1. How did you come up with the name Kr$na?
Well, my real name is Krishna. I just wanted to make it a less complicated spelling so dropped the additional letters. I added the dollar sign later to stylize it.
2. Where did you find your motivation to enter such a niche and competitive industry? How did you explain your dreams to others?
I feel like when you have enough passion for something, you automatically find the motivation to do it. I never thought of hip hop as a niche industry because when I started rapping it pretty much didn’t exist as a genre in India, so I did it purely out of the love for the artform. Nobody really understood the dream of becoming a rapper because the idea (even to myself sometimes) seemed so farfetched. You shouldn’t underestimate your dreams though I guess, because here we are in the midst of an explosion of Hip Hop music in India.
3. What were the lowest points in your journey?
Definitely the times where I had to put my Rap career on hold because it just wasn’t working out and I didn’t see any hope in making a living out of making hip hop music. It felt like my dreams had been shattered but I kept coming back to it and didn’t give up in the end.
4. What were the highest points in your journey?
I’ve had a few. Some that stand out are when I released a song called Kaisa Mera Desh in 2010 and it went viral overnight at a time where the listenership for hip hop was so small. It was unexpected but really made me feel like there was a future in the genre. Another was when I signed to Kalamkaar (my current label) and really got the opportunity to elevate my rap career.
5. What is something you would do differently?
There are defiantly some moves I shouldn’t have made and some I should have made sooner, but what’s done is done. No regrets.
6. Are you satisfied with where you are?
Definitely. Hip Hop is exploding in India and I’m here doing what I do best and have a loyal fan base who appreciate my music and all that I do. Can’t ask for more!
7. Your goals when you started and your goals now, are they the same?
My goal when I started was to try and make career out of rap, now that I have been able to I feel like my goals are more oriented towards how to expand on what I’ve built, how to keep elevating and innovating.
8. What are you trying to convey through your music?
My music reflects the phases that I’m going through, be it the time when I made socio-political rap or be it the time where I made more aggressive rap songs. Right now, I’m just trying to push the boundaries of what India knows as rap and bring the focus on lyrics and penmanship.
9. What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m super excited to be owning and mentoring an entire league for BREEZER Vivid Shuffle 4.0. In its fourth year, this massive colourful dance platform for hip-hop enthusiasts has transformed into India’s biggest hip-hop league, and will cover rap and graffiti too. It’s a great platform for the burgeoning hip-hop community to showcase their talent. Especially, this year in the digital avatar people from across the country will get a chance to participate. I’m looking forward to interacting with and mentoring these participants.
10. Some advice for other aspiring rappers in India?
It’s a great time for hip-hop in the country as it is garnering more mainstream conversations. This has brought a fair share of attention and opportunities for rappers. My advice for aspiring rappers is to first make the best of all opportunities available, from a jam session with friends or platforms like BREEZER Vivid Shuffle. It’s important to be heard and seen at the starting stage, and every step contributes to the larger success. Secondly, never stop learning. New perspectives, experiences and learnings help one grow as an artist. Under BREEZER Vivid Shuffle, there’s a School of Shuffle workshops being held, that has an incredibly cool line-up of artists teaching basics virtually, so you can join in from any part of the country. Like these, there are always learning avenues open and one should keep exploring them. And in this journey, don’t forget to live life in colour, and enjoy what you do. At the end of the day, that’s the most important aspect.
11. What do you miss after being famous?
Honestly, I don’t consider my self famous. I am just happy to be known for my art! The only downside is that in the position you are subjected to everyone’s opinions, I just miss making music and not having to care about what people thought about it.
12. Are you happy?
As happy as one can be during a pandemic!
13. How was the lockdown for you?
Though this year hasn’t been the best overall and I miss going out without having to worry about catching covid, I have kept myself busy and released a fair bit of music this year! So not all bad!
14. Was music your childhood dream? Who inspired and inspires you?
Yes it was. Rap music has always been the dream! I am inspired by the like of Jay Z, 2Pac, Biggie, Mac Dre, Big Pun and lots of other rappers and continue to be inspired by the fresh generation of rappers coming out of our country!