Born Dilin Nair in Thiruvananthapuram, rapper, music producer and television personality Raftaar has been creating waves in the Indian music circles since 2013. At a time when the hip hop industry in India was still in its nascent stage, Raftaar managed to carve out a brand of desi hip-hop catering to urban millennials. He has just come out with a 16-track album, with songs which are inspiring, personal and reflective. Like ‘Damn’, in which he talks about not allowing criticism to get in the way of accomplishment. Or ‘Main Wahi Hoon’, in which he highlights the importance of not changing your value system.
Q/ Since your debut song, how has your journey in music been?
A/ Since my debut, I have been able to learn a lot more about music, like getting into the intricacies of it, technically and sonically, knowing the chord progressions, knowing what keys can be added together to create a beautiful melody, understanding how melodies are made, how is something made catchy, how is something arranged.... It has been a big learning curve for me, the entire journey. From then, I have only tried to grow really more technical with my music.
Q/ You have tried your hand at so many things, what are the major life lessons you have learnt from them?
A/ A major life lesson has been self-dependency.... learning along the way, being able to keep up with the trends. Understanding what the young generation is thinking, how to be more relatable to them.... so that is something that has been a big pillar for me. Along the way, the more you learn, the more you cater to people.
Q/ Can you describe the songs in your album, and which are the most meaningful ones for you?
A/ Well, you can consider each song a different phase of life, so I have tried to bring in as many emotions as possible, and the most meaningful ones are the ones that will connect to you in that duration.... like if you are going through a breakup, you’ll connect to a different song. If you have just fallen in love, you will connect to a different song. If you are proud of yourself, and if you have done great for yourself in life, or you want to do great for yourself in life, you will latch on to one of the songs. I cannot choose the most meaningful ones, but for me, the opening and closing tracks are very meaningful because they connect together, and they describe my life.