There may not be Rajasthan in a lot of Rap but there sure is quite a bit of Rap in Rajasthan! When he put the Rajasthan Anthem online, Ashok Bishnoi or Rapperiya Balam as he likes to call himself, had no idea what kind of fame it would bring him. After all, he was a regular kid back in school, albeit one of the few students who loved the stage more than the classroom. And you cannot blame him today. Rapperiya Balam has, after all, been a part of over 50 music videos and three movies.
But no matter how big he becomes, the song that still remains close to his heart is the Rajasthan Anthem. That is true for two reasons, he believes, "Where ever I go, my roots lie in Rajasthan. What else can an artist ask for than working on something with which he shares an eternal connection with? Second, the rich culture of Rajasthan speaks for itself. There is so much to be covered in this place."
How did he happen to come up with the Anthem? Well, he simply decided to rap about all the famous personalities of Rajasthan, along with his 'partner in crime' lyricist Kunal Verma. The icing on the cake was having PK fame Swaroop Khan to sing with them. "I was sure that the next few days would be the most memorable and difficult days of my life," he says. That's exactly what happened. "We covered eight cities in 21 days to feature legends who have made India proud. Meeting people like Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt and Vijay Singh Ajairajpura was a delight and getting a warm welcome was overwhelming," he recalls. But what brings a smile on Kunal's face is that fact that they did not miss a single minute on the schedule. "There were times when we had to travel days and nights continuously. When the driver was exhausted, I would ask to him to relax and drive the car myself even if I was tired," says Kunal.
After spending their most memorable days on their favorite place on the Earth, the duo came out with a hit. What followed was a spate of compliments and over 4 lakh hits on YouTube. "When we started we only had faith and a few ideas. By the end of the month, we had bags full of fan mail and other offers lined up," Kunal says. Ask Ashok about his one take away from the journey, and he says, "The audience does not care how much time or resources you have. They will see the result and all your sleepless nights will be at stake. Therefore, as artists we should never think about trying a little harder each time, as that will make all the difference," he says.
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