Rapper Raftaar is known for his Punjabi songs and Bollywood numbers alike. Right now, the singer is all set to return as a gang leader against Neha Dhupia and Prince Narula on Roadies Real Heroes. Taking a break from his duties, the hip hop artiste speaks about his friendship with Gully Boy Ranveer Singh, his diss war with Emiway and much more…
Your name is Raftaar. What gives you that boost in life?
I have always been a hyper-energetic. My real name is Dilin Nair. Being a Malayali, I had to learn Punjabi and Haryanvi to be able to jump into the music scene. If I would have done it in Malayalam, no one would have known who Raftaar is. I do rap and speak in Malayalam but only to save my life as my vocabulary in the language is not as good as it is in Hindi. I was always believed that instead of complaining about anything, I should change things and that motivates me.
You are now on Roadies Real Heroes. How adventurous are you in life?
Very. Living in Delhi, I head to the mountains or the seaside at every chance I get. I like bungee-jumping and rafting in Rishikesh.
You have been bonding with Ranveer Singh a lot. What’s going on?
We have always been friends. I met him for the first time at a private show we were doing. He walked up to me and said, “Bro, I love you”. I also said, “Bro, I also love you, your work”. I am really glad to meet him. If a person like him says this to me, it really inspires me in life.
Do you have any connection with his Gully Boy? Your recent pictures together were all over the internet.
Gully Boy is based on the Mumbai hip hop scene. I belong to the Delhi hip hop scene and there might be some influences probably and I am waiting for the surprise to happen.
Gully Boy is set to bring the spotlight on the hip hop scene in India. Your words of advice for the young rappers.
If you try to sound like somebody else, it will never work because we already have that person. You are noticed when you try to be an original sound. Why would we want another Raftaar or Honey Singh or Badshah? We want just one person like Ekka as there is only one guy like him. Everyone has to be that one individual personality. You cannot be similar. If you have another actor like Ranveer Singh, same energy and same vibe, you probably won’t look at that person. There are a lot of people who can rap, it’s just a different personality or sound that gets noticed.
You came out with your album in 2018. You released diss-tracks against Emiway and he also did the same. How did it begin?
This is called a diss-war in hip hop in which you rap against each other. That’s what rappers do; we are poets. Imagine there was a problem between him and me and we go out on the streets and start fighting. That would have been savage. We are poets and used words instead. I was the mature guy, a grown-up person and had a lot of limitations. I couldn’t say a lot of things as I am elder to him and have to see things differently. I kept explaining things to him and he continued being arrogant. It gave him a boost. If he denies that, it’s different, no one knew his name. For me, anybody who is talented can make a name even if it is because of a fight with me, its fair. That’s how God has planned it.
So no fight between you two?
Never. He is a kid; he is 22. He is misguided and flew into a rage; he was pumped up by people around him. I am the mature one and I see things differently. I have already made it and I am on the other side. I have responsibilities, a family. I have supported that kid so much. It’s just a little miscommunication and when I came back with my diss-track, he couldn’t back off as that would have made him look like a fool so he kept on doing it. You commit many more mistakes to cover that one mistake.
How is your relationship with Honey Singh?
I recently met him on a flight and we greeted each other. My wife was with me and we all were fine and jolly. I realised we have crossed that gap, it’s been so long now. I have made a name for myself. I don’t need to complain. Whatever has come my way, God has given me. I was fighting when I was 23 and now I am 30.
What are your future plans in the field of music?
I have my own album and have signed eight people. I have my own record label and my own media company. I have a lot of things going on by God’s grace.
Do you have any plans to feature in a film?
I have got a lot of offers but I can’t do it just for the sake of it because then you get insulted on screen. So I believe in calculating my moves very carefully.
Author tweets @ruchik87
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First Published: Jan 10, 2019 13:02 IST