Hip hop has been climbing the popularity ladder in India, with rap slowly carving a niche for itself in the Hindi music industry, where a 16-bar verse takes a peppy dance number to a whole new level.
Ever since popular Punjabi rapper Bohemia released his album ‘Pesa Nasha Pyar’, which was a literal translation of his life on the streets of Oakland, California, US, a number of young rappers got introduced to the art of rapping in their mother tongue.
Among these rappers is Sikander Kahlon, a Mohali-based rapper-composer-lyricist, who picked up the pen to express his thoughts. Sounding naïve in his introductory songs, he quickly grasped the art of making conscious music as he had a lot to say about the daily struggles he faced. Having dropped eight mixtapes (a body of work without a specific theme), and currently working on his ninth, Kahlon has no plans of slowing down. Pursuing music full time, he is currently working on his debut album titled ‘Kahlon’s Laboratory’.
Sikander frequently talks about the current music scene in Punjab where he feels artists don’t get the platform to portray their ‘real’ creativity. “My music is a representation of my day-to-day life, and I am very passionate about it. That’s why I’m doing it full time. Same people who used to discourage me now want to work with me. People come up to my dad and tell him they like my songs. My family is finally proud of me,” says Kahlon, whose new album is set for a 2016 release.
Sehajdeep Singh, aka Sady Immortal, is another rapper from Mohali and Kahlon’s childhood friend. He joined forces with him recently and the duo has received rave reviews online for their collaborative project ‘The Punjabi Trap’. “Rap music is what I needed in life. I can talk about all sorts of issues and it has helped me grow into a better person. All the rappers I listen are my real teachers,” says Sehajdeep, who’s pursuing BTech in computer science.
Another talented individual who often collaborates with the duo is Chandigarh-based Manjeet Singh, a video director by profession who has made more than 35 videos in the last one year. His motto is simple - to uplift the ‘Underground Hip Hop’ scene by providing visuals to the audios of young artists. He has his own video production company.
“My love for video production dates back to 2008 when I did not know how to execute my vision. But now, with the support of my friends and family, I’m moving forward one step at a time. I’m satisfied right now,” he says.
Citing influences from popular rappers from the west such as Nas, 2Pac, Eminem, 50 Cent, N.W.A and many more, these young lads have only one mission - to uplift the current music scene in Punjab and achieve recognition nationwide.