Q/How did the film Gully Boy shape your image as a hip-hop star?
I think the movie introduced me and my music to a whole new audience. People who did not understand or know anything about hip-hop were made aware of the genre, and of hip-hop artistes like me. But I don’t think it has shaped my image as such. And it has not changed me as a person either. I am, in fact, more determined to ensure that hip-hop does not lose its voice and identity.
Q/Your documentary, Gully Life, which explored your journey in the Indian hip-hop scene, released in July. How has the response been?
Hip-hop gave me a chance to make something of myself and I think that has been the biggest takeaway for fans. People have enjoyed getting to know more about me, my story, my life.
Q/You started your own company, Gully Gang Entertainment, in February to support Indian hip-hop artistes. Tell us about it.
Gully Gang Entertainment functions as a record label—Gully Gang Records—and manages emerging talent in desi hip-hop, including rappers, producers and DJs. We released our first single, Gully Gang Cypher, in May. Gully Gang Entertainment will also create and run live events IPs like Gully Fest and design and sell Gully Gang merchandise, among other things.
Q/Tell us about your first full-length album, Kohinoor.
This is a project that is closest to my heart, and no matter how much I work on it, I always feel I can do better! It is my debut album, and you only get one shot at that… so I want to make sure that I give it my everything. My team and I have also been trying to make sure that Kohinoor reaches people outside India, and I have a few exciting announcements to make soon!
Q/What are the projects you are working on?
Kohinoor will release later this year and will take hip-hop to new corners of India. I want to try and give a platform to new talent from all over the country. We have also been working on a few collaborations that I think will shake up the status quo.
Q/When will we see you performing on the world stage?
I have done a few shows in London and Dubai and we are actively trying to take Indian hip-hop outside the country.