Geneva-born, Gurgaon-based rapper Rishaad Chaudhry recently released his seventh song Tu. After receiving an encouraging response for his maiden rap number in Hindi/Urdu, Khafa, earlier this year, the 20-year-old songwriter continues his explorations this new desi/pop-rap style single. In this exclusive interview, he talks to us among other things about his latest and earlier songs, receiving recognition at such a young age, and biggest musical inspirations. 

IC: Tell our readers about Tu, your latest and seventh desi/pop-rap style single release, and the idea and inspiration behind it.

RC: Tu is a song which defines the idea of love where one can only imagine themselves with one other person, and nobody else appeals to them despite any circumstance. All his thoughts involve the person he loves, who he refers to as tu. He acknowledges that what he has with his lover is rare, and he is never willing to let go of it.

My inspiration for this concept has come from listening to various artists of my generation, such as Zaeden, Yashraj, Anuv Jain, and others. I was inspired to write a Hindi song that my audience would relate to, as well as a vibe. The desi-rap and pop genre is growing rapidly, and this song fits perfectly in both. I was also inspired to write this song as a result of my own experiences and others about how love can have a huge impact on us.

Rishaad Chaudhry (Image Credit: Rishaad Chaudhry)

IC: Tell us about your maiden rap number in Hindi/Urdu, Khafa, as well as some of your earlier tracks.

RC: Having grown my fan base, I wanted to add Hindi to my list of releases. Before this release, only very few people knew my ability to compose Hindi music, and so it is an apt one in order to promote my fondness for this genre.

The song echoes the situation of a person who has been in love and has spent years of being honest and loyal, but now faces difficulties in his/her relationship but longs for this love to return as it was truly special. The individual wishes to get over this anger and resentment and focus on a brighter future with their partner, while letting go of past hardships that they had in the relationship. Hence, the lyrics: Khafa, khafa ab kitna honge hum

Some of my other tracks belong to the pop/rap genre, such as Sad Reel and Not Alright. My major motivation for both these songs comes from my life experiences with love, friendship, and heartbreak.

Sad Reel is a heartfelt description of a troublesome life. I talk about wanting me to live in isolation so that I can live in my own peaceful space, and some betrayals from close people. Not Alright is a song for everyone who is putting up a happy face for the world but is struggling within themselves. I wrote this song to remind everyone to be kind, because we can never know what is happening in someone else’s life.

IC: As a young 20-year-old, tell us about your musical journey so far, and receiving recognition at such a young age.

RC: My musical journey started during the lockdown when the only thing I looked up to was my guitar. I began listening to beats by producers, creating my own tunes on the guitar, and writing lyrics. Looking back, I have come a long way in terms of my music, skills, and professionalism. I have gained a lot of insight into the professional music world, the hard work and dedication it takes to make it, and have a constantly growing fan base.

My network in terms of music has greatly increased as I have worked with numerous producers and artists. My musical journey has been one of excitement as I have never been surer of pursuing music as my career. I create more songs every day, and knowing that there are numerous people listening to and enjoying them is a feeling like no other.

IC: Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?

RC: My inspiration comes from my life experiences, whether it be love, friendship, heartbreak, hardships, as well as happy memories. To be able to conjure up these experiences in the form of a song is truly amazing. Moreover, I draw inspiration from artists like Juice Wrld, The Kid LAROI, Drake, and Powerful among others. When it comes to Indian music, I follow Prateek Kuhad, Anuv Jain, and many others.

IC: What are you working on next (songs, albums, tours, gigs, etc.)?

RC: I am currently working on more English songs belonging to the pop/rap genre which I intend to make part of an album. One of the upcoming releases I am working on is “Broke My Heart” which echoes the unbearable feelings of heartbreak and pain people experience after losing the one they love.

I am particularly excited about the release of this song as I am currently in the process of creating my first ever music video for the single. I believe this song is a reflection of my best work as I have gained new insights into my style and improvements needed from previous releases.

Neha Kirpal is a freelance writer based in Delhi. She has worked for over a decade in print, television, and online media. Her diverse interests in the culture beat include books, music, travel, films,...