Does anyone of you know the exact date of bohemia’s birthday ? If yes please comment and tell.
According to his twitter message –
Thank you all for the Bday wishes, how the hell did you know? I’m back home in Cali, will be spending the day with the real Bohemia.. my dad–Tweeted 2 days ago
As he tweeted this 2 days ago (today = 18 oct , 2010), the birthday should be at 16 oct but i am not sure..Please comment if you know..
Instep Today: Rapping in Punjabi is a relatively revolutionary idea in this particular genre. Did you always know you would do that?
Bohemia: Mirza Ghalib was my inspiration and since I considered myself to be a musician from a very young age, I used to conjure poetic verses i.e. Urdu shair(s) by the time I was 11. I felt I embodied Ghalib and his work, even though at that age I didn’t even know what his work truly meant, my life wasn’t what one would imagine for oneself; belonging from a underprivileged family, no higher education and with nothing going my way, I turned to music for solace. At this point I met a few musicians whom I could relate to and enjoy one thing which was a commonality in between all of us. However, I realized that this innate passion for music was a major chunk of my life. This was all I was doing, nothing more. I quit the group as a good friend of mine passed away and focused entirely on doing one thing I was good at; my music. Seemingly, it took its own form as I meshed beats and raps along the way. Rapping in English just didn’t seem natural and hence I became more street-ish i.e. incorporating the shairana aspect into this old genre but with an entirely new twist.
Instep Today: Who was your inspiration apart from Mirza Ghalib?
Bohemia: My childhood was spent listening to spectacular artists such as Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh etc. They were the pioneers of that particular age and I revere them for their ingenious work. My all time favourite, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and, offcourse, Jagjit Singh were an integral part of my upbringing and I believe them to be timeless. Same can be said for Pakistani pop musicians such as Vital Signs who produced some great pieces. However, in this new age, I listen to rappers like Ice Cube as well. But my heart and soul dwells in the past.
Are your songs a lyrical description of you as a person?
Bohemia: I consider myself to be quite the story teller and I relay myself through the music I generate. The poetry part of my rap may portray a rough exterior to the listener but in reality it is actually a part of me seeping through the lyrics. As far as the composition is concerned, it’s just a constant flow in my brain; at times I can simultaneously come up with different lyrics that would fit into one particular aspect while at another, I can hear the actual music inside my head and how this song should play out. So there are different ways of where I come up with what I do. However not all my music is about my personality or me as a person. Needless to say, writing a song for Chandni Chowk To China was not a depiction of me but was actually based on a character in that particular context.
Instep Today: How did you come up with the name ‘Bohemia’?
Bohemia: A friend of mine suggested it to me in fact. I interpreted a Bohemian to be one who does not follow the conventional rules but rather paves his own path. I believe my music is a summation of that meaning i.e. it doesn’t copy anyone or any music I have come across. Sure the genre of rap/hip-hop might be similar to what I do but the innovation is still dominant and what I do is incorporate a few genres to create my own distinctive approach to music.
Instep Today: One of your CDs states that it pays tribute to Madam Noor Jehan. How does it do that?
Bohemia: One of my father’s favourite songs was sung by this great lady and I actually incorporated a few lyrics into my rap just to take a jab at him for old time’s sake. It wasn’t meant as anything serious and I still feel I didn’t put my entire effort into making it the song what it should be. I consider it a great song and still relate to it whenever I listen to it.
Instep Today: Are you in Pakistan for a tour or for other business?
Bohemia: I’m almost 400 km’s away from Peshawar so I always knew I was going to be back home pretty soon. Apart from visiting the family and the fact that I love performing in this amazing country, I wanted to experience Peshawar for it was worth; this was the place where the days of my juvenile delinquency occurred and where I spent my years on the streets when things weren’t so bad. All those memories are dreamlike. I see a child on the street and I relate him to me, envisioning his future to be like mine or maybe even bigger. Every corner, every street and every turn has a memory etched into it.
Instep Today: You performed in Lahore on your first ever visit. How would you describe the experience?
Bohemia: It was a very unnerving experience for me and I left very disgruntled; I was given a mediocre response of ‘This is the way it happens in Pakistan’ by promoters who were more worried about their own reputation and salary rather than the actual concert itself. They falsely accused me of being too intoxicated to perform the concert when actually the administration of the whole event was loosely managed. Blaming it on the performer isn’t an ethical thing to do and, on that particular day, I finally realized why all the big stars of today are unwilling to perform in our nation. The very demeanour of some event organizers is enough to get a critical response from the international community. However, I & H events have truly done a commendable job and are giving me a proper opportunity to perform for the public in the Capital.
Instep Today: The current attitude of home based stars oozes haughtiness. As a star returning back to your home country, what would be your thoughts on this particular aspect?
Bohemia: Primarily, the problem isn’t with the individuals but rather in this cultural context; if I had established my career here, I would be no different than any other artist here who is bound by the implicit rules of upper middle class society. I’m from the streets and that is why I can relate to anyone from the streets. It’s as simple as that.