Rapper-singer Raftaar, 26, is happy that rap music is doing well, but wants to kill the trend of songs that revolve around women's dance moves, alcohol and indiscriminate partying. He wants to promote songs that help rappers gain respect.
"I've been doing songs such as Mother Nature, which for instance addresses global warming, but unfortunately it didn't get recognised. That's perhaps because it wasn't about women and alcohol. Although I am happy that I have made an impact with such songs, we (rappers) are not respected much. So I want to kill that trend and want rappers to be respected more," he says.Further, the Malayali singer-rapper adds, "I've been performing songs on women's empowerment in colleges in Delhi and other cities. Rap is a form of storytelling; people follow us because we are the change. The aim is to take hip-hop to a wider audience in India, make the spectrum a little broader, and change the mindset as well."
"This is where my family is ... my brothers are. I'm a single child, I don't have any real brothers or sisters. I've been brought up alone, so the friends that I made during my school days are like family for me. Everybody has got my back here. People classify me as a star, but nothing has changed here ... I have the same friends from second grade and we hang out at the same spots we used to, as kids."
As for the overwhelming response that he gets in Delhi, Raftaar adds, "I have received love from everyone, wherever I have performed. My last performance in Patna had a massive turnout, with people singing the entire lyrics of my songs. The only difference when I perform here is that I know the crowd ... arrey Delhi hai, saare apne bhai hain."
With Punjabi songs such as Swag Mera Desi, Madam ji, Bottle and Happy Single, it came as a surprise to many that the singer-rapper is a Malayali. "I am a south Indian but I rap in Punjabi, Haryanvi and Hindi, promoting different languages. People do not know I'm a Malayali singing in Punjabi, which means there is no difference, we are one. I'm trying to make India one by singing in as many languages I know."