New Delhi: Indo-British raptress Taran Kaur Dhillon, popularly known as Hard Kaur, says surviving in a “very male dominated industry” in this country is difficult as there are “too many double standards”.
Launched in 2007, her debut single ‘Ek glassy’ was hot on the charts and also a party favourite for long. It proved that even women could rap with ease and beat men in the genre. Despite her success story, the genre is still dominated by rappers like Yo Yo Honey Singh, Raftaar and Badshah. So, what keeps most women away from rapping?
“It’s a very male dominated industry and it’s very difficult for girls to get into it and actually maintain to survive. It’s a boys club and there are so many issues to deal with including a lot of sexism. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in India regarding women and what they are able to do. Too many double standards,” Kaur told IANS in an email interview from London.
Wouldn’t she like to start a label to promote more raptress?
“No thanks! I’ve tried helping girls before and they are never serious about work. Some of them do it for a couple of days and then quit, wasting my time, effort and money. They make stupid excuses to quit like ‘My boyfriend doesn’t want me to do it’ or ‘I can’t handle boys being competition’ or ‘I’m getting married so I shouldn’t. What will my parents-in-law say?’
“You got to have a thick skin and be very strong to survive in this game,” said the “Move your body” hitmaker.
While she is a pro at it, actress Sonakshi Sinha tried her hand at the genre last month with her first single titled “Aaj mood ishqholic hai”.
“I didn’t like the song that she did, but I think it’s great that she tried and it gives a lot of inspiration to girls out there,” said Kaur, who has unveiled a new single “Aise karte hai party”.
How the catchy number was made is quite interesting!
“It was super fun working on this song. It’s actually inspired from a time when Sonny Ravan (co-writer) and I met in a club. I was asking the DJ to change the music and he wasn’t listening to me.
“So, Sonny and I thought it would be fun to write a song about what all we do when we ask the DJ to change a track. He came up with the line ‘Are DJ gana band kar’ (DJ stop the song) and we started writing in the club,” said Kaur.
The song’s video features known names like ace choreographer Saroj Khan, actor Punit Issar, actor-host Manish Paul and TV anchor-comedian Cyrus Broacha.
“Times Music came up with the idea of having celebs in the video playing characters, so they asked me to invite as many of my celeb friends for it. I fitted in as many as I could in the 12 hours that we shot. Everybody was so supportive,” said the former “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa” contestant.
“Saroj Khan is a legend and it was a brilliant surprise for the dancers. She was one of the judges on (dance reality show) ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ when I was in it. She gave me so much love and we’ve stayed friends ever since. I always wanted to work with her and this was the perfect chance,” she added.
It’s not just music that’s keeping her busy these days, the “Patiala House” actress is also looking forward to her next film.
“I’m starring in an upcoming movie, ‘Ticket to Bollywood’, as a villain. Finally, I will get to play a character that I’ve always wanted,” she said.
What about Punjabi movies?
“I love to make music for all types of movies including down south. I love the Punjabi industry as they’ve always given me so much love for my work and as a fellow Punjabi, I would love to do something back for them,” she said.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)