'I was inspired by how hooked we are to our screens'

'I was inspired by how hooked we are to our screens'

Hip-hop artiste Shah Rule talks about his latest releases 'Hooked' and 'Khara Sona'

Shah Rule

Shah Rule quickly became a household name after his stint in ‘Gully Boy’, where he made his acting debut playing the role of a battle rapper competing against actor Ranveer Singh’s character Murad.?In the very same year, he signed onto DIVINE’s independent venture, Gully Gang Entertainment and was roped in for the track ‘Gully Gang Cypher’.

However, his journey as a hip-hop artiste?began long ago, at the age of 13, when he started dropping rhymes. He went on to complete his Vocal Diploma from the Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance and a Bachelor Of Arts in Audio Engineering from SAE Institute London. His music is eclectic, featuring?hip-hop and electronic drums?and soundscapes, inspired by his cosmopolitan roots and travels.

Recently, the musician?joined Mass Appeal India and?released the first?two tracks from his debut project EP ‘Hooked’. Metrolife caught up with Shah Rule to find out more about his music, influences and more.

Tell us more about the tracks ‘Hooked’ and ‘Khara Sona’.?

It’s the first offering from my upcoming EP ‘Hooked’. I was inspired by us humans over the last one year, being on our phones constantly throughout this lockdown.

Our screen times have gone up exponentially, and I just wanted to capture that feeling. We are hooked to the black mirror in the palm of our hands. I’m talking about the good and evil in social media and how it’s a gateway to ‘Khara Sona’ (Real Gold), which refers to the material items that we’re constantly chasing after.

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Moscow, and educated in London...how has your experience growing up in these places shaped your journey as a musician?

Sonically, it has given me a wide palette of inspiration to draw from, whether it was global pop or Bollywood played at home, to UK rap and grime from my school days in London.

As an artiste, experiences are everything, and one way or the other, it will make its way into your art. Everything from my thoughts about love, family, money, friendship, work and more gets poured out into my music.

Did you grow up listening to a lot of hip-hop? Which rappers have been?your greatest influences?

I was introduced to Hip-Hop with Eminem and 50 Cent in the early 2000s, and when I went to boarding school in London, the older dorm mates put me onto Notorious BIG, KRS One, a Tribe called Quest, and countless other names.

I studied the pens of Jay Z, Nas, and Biggie and dissected the production processes of Kanye West, Dr Dre, Timbaland and more.

Why the name ‘Shah Rule’?

It’s my real name Rahul Shahani flipped around. And of course, the obvious references to Shah Rukh Khan and rapper Ja Rule. Both being people who represent love in their works; it resonated with me and my music.

How do you define your personal style as a Hip-Hop artiste?

Global!

How different are the rap scenes in the UK or Russia compared to India?

India is still at the early stages, but it is growing fast! The love and respect for the culture are synonymous in every country, making communities within Hip-Hop so strong.

Do you think ‘Gully Boy’ has helped make the genre more mainstream here?

Hundred per cent. It has open the flood gates for future artists and people to work and strive within the space.

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