If you rhyme a ‘hat’ with a ‘cat’, it doesn’t make you a rapper: Hard Kaur
The unabashed Hard Kaur talks about how in India people want to know who one is dating before collaborating with them. Also, tells us about her new song.music Updated: Jun 03, 2017 18:44 IST
She is someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade. After lending her voice to songs such as ‘Laung da lashkara’ (Patiala House; 2011) and Sadda dil vi tu (ABCD: Any Body Can Dance; 2013), she released singles called ‘Sherni’ and ‘Jhumka gira re’. But the singer says that in India, it’s not easy to collaborate or get noticed even if one is talented.
How did ‘Jhumka gira re’ happen?
In ‘Jhumka…’, there is a young musician, MixSingh, who has played really good beats. It’s difficult for these guys to get collaborations. If they don’t get a big collaboration, they won’t get noticed in India. Here, talent doesn’t work. Here, who you work with matters. So, I asked him to work with me. I told him that I am going to work for free, so make sure the song is fabulous. And I am already known for pushing new talents, so that’s not a big deal for me.
Have you taken any inspiration from the original ‘Jhumka gira re’ (Mera Saaya; 1966) song?
People keep asking me if this is a remix. No, this is not a remix. I am not that lazy. I will write an original song. The words ‘Jhumka gira re’ obviously come from the original song but nobody owns those words. I didn’t want it to sound like other party songs.
Watch the full video of ‘Jhumka gira re’ here:
You are one of the very few female rappers in India. Why do you think that’s the case?
There are other people rapping in India, too. But rhyming ‘cat’ with ‘hat’ is not rapping. It’s also about how much courage you have to go all out. If I work for six months or three years and then say, ‘I am going to get married now’ or ‘My boyfriend doesn’t want me to do this anymore’, it won’t work. I have had colleagues who left rapping because their boyfriends didn’t want them to do it anymore. Eventually when you are an Indian, and you are a girl, everybody says, ‘Tumko pata hai na, end mein tumko shaadi hi karni padegi (You know that in the end you’ll have to get married). Not really, that’s not what my mother told me.
What are you currently working on?
My next would be a hip-hop mixtape. It’s called The Rising Vol 1, and it’s got several people working on it, including R&B vocalists. It will be a full album with 10-15 songs. I don’t have too many people supporting me apart from a couple of good friends because they believe in me. Another reason I am doing this is that many people cannot afford to collaborate with me, but if I do an album, I can collaborate with many and then nobody can complain that I am biased.
Does it frustrate you that you can’t collaborate with known musicians, if you don’t have big contacts in India?
That’s everywhere, but India mein thoda sa exaggeration hai. At least in America, if you don’t have talent then you don’t get anywhere. But in India, it doesn’t matter how talented you are. It’s always about tera baap kaun hai (who is your father?), and who are you dating? I made sure I set an example of coming from nowhere and getting somewhere, and that’s what I want new talents to believe in. I have no rich guy with a big company paying for me. In fact, till date, I have no one financing me.
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