While achieving physical perfection is a key driving force for the young generation in the era of social media scrutiny, rapper and composer Badshah is making subtle statements through his songs on embracing uniqueness rather than seeking perfection. Whether it is verses like "Dekh tera rang 'saawla' hua baawla" in the superhit “Kar Gayi Chull’, or "Baby tu hai raw/Mujhe teri body ki har woh cheez lage sexy/Jo baakiyon ko lagti hain flaw" from the song "Tareefa". Somewhere, Badshah is talking about inclusivity as opposed to objectifying women, which is a common practice in Bollywood's item song lyrics.
Asked if the subtle comment on embracing imperfection is a conscious effort from his side, Badshah told IANS in Mumbai: "Never have I ever come across any woman who is imperfect! They are unique. In fact, not just women, I would say no living creature is imperfect. God has made all of us in a certain way, and we are all unique. I see no reason to find fault in that. "So, I can write lyrics like '...lagti hai flaw', because there is no flaw! The imperfection lies in the way society perceives things. Trust me, the person who sings his/her heart out, laughs loud and dances like no one is watching, is the beautiful one. Nothing else really matters." Badshah recently collaborated with international music group Now United to create a song "How We Do It" with Pepsi India.
"I think yes. When we are young, we are all excited about life and slowly, when we start exploring, after a point, we become a little jaded. But this kind of a collaboration offers me a new perspective. I think I forgot to do small things that give us happiness. As I am doing music constantly, I think I am getting more into technicalities. "These experiences drive me to go back to basics and reinvent myself, try something new without fearing to fail," the "Mercy" maker said with a smile.
Was there any point when he took up a song on professional demand rather than artistic desire?
"Yes, there was a time when I did some songs as a professional and those made me dissatisfied as an artiste. And I do not live in denial. As an artiste, I am emotional and honest, but we have to think practically as a professional. Not that I did not suffer; I can surely admit the fact that when we are talking about music, as an industry, money needs to be earned in order to survive and there is nothing wrong in that." Citing the example of actor-producer Aamir Khan, Badshah said: "My respect has gone so much higher and deeper for Aamir when he came out in public and addressed that something just went wrong with 'Thugs Of Hindostan'.
It really takes a lot for a superstar of his calibre to admit that. Only and only a confident, good-hearted, secure artiste can make such a statement. "Art is subjective and, as an artiste, if our artistic work is not appreciated by the majority, it hurts. But there's no point living in denial," said the rapper who nurtures a desire to see himself on the big screen.
BY Arundhuti Banerjee