Cricketer Ish Sodhi finds Bollywood ‘pretty cool’, loves Badshah, his grandma’s food
How Inderbir Singh Sodhi became Ish Sodhi is a quite a story to tell. That’s how the 26-year-old Indian-origin cricketing star — a New Zealand player, also playing for Rajasthan Royals — wants to put it, evoking more curiosity. “My grandfather named me Inderbir but my nickname was Ishu. When we moved to New Zealand, people there couldn’t pronounce my name correctly, so I’d be called Inderbird, bird and birdie… In school, we read a story about a bird called Ishmail and soon my friends started identifying me with the bird and nicknamed me Ish,” narrates the leg spinner, who is also a part of New Zealand’s World Cup team. Also an “aspiring rapper”, Ish has rapped for Rajasthan Royals, Black Caps (New Zealand national cricket team) and even collaborated with fellow cricketer Prashant Chopra. In a candid chat, Ish talks about composing more rap music, love for Bollywood and, last but not the least, getting married this year.
Why do you call yourself a part-time/aspiring rapper in your social media bio?
(Laughs) Rapping is not my real job, but something I enjoy doing. I love how words and expressions rhyme and when you add music, it turns into a beautiful piece. Making music helps me unwind, so, whenever I’m not playing, I pen lyrics and add beats to them.
How did your first tryst with rapping happen?
My friends feel I’m slightly autistic. I’m really good with numbers, remembering steps and lyrics. It all started when I heard Eminem for the first time and found his rap so creative. So, I started rapping his songs first and later writing and rapping my own lyrics.
Any Indian rapper you want to collaborate with?
I’d definitely love to collaborate at some point, but right now I’m concentrating on cricket. I really like Badshah and he is pretty cool. I love Wakhra Swag track. I also like Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Is it tough balancing cricket and music?
When you love something so much, balancing is easy. I absolutely love bowling leg spin — it’s an art. So, cricket is number one and then comes music.
Do you follow Bollywood films?
I do, but not much, as I don’t get time. It’s really interesting how rap music in India has been taking off and nice to see that a lot of talent is coming from Punjab and are a part of Bollywood, too. My mother is always watching Hindi films, and whenever I’m home, I end up watching movies with her. I recently saw some amazing ones like Pink and Padman. Also, I feel I need to work on my Hindi and Punjabi (laughs).
You’re a part of New Zealand’s World Cup squad. Excited or nervous?
Right now, it’s IPL is on my mind; World Cup is a while away. This time it’s happening in the country [England] where cricket was born and it’s after 20 years that Britain is playing host . But there is no sense of being worried or nervous, I’m just excited. The nervousness will start when we start begin playing, but that’s what cricket is all about.
When in India, what is the food you enjoy eating?
Rajma Chawal, chole bhature, dal makhni, paneer bhindi and all these are cooked by my family in Punjab. Every time I am here they treat me to this amazing food. Also my grandma makes a sweet dish called choori for me. This time too she got some specially made for me.
You’re getting married to Angelina Van Roosamalen this year. Any celebrations in India?
We’ll have two ceremonies in New Zealand, one church and one Gurudwara wedding. We’re also planning a reception in Punjab.
Does she follow cricket?
Angelina is an HR manager and doesn’t like cricket much. She loves the game because I play it, but then cricket keeps me away from her.
Author tweets @Shreya_MJ
Follow @htshowbiz for more