Once an OG, always an OG! That’s the impact Naezy has had on Hip Hop scene in India from his very beginning. After a brief hiatus, he is back again and is going all guns blazing. With his infectious energy and superlative poetry, Naezy is like a rollercoaster ride that thrills, excites and takes you to a different landscape altogether. Upon his latest release, ‘Mallika’, we had a conversation with him, here are the excerpts.
How did the collaboration with Saregama happen for ‘Mallika’?
We made this song using a sample from a Saregama track. Since the sample belonged to Saregama, we needed to have clearance from them to release this track. When we made this song, we weren’t aware that the sample belongs to Saregama. When we realised this and approached them, they showed interest in releasing the song through their label itself. Their whole team came on board from releasing the song, to making the video, marketing & promotions, etc. It was almost as if it was destined to be released with Saregama!
Watch the song here:
Your life story is about destiny. How do you feel when you are looked up to as an inspiration by upcoming rappers?
I feel, like you said, that my life is about destiny. Things that I am searching for, are searching for me too. Like for ‘Aafat’, I never imagined it will become one of the songs that are a genesis of Hip Hop, similarly when Divine and I collaborated for ‘Meri Gully Mein’ it was a stroke of destiny that it became a pan India hit. Even when we made ‘Bombay 70’ documentary, who would have thought that a Bollywood movie ‘Gully Boy’ will be made based on it or the documentary will be awarded in Mami Festival. God has been kind towards me, and it also gives me the responsibility to see that what I do inspires younger generation in the right direction. From my lyrics to how I conduct myself impacts my audience. They have showered me a lot of love and there is a culture that is getting defined through my work and through Hip Hop in general. My intention is making sure that I stay aware and create a positive impact on the minds of the younger generation of New India.
How is Hip Hop of India different from the Hip Hop in the west?
Once Hip Hop came to India, it has got refined in its approach. There is lesser objectifying of women and at least in the songs that I make, you will not find it much. There is a cultural aspect to India which has been assimilated in Hip Hop to make it Indian in its essence and approach.
‘Mallika’ has a fine balance between emotions and quirky connect. Where has the song stemmed from?
I wanted to write a poetry to impress the girl I was wanting to bring into my life. The girls that I know do not enjoy being objectified, so I wanted to write something which is respectful as well as quirky in its approach without being obscene. This is written for Naezy’s ‘Mallika’, who has a gravity, can charm the people around and has a heart of gold! ‘Mallika’ means queen, and when you are looking at girl as a queen of your heart, you are starting the approach for a relationship with respect. I believe that every girl would like to be respected rather than treated as an object of tasteless flirting. I would also like to inspire younger generation to approach girls with respect in every walk of life.
Will you be releasing more tracks with Saregama?
With Saregama we have had a successful jam. It is a label that has a history to it and, at the same time, they want to explore newer territories, which is exactly what I am looking to do. I would love to explore working more with Saregama. I had a wonderful experience with the team, and they were very professional in their approach towards my work. I think that we are creating memories for times to come and a successful collaboration between Naezy and Saregama could prove to be a turning point for Hip Hop culture.
What are the next few things coming out of your end?
I am working on some exciting stuff. I have written a song called ‘Fearless’ which talks about my story. Its about the hardships I have faced in my life and how I stayed relevant despite the problems associated in my life. It is about how I never gave up, never looked back and always kept moving forward at all times even when circumstances were against me. The song will focus on how staying positive in the middle of negativity helped me a lot. There is another song about love. It is a poetry where I have gone deeper in the meaning as compared to ‘Mallika’. It talks about relationships, modern issues, liberation and how to, possibly, be a matured one in it. There are also fun tracks where you have party vibes, we all need to take life easy at some point and enjoy the weekends & vacations! These are interesting tracks where you will see how a serious guy like Naezy vibes!!!!!
Is there any album in making?
Yes, I am working on an album which will have some international collaborations too. It is a story about me. People often feel what they know my story through ‘Gully Boy’ but the fact remains that the movie is a fiction. It is nowhere close to my story, which is very different from the movie. My album will talk about my real story, my real struggles, my real experiences. I am just working on right collaborations, teams and resources to put this in front of my fans and Hip-Hop community in genera.
What is your take on the current Hip Hop culture and what changes you would want to see?
Good part is that our Hip Hop scene has a level up from where it was. Rhymes are better, musicality is getting better, technicalities have moved way forward. There are some great rappers are around. Having said that, I have a big disconnect with the prevalent diss culture in the scene. I think a lot of artists are not exactly aware of what they are doing and going overboard for the sake of dissing the other artist. I don’t think we need below-the-belt language in our culture, let west be that way, we are not made to do this. Neither Bollywood, nor Independent scene had ever got down to the level of using extreme expletives in their work. Make the competition healthier, make your bars better but don’t get into a culture where you are looking to move forward by bringing others down!
So, here it was! The super charged, extremely contagious and supremely talented Naezy. Watch out for what’s more to come from him, we will do for sure!