Singer-rapper Baba Sehgal talks about the art of rapping, his web series Soadies and the inspiration behind his songs
Birthday: November 23
Place of birth: Lucknow
School/college: Colvin Taluqdars’ College, Lucknow; GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Nainital
High point of your life: When I started releasing my tracks on YouTube and they went viral
Low point of your life: When my mother passed away
First break: Solo track: Alibaba (1991); Bollywood: Aaja meri gaadi mein baith jaa (1998)
Currently I am ... Working on two films in the south, and Bank Chor with YRF
When did you realise you had become an Internet sensation?
Two-and-a half years ago. I was new on Twitter and was thinking of something fun to tweet. An IPL match was on and I tweeted about Chris Gayle in my style. I got around 150 retweets. That was quite crazy.
You’re a trained electrical engineer…
But if you ask me to repair a fuse then no, I can’t do that.
Who would you rather be stuck with in an elevator: Honey Singh or Hard Kaur?
Honey Singh. He started out with two Yos, I with a single Yo. I’d want to see what happens when three Yos get together.
Your tweets are rhyme-and-pun-filled. Is there a method to the madness?
It just happens naturally. Sometimes when I’m just sitting in my balcony and see a bird chirp, I come up with an idea.
Tell us a joke...
Blood donate karne ke pehle blood group jaachna, Basanti inn kutton ke samne mat nachna!
Your best memory from the good old days of Indipop.
When Shammi Kapoor gave me an award for the best Indipop artiste of India.
Tell us a rap starting: This Sunday morning…
Everybody come inside, shake the room; I wanna see the bride groove with the groom; koi maza nahi bulao granny ko; apni friend USA many ko; this Sunday morning…
Your songs talk about chicken fried rice and aloo paratha. You seem like a big foodie.
I love food. My songs actually come from the dinner table.
Who makes your heart beat faster?
The most memorable thing a fan has done for you.
A great grandfather passed down a cassette of my songs to a fourth generation kid in his family, who still has it.
Do you consciously keep the content of your songs funny?
Sometimes you make a fool of yourself intentionally. But if you try hard to be funny, people won’t laugh.
You famously sang Aaja meri gaadi mein baith jaa – how many women has that line worked on?
It still works! I’ve wooed a lot of girls with that song (laughs).
How thanda do you like your pani?
In summer, I like it very thanda and in winter, I like it hot. When I pitched Thanda thanda pani to a music company, they said it was a bullshit track. Then, it became a super hit. I still have a paper cutting that reads - Thanda thanda pani creates waves in the music industry.
You took a sabbatical from Bollywood.
I was doing songs in the south. I consider myself as a part of the Indipop genre rather than Bollywood. I don’t think I need to prove myself to the industry.
A myth about rapping.
Youngsters think it’s about showing cool cars, cuss words and models. Rapping is about rhythm and poetry.
Tell us about your foray into the digital space with Voot, and your new show.
It’s a good platform for original content. My show, Soadies, is about a family who is crazy about Roadies, the TV series.
The last line of your autobiography would be…
The original king of rap — Baba Sehgal.
Rhyme using the word ‘YouTube’: Ice cube
Dish: Rajma chawal
Party song: Abhi toh party shuru hui hai by Badshah
From HT Brunch, November 27, 2016
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