For singer-rapper Baba Sehgal, rap is rhythm, poetry and everything that he is passionate about. “Despite the presence of a few authentic singers, like me, I don’t think rap has arrived in India. Singing a few rap lines in a Bollywood song doesn’t make you a rap singer. Rap is actually rhythm and poetry. It has a definite beginning and an end,” says one of the oldest Hindi rappers in India.
I know tum udaoogi meri khilli, I become silly when I go to Dilli. I am from North and my first job was in Delhi. I do a lot of gigs in Delhi.
With a career spanning over two decades, Sehgal may have left Delhi to pursue a career in Mumbai, but his heart still belongs to the Capital. “I know tum udaoogi meri khilli, I become silly when I go to Dilli. I’m from North. It was during my job in DESU (Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking) in the early 90s, when I decided to quit and leave for Mumbai. I participated in a lot of competitions then and used to win trophies. My mom always encouraged me,” says the 51-year-old.
MERE RASHKE QAMAR - my small version 🙏 pic.twitter.com/SDqNrgQtk9— Baba Sehgal (@OnlyBabaSehgal) March 14, 2017
A Kishore Kumar-fan, Sehgal has always yearned to become as versatile as the legendary singer. A crowd-puller, onstage (and offstage too, with catchy lyrics and effervescent energy), Sehgal has been an actor, singer, presenter; but what does he enjoy the most? “I love doing a little bit of everything. Be it RJing, VJing, singing or acting, but I love performing at concerts, where I get the opportunity to interact with the crowd. I have always been a Kishore Kumar fan and wanted to become like him someday,” he says.
Sehgal has created numbers such as Black Money, Trump Ka Mania, videos that are on the same tangent as the present political scenario. Does he do this consciously, to connect with the youth? “I try to be more authentic and funny on current topics. I love making funny and technical videos with good and relevant content. I love writing that helps me in my songs and now enhances my new fan base in the age group of 16 to 25 years. I am lucky that I am able to connect with the youth today. But, I don’t do it deliberately.”
The singer has been privy to the boons and banes of the social media, and has also been trolled extensively. “I take trolling very positively. At least people spend time to write bad about me. I believe bad is the new good on the social media. I am quite lucky that people have taken me quite funningly (his usage of the word funnily) on the social media and since the time I have started my YouTube channel and Facebook official page, precisely two years ago, my videos have generated more than 25 million views,” says Sehgal who has songs such as Going to the Gym, Chicken Fried Rice, Aloo Ka Paratha and Rihanna O Rihanna, to his credit.
The singer, who recently visited Gurgaon, was living it up in a party and said, “I love the Cyber City and have a lot of friends here. I always look forward to connecting with them,” says he, adding, “I love the snootiness in Delhi too.”