He is a popular name in Punjabi music, and now, composer Badshah has become the latest entrant in the B-town music circuit. After collaborating with artistes like Yo Yo Honey Singh and Diljit Dosanjh for Punjabi albums, he made his Bollywood music debut with the song Saturday Saturday (sung by rapper Indeep Bakshi, who is reported to be one of the most expensive singers in Bollywood right now) in film-maker Karan Johar’s upcoming production. We chat with Badshah to know more about the break, his association with Honey Singh and more.
How does it feel to debut in Bollywood?
It’s nothing extraordinary. Yes, the platform is really big, and I never thought that I’d get to associate with Karan Johar, but I think that with the kind of work I was doing, Bollywood was the obvious next step.
We’ve heard that you have collaborated with Honey Singh on some projects in the past. Tell us about the bond you share with him.
I share a great bond with him. He is an amazing person and a dedicated artiste. I was looking for a screen handle for myself, and it was he and my mom who came up with the name ‘Badshah’ since I am a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan.
While artistes from Punjab like Honey Singh or Mika Singh are strong players in Bollywood, do you think you will be accepted? Do you see yourself replacing them?
I am not here to replace anyone. Bollywood is big enough to accommodate many Honey Singhs and Badshahs. I just want to make good music and make my own space in the industry.
Who are your idols in Bollywood? Tell us about your dream collaboration.
I idolise SRK for his energy, and Akshay Kumar since he is a self-made man. In music, AR Rahman is my idol, as he is a true legend. I don’t have a dream-collaboration in mind, but I would be honoured if I get to compose a track for SRK. My dream is to compose a song that anybody can dance to.
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Many singers are venturing into acting nowadays. Do you have similar plans?
I don’t want to act because I don’t know the art. I respect musicians who try their hand at it, but I am certainly not meant to be an actor. But yes, I wouldn’t mind becoming a film director.
Which do you prefer composing for — the Punjabi film industry or Bollywood?
I am comfortable anywhere, but in Bollywood, your creativity gets restricted, which I dread. That is why I like the Punjabi music industry. I prefer making my own music and then giving it to film-makers. But I am sure working within the constraints of Bollywood will also be challenging.
Do you think the shelflife of singers in the industry has reduced today?
Yes, there’s no value to the art in Bollywood anymore. After the era of singers like Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu, the quality of music has deteriorated.