Badshah, known for his smart lyrics, versatile tracks and a unique style statement, has made his entry into the capital’s culinary industry. Pairing with his friend, restaurateur Priyank Sukhija, the rapper has brought to Delhi Drangonfly, a fine-dining restaurant that serves lip-smacking pan Asian cuisine with a unique nightlife experience.
From music to food… how did the move happen?
I grew up in New Delhi and like every Delhiite, I love good food. Thus, it was a natural extension which was planned meticulously. Dragonfly is not just something I wanted to try; it has actually been a very closely-monitored process. I have tried to incorporate the best parts of my own life into its design. Priyank and I started from scratch and made our way ahead. Everything in the restaurant, from its décor to furniture, has been custom made. We have tried to create a space that is best suited for a global fine-dining experience. I am passionate about music and I’ve used the same amount of passion and dedication to come up with the restaurant.
You are considered to be the pioneer of new-age rap music in India. How have you kept your music so unique?
I have always had a knack for storytelling. While growing up, I would always want to tell everyone a story – my perception of the world. And what better way to do it than with music? Listening to rappers from around the world and how they were able to weave a story around a simple beat fascinated me. I think that had a major part in motivating and inspiring me to explore music. The desire to tell a story and acquiring the required skills to do so, I believe, has shaped me into who I am today.
You have been known for writing lyrics that is today called intelligent rap…
With every track I tell a different story. My songs are not random words that rhyme. I enjoy and value originality and therefore, cannot be repetitive with my lyrics. I like to share with the audience how a particular event has affected me or how I have managed to do something differently. Almost all my tracks have been a tale I’ve been meaning to tell and I think that’s what differentiates them from others.
What do you love most about Delhi’s food culture?
For me, Delhi has always had the best of food and I think that is why I am able to connect with the capital. I like to achieve perfection in all my ventures. What I do with my music, I have tried to recreate here – to be the best.
You have had a phenomenal rise. How has the journey been?
To be brutally honest, I followed a difficult path and it can be considered a miracle that I came DID YOU KNOW • The 33-year-old rapper’s real name is Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia • Badshah is actually a teetotaler and refrains from any alcoholic beverages • The rapper was born to a Punjabi family in New Delhi and studied Civil Engineering in Chandigarh. • His hit single DJ Wale Babu was released in 2015 and he collaborated with singer Astha Gill for the track. The song reached No 1 in Indian iTunes charts within 24 hours of its release • Dragonfly is a venture he has launched with Priyank Sukhija, who owns popular food chains such as Flying Saucer and Boom Box Cafe to be where I am in life today. There were a lot hardships that I faced and a lot of challenges that I overcame; and this is what anyone should do with challenges, overcome them! “Yeh ek journey thi jo karni thi [this was a journey that I had to complete].” It’s very important that you always keep your goals in sight and never forget where you started from. If you keep working hard and constantly endeavour to do your best, you have a good chance at becoming a better individual. I love what I do and that is what drives me to become better and keeps me level-headed.
By Vinayak Surya Swami