videos? Do you think it is important?
I might sound clichéd here but the culture has changed and is constantly changing. People love what they can relate to. And fortunately or unfortunately the audience that my music caters to is very very diverse. I can make a ‘Saturday Saturday’, I can make a ‘Proper Patola’ and I can even make an absolutely traditional song like Veet Baljit's ‘Reel’.
Not everyone loved Proper Patola, not everyone loved Reel. But they all are loved by a lot of people. The point is everyone has their own perspective, their own way of looking at things. I’m just an artist who observes a lot and then puts his observations into music. People who relate to it love it, people who don’t, listen to other artists, simple.
Your fan base is generally the younger audience. Is it easy to target yourmusic towards them?
Not at all. Also you can never take your audience for granted. Today’s audience is really intelligent and that’s what I love about it.
It gives me an opportunity to experiment with my work. At the same time today’s audience has have so many options but no time.
It won’t give you a lot of chances. They’ve got the internet, they’ll find what they’re looking for and they’ll find the best one at it.
You have to keep your game real.
Last year you were signed up to the leading music label company SonyMusic. How did you get approached?
I was looking for the right label to release Saturday Saturday. I wanted a label that understood my music. That’s when I came across Mr. Pawanesh Pajnu from Sony Music. Since then it has been a relationship of mutual understanding and respect for each other's work. We just made it official by me signing to the label last year.
Who’s your inspiration within the industry?
I’m a great great great fan of the music that I end up making at times. Besides that I love the production by Pharell and Timberlake, I love the way Dr. Dre uses his keys, I love Drake's, J Cole's and Raxtar's style of writing.
Steel Banglez inspires me to keep getting better. I love Honey Singh's sense of music. There is so much to be inspired from.
But be inspired, don’t be influenced.
How has the support from family and friends been over the years?
Parents have become supportive with time, although it becomes tough to balance work with family sometimes, but thanks to my supportive wife for the peace lol.
You worked on the song ‘Proper Patola’ and ‘Saturday Saturday’ bothwhich have been a great success. Tell us more about your involvement.
I wrote and produced Saturday keeping in mind the Delhi Punjabi sector of audience. But the fact that it found a major liking in places like Ludhiana and Amritsar came as a surprise. That’s when I became aware of the drastic cultural changes taking place almost everywhere. Soon the song became a national hit, being played heavily in clubs in Mumbai, Pune and Goa etc. It is an essential Saturday night anthem of the country today, reinstating the fact that music has no language and hence no boundaries.
Only a very few people know that I wrote Proper Patola for Garry Sandhu. The title of the song came from my wife when she was teaching me some local London slangs words lol. 'Proper' was one of them, that’s when I came out with the whole concept of Proper Patola and I wrote it while I was on a London tube. It had all that Brit Asian vibe to it. I thought the best guy to sing it would be Garry Sandhu; however things couldn’t be worked out between us two as he was busy with his own stuff. I then decided to sing it myself.
Around that time I met Diljit paaji and this track was playing in my car. He was hooked to it instantly and we did it. Needless to say he killed it! Bad tune (that’s another one of the UK slangs, innit?!) hahaha
You and Honey Singh are very close. Are you two collaborating soon?
We used to be, not anymore.
In the future who would you like to work with and why?
I want to work with so many amazing talented people out there, from Diljit Dosanjh to Justin Timberlake, but I guess I will be concentrating on my solo thing for a while now.
Tell us more about your album ‘One’ I know it features Jazz Dhami and we hear also Diljit Dosanjh?. How has it been working with them? What will we be expecting in this album?
Oh, Diljit is not there on the album, I didn’t have the right song for him. However, I have Gippy Grewal, who will be singing in Hindi, and I have Jaz Dhami, Raftaar, and I have one surprise artist! Besides that I will be launching a few new singers on it. Watch out for them!!
Apart from Bhangra, what genre of music are you into?
I’m listening to Coldplay right now, 'Hysteria' by Deff Leppard was playing before this and before that it was Adnan Sami! If I love it, l will listen to it.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Work keeps me busy, but whenever I get spare time I hang out with my wife, go to the cinema. Also me and my wife love to travel, so whenever we can, we pack our bags and leave.
How do you manage working life with your personal life?
It’s really really hard; all you need to understand is that you can never take both for granted. My wife is really supportive, and I try to keep her with me whenever it’s possible. Like right now I’m in Mumbai for some work, I’ve brought her along.
If you weren’t in the music industry, what career would you have chosenand why?
I would just sit home and be upset about it.
What do you prefer doing singing or rapping?
What are we expecting this year and the future?
You tell me what you expect, I’ll surpass it.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Much much better at my art and a happily married man
Lastly any messages to the fans?
My EVERDEAREST FANS, Love your enthusiasm towards my music. Keep loving me like you do, don’t change, because I won’t. :)
Thank you for your time, it has been great interviewing you. We wish you all the best in the future and looking forward to hearing more from you.
Interview by Kulwinder Kaur Kainth