American Punjabi rapper Bohemia, who has become synonymous with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar's voice after singing the title song of Chandni Chowk To China and a number in 8x10 Tasveer, says he was amazed to see the actor rapping.
"While recording the title track of Chandni Chowk To China, it was so amazing to see how comfortable Akshay was with rapping. He took just around two hours to complete the song. I must say he is very talented," Bohemia told IANS.
The international hip-hop artist created quite a stir in India with the title track of Chandni Chowk To China and followed it up with "I got the picture" in 8X10 Tasveer. And he has no problems giving Akshay credit for his success in Bollywood.
"All the credit for my success goes to Akshay. He had heard my music before and one day he personally called me and invited me to the red carpet premiere of his film Singh is Kinng in Toronto.
"I was shocked to get a call from such a superstar. It was really an honour for me. I met him there and he said he would like me to compose a song in my style for his film Chandni Chowk To China," said Bohemia.
"Working with him was a great experience since he is such an amazing person. He is fun-loving, he jokes around and is down to earth," he said.
Bohemia, whose real name is Roger David, was born in Pakistan and moved to California with his family at the age of 15. The 30-year-old is now known as the king of Punjabi rap. His first album Vich Pardesan De was released independently in 2002 and his second album Pesa Nasha Pyar came out in 2006.
The singer recently released his third album Da Rap Star and says for him desi hip hop is a way to preserve "our culture".
"Hip hop is not just music but a culture and a lifestyle. It is all about how you walk, talk and live. It is a blend of western plus Indian influences," said Bohemia.
"With my music I want to preserve my culture. Earlier most people who used to come to me used to speak in English but now talking in Hindi or Punjabi is cool to them," he added.
A fan of Jagjit Singh and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bohemia also enjoys Bollywood music.
"I love Bollywood music. So much is going on at the moment. Bollywood composers are not sticking to one kind of music. They are exploring and experimenting with different genres and because of that every album appeals to everyone. This is a great change," he said.
Bohemia says he always wanted to create original and different kind of music.
"I was always fascinated with music as a medium to express myself. I didn't want to copy anyone. I wanted to communicate through my personal energy so that people can distinguish my music from others'. I know that not everyone relates to my music. But my music is me," the rapper quipped.