US-based Pakistani rapper Bohemia, who collaborated with Akshay Kumar in Chandni Chowk To China for the snazzy version of the title track, is expecting to ink another deal with the Bollywood star.
'Last month I had a meeting with Akshay bhai again. Hopefully, I will again contribute in his another film. Talks are on with many other filmmakers and very soon things will be finalised,' Bohemia told IANS.
'My fan base started in America and now whatever I get from outside is an added bonus. Now Bollywood is helping me. Akshay Kumar approached me for Chandni Chowk to China and I could not say no as I am his big fan,' he said.
Bohemia feels hip-hop or rap is not culture or society bound.
'Hip-hop and rap is something that represents a whole culture. In other forms of music there are many restrictions and you are compartmentalised into certain compositions. But rap is absolutely free, you are just naked in front of your audience and that is the real test of any musician's abilities.
'I have many fans. I do not know the reason why they are so impressed with me as I never do anything to impress anybody. I just go to the stage and scream my heart out.
'I am never bothered about my looks and clothes like other singers. I think that rap represents a culture and most of the youngsters easily relate to it.'
Born as Roger David in Karachi, Pakistan, Bohemia shifted to the US when his parents decided to migrate there 14 years ago. He is now based in California. Bohemia's grandfather had converted from Sikhism to Christianity.
Talking about his fan following in India, he said: 'Whenever I come to India, there is a huge queue of youngsters outside my hotel room and at the venues. I like to take out time for them and teach them about hip-hop and rap music. Hopefully, in future I would find more time to interact with youngsters and some concrete planning is on my cards,' he said.
Bohemia, a big fan of Mirza Ghalib, feels rap is fast picking up in India.
'Rap is a cool quotient for kids. I do not find any difference between Indian kids and those from other countries. Kids in Europe and America are also doing the same thing. It took about 25 to 30 years for rap music to develop in America. In India, you just wait for another five years,' said the singer.
Bohemia became an instant hit in 2003 with his first album Vich Pardesan De and followed it with Pesa Nasha Pyar and Da Rap Star.
Talking about his inspiration, Bohemia said: 'I was a mamma's boy and I was only 16 when my mom passed away. I was a dejected teenager in a new country.
I did not even know the language. I wanted to leave the school and home. I wanted to kill myself.
'I was on streets, running here and there, struggling in life. I did not really trust anyone. I was very blunt. The anguish, struggle and difficult phase were my inspiration. I started becoming friends with black Americans who are very good in rap. I learned many things like the English language from them,' said Bohemia.
He is not too happy with the DJ culture and said: 'DJs don't have knowledge of music, they are only doing mixtures. In India, we do not have DJ culture; we are just copying what we are seeing in the west. For making good music, we have to be creative.'
(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)