Chat Hard Kaur on her difficult and lonely journey to the top
Hard Kaur, born as Taran Kaur Dhillon moved into the celebrity league with her hit songs in films such as Singh Is King , Kismet Konnection and Bachna ae Haseeno . After struggling for more than a decade in the male-dominated music industry, her journey seems to be taking a turn for the better. .
Excerpts from an interview with the rapper:
What took you to the U.K. as a child and what problems did you encounter there as an Indian immigrant?
I was born in India but unfortunately a few years after my birth my father died in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. My mother wanted a better future for us so she remarried and we shifted to the U.K. I was not able to speak English then. I would be bullied because I didn’t have the right accent. Most of the time I would hangout with girls at my school who liked me for who I was.
Many feel you have an edge in Bollywood since you are the only successful female rapper. How different is rapping?
The technique is very different. In rapping you have to create everything of your own and you should have a good sense of timing. The culture of rap music is all about expressing your opinion. Each time you write, you have to be original and not be repetitive. It is not easy to look for rhyming words and set them to rhythm.
How did you take to hip hop, a genre dominated by male artistes? In school at lunch time I would be with some black and Indian girls. There used to be a lot of dancing. Gradually I fell in love with hip hop music and by that time I could speak sufficient English too. Then I bought some albums of artistes like Wu-tang Clan, Keith Murray and started listening to them, and explored the style.
And how do you find hip hop scene in India today?
I don’t know how many actually understand hip hop in the real sense, but yes, I find some amazing talents here.
What according to you is the mantra of success?
Talent is the foremost requirement for getting a hold in the music industry; one should be dedicated, strong and have immense self-belief. Don’t trust anybody in the business and never let anything ever affect your career. I have been a little less selective over the years but that proved unfavourable to me. I am not from an affluent or influential family, so if I could make it then anybody can.
If you have talent, believe in your talent, you will go up.