'Once you leave India, you are out of the picture'

Even when you hear ustin Bieber and Drake, you ... mid-day Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | www.mid-day.com | twitter.com/mid_day | epaper.mid-day.com. SIGN UP.
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | www.mid-day.com | twitter.com/mid_day | epaper.mid-day.com

‘Once you leave India, you are out of the picture’ Reggae star of the ’90s, Apache Indian has a new album, and wants to work more in India INTERVIEW WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA [email protected] “I HAVE fond memories of your newspaper. I still have hard copies of the pages carrying stories on me and my work when I had just started,” says Steven Kapur, alias Apache Indian sitting inside the swank office of his music label in Bandra. Dressed in red trousers and a blue tee that reads, ‘Music is the remedy’, the Rap and Reggae icon defies his age. Apache — who caused a revolution by mixing Bhangra with Reggae through tracks like Arranged Marriage and Chok There in the ’90s — is about to turn 50, but his joie de vivre is intact. Keeping up with the Rastafarian culture, even his waist-length dreadlocks haven’t lost their thickness. The UK-based artiste is in India to promote his new album, In Ja. The album celebrates 25 years of his association with the music label and two decades of being a Reggae star. Excerpts from an interview: What keeps you going? My music and the fans help me. It represents who I am and my roots. Reggae is back in India through the younger generation. They are listening to a lot of Reggae on the Internet. Why is the album titled In Ja? Ja is short for Jamaica. This is an out and out Reggae album. I started my career with Reggae and I wanted to pay tribute to the genre and the place where it comes from. What makes this album different from your earlier ones?

‘I feel proud that we (AR Rahman) collaborated early in our careers. People still request for No Problem at concerts’

I sang more (laughs). I enjoyed writing the music, experimenting with my voice, which included harmonies. I have pushed myself to sing more. You have a new set of listeners today. Did that change your approach towards the album? I do keep them in mind but the basic Reggae beat will never change. I follow bands like Reggae Rajahs and Bombay Bassment from India. Even when you hear Justin Bieber and Drake, you will spot Reggae influences. I want to see more Indian bands tour the world.

Stories from the creeks Spend the long weekend with flamingos and herons, during a three-day bird-watching trail

SIGN UP Apache Indian in Boom Shack-A-Lak peace, love and respect. People aren’t fighting or competing with each other. They want to help and promote harmony.

What would be your advice to aspiring rappers? If they are mixing Rap and Reggae, they need to understand its origins What made you stick to Reggae for — Jamaica and America. I was so many years? involved with Reggae from an early The genre is also about lifestyle, age because I was born in Birmingham and my nanny was a Jamaican. She raised me till I was five. I was closely associated with that Reggae culture. icon Apache Indian is in town What are your to promote his new thoughts on album In Ja (Universal Honey Singh? Music). PIC/PRADEEP Rap is a genre DHIVAR where you can be a flavour and fade out. I believe he had a phase. People have been talking about Badshah these days. Honey had once called me and said that I was his idol. At least, what he did wasn’t American Rap or Gangsta Rap. Why don’t we see you work in India any more? You have collaborated with the likes of AR Rahman and Asha Bhosle. India is a place where you would be asked to do 10 things if you live here. Once you leave, you are out of the picture. Four years ago, I did a track for the Telugu film Iddarammayilatho, with Devi Sri Prasad. The song, Run Run Run, did well. But I want to work more. I have been in touch with Rahman. I feel proud that we collaborated early in our careers. People still request for No Problem (Love Birds, 1996) at concerts.

IF YOU love birds or are keen to spot the migratory flamingos before they leave the city, sign up for a three-day birding trail this weekend. Organised by