“You miss things only once you’re away from them,” says Sid of Z-Boys, talking about how much he missed Indian cuisine and Hindi films while in South Korea. The singer-performer was in India last month for a well-deserved vacation after wrapping up work on his new single, titled Holla Holla. The 20-year-old has been working non-stop even before he debuted as the first-ever Indian K-pop idol. Unsurprisingly, he tells us that he spent his time catching up on latest Bollywood releases and gorging on spicy food.

A “total foodie”, Sid lists Karol Bagh, Preet Vihar, Rajouri Garden, and Lajpat Nagar as his favourite hangout spots. He also honoured his musical beginnings by getting reacquainted with his musical instruments and old colleagues on his trip home. “I spent some time with my guitar and my keys, writing new music and lyrics. Watched Kabir Singh, Article 15, etc… and I also met the people I began my journey with — the producers and directors whom I used to make my YouTube videos with,” shares Sid, who mentions the same people as his closest friends.

Z-Boys’ Sid mentions Karol Bagh, Preet Vihar, Rajouri Garden, and Lajpat Nagar as his favourite hangout spots in Delhi. ( Photo: Gokul VS/HT )

As Delhi University has reopened for a new session, we ask Sid how he is balancing his studies with his musical career. “I feel education is really important so I’m doing B.Com correspondence from DU. But I haven’t had time to attend any classes as I had training and shows to focus on. I don’t know if I’ll have time to prepare for exams either,” he tells us, a slight worry in his tone.

He also mentions the possibility of a Korea and Indonesia tour, which would keep him tied up with no time for studies.

Asked if he brought any gifts for his family from Seoul, South Korea, Sid mentions buying a watch for his father, a couple of dresses for his mother, and Korean-style oversized hoodies for his brother. “My brother didn’t like it initially. But I asked him to try it and told him that Korean fashion is going to get big in India soon,” he says with a laugh.

A K-pop adventure

Having spent over six months in South Korea, Sid shares that adjusting to the K-pop industry has its own challenges. “Back in India, I was just following Bollywood. But when I joined the Korean music industry, I got a chance to better understand the process of making global music. I got to see how good my skills actually are. It was challenging,” says Sid, adding, however, that he finds the people’s attitude there very inspiring. “They are punctual, strict, and know exactly what they want to do with their life … Disciplined is the right word,” he says.

He also reveals that he met world-renowned K-pop stars such as VAV, Monsta X, ATEEZ, and Chungha, who taught him about being professional in his craft.

But his most memorable moment remains his debut on February 23. “Best thing ever,” he says. “In India, I knew of Monsta X and ATEEZ but that day, they were on the same stage as us. It was a surreal moment. For an artist, being on the stage is the best feeling. I just love performing on stage, interacting with the audience, but that day was the first time I was on such a big stage, literally as well as metaphorically, performing at a stadium.”

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Then came the concert tour in Indonesia and Philippines. Sid, who had never travelled out of India before moving to Korea, found it very exciting and nerve-wracking as the same time. “You know, when you visit a new place, you are excited to discover more about it. But as a celebrity, there are people who are excited to see you there. Chants of ‘Hey Sid! It’s so great to see you! We love you so much’… That’s the best feeling,” he says excitedly, adding that fans from around the world continue to shower him with love on social media.

Families, old and new

A solo performer until last year, Sid didn’t find it too tough to fit in with the other members of Z-Boys. “We’re actually like a family. We live together… When I first met the other guys, they were like ‘let’s see how it goes’ but as time passed, we became like brothers. We became each others’ well wishers. They helped me a lot in many ways,” shares Sid, adding that he learnt Filipino and Japanese slang from the other members.

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But he doesn’t miss any chance to express his gratitude for his brother’s support. In fact, he credits his younger brother, Vedant, for recognising his potential and convincing their parents to let him quit his mass communications degree in Bangalore. “He motivated my parents to let me move to Delhi to follow my passion. He even found me places to perform,” says Sid, and adds that it was his brother who gave him the idea to start a YouTube channel. “He shaped me into the artist I am today,” he says with a fond smile.

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First Published: Aug 14, 2019 11:13 IST


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