No Plan B for this rapper

Hip hop artiste Krsna brings his debut album Sellout to the city and hopes to take his music across the globe

June 05, 2014 06:18 pm | Updated 06:18 pm IST - bangalore:

Indian rapper Krsna believes in always having a strategy. Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

Indian rapper Krsna believes in always having a strategy. Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

Indian rapper and hip-hop artiste Krsna has a very simple success mantra: “Have no plan B. Stick to your guns no matter what. Have one plan and focus on it. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get it.”

The Delhi-born singer/song-writer performed recently at the Hard Rock Café as part of a five-city tour to promote his debut album Sellout by Contrabands — a joint venture between Universal Music India, Vh1 and Hard Rock Café. Having made it big for his socio-political songs rapped in Hindi under the alias ‘Prozpekt’, Krsna tells MetroPlus that he’s always had faith in working hard on his art.

Playing in the city for the first time, he says he’s never been this excited in any other city. “I’ve heard so much about Bangalore’s music scene. Everyone’s told me it’s an amazing city to perform in. So am looking forward to a great gig.” On the album tour, Krsna says: “It’s funny because nobody does an album tour in India. It’s a good thing and follows an international format where I perform all the songs in the album and a few older ones.”

Sellout is an amalgamation of influences of underground rap and commercial hip hop. Talking about the album, Krsna says: “I want to have the listener experience.

On the change in his soundscape, Krsna says the music became a little monotonous with Prozpekt since people expected him to play the same sounds. “For an artiste to give exactly what his listeners want is never too good. You don’t get to be unpredictable. I wanted to get out there and make music on a bigger platform so I worked on a couple of English songs and got signed into Universal. Within two months the album was ready and it was all done outside the country so it can match international standards. That was my strategy in crafting the album. The record is mostly about my experiences and the dilemma every artiste faces - the choice between personal artistic satisfaction and large commercial success.”

He adds that Prozpekt became synonymous with Hindi rap. “There are certain people who like that music. I didn’t want to suddenly throw people off with Prozpekt’s debut album with songs that are completely unrelated to the music he has been producing so far. I intend to keep Prozpekt as an alter ego and take him on when the need comes. I changed to my real name Krishna for this kind of music and stylised it for the international audience.”

Looking back, Krsna recalls that he has always listened to hip hop even as a child. “My journey began when I was 14 though. I did my schooling in London around a rough neighbourhood so the atmosphere was largely hip hop. It was easy to fit in to the hip hop everyone else was listening to. My first lyrics were written on a tissue paper. Then I joined crews and started battling. It became an obsession. I was 18 when I first recorded. I didn’t want it to be a hobby. So I put my mind to it, quit everything and went the right way.”

The 26-year-old says he always had a strategy. “I know what people are looking for. I always had a route in my mind to how I can get there. Skill is good but what sets you apart in the end is knowing the path to get up there.” Looking ahead, Krsna plans to release another album by the end of the year which will veer off a little more to harder sounds.

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