Gujarati hip-hop star RaOol: Waiting for Bollywood to pay us attention a mistake
Music director, rapper and a lyricist, RaOol enjoys the patronage of being the only Gujarati rapper to have forayed in the Indian music industry. Raised in Australia, the UK-based composer/rapper of Indian descent, he has contributed to Bollywood films such as Housefull 3 (2016) and Tum Bin 2 (2016), but he says that’s not something he wants to focus on.
“I loved working on both the films, and teaching Dwayne ‘DJ’ Bravo how to rap a Hindi verse I wrote for him was super dope. There are more releases in the pipeline,” he says and continues, “But, as a composer and rapper, I write from my personal experience and I thrive on that freedom creatively. So, working on specific scenes/narrations is something I can do, but generally avoid. If one of my songs work for a film that’s great and I’m happy to collaborate, but it’s not something I prioritise.”
For long, music in India was synonymous to Bollywood songs and then there was the boom of pop music in the ‘90s. And now in the recent years, we’re again seeing indie musicians.
On how he looks at the present Indian music scene, RaOol says, “The re-emergence of the Indian independent scene is exciting especially for hip-hop. The fact that wherever you look — nationally as well as regionally — there are already signs of a thriving hip-hop community incorporating all three pillars, Rap, Graffiti and Street Dancing, and that’s hugely exciting.”
The singer, who, recently launched his debut four-tracked Gujarati EP titled Gujarat Stand Up, goes on to add, “Waiting for Bollywood bigwigs to pay us some attention is a mistake, they treat all music like a fad and it belongs to no one. We, as a hip hop community, need to be self-reliant with our content creation and be a business on our own.”
His previous singles include Thoda Bing Thoda Bang, Kem Cho, Desi Girls Do It Better and Swag Beta Swag and he admits as an independent musician in India, one faces many challenges . “It’s a Do It Yourself (DIY) method of creating and releasing music. It’s the most rewarding because ultimately you build a direct relationship with the fans cutting out the middlemen,” he says.