Laal Kaptaan rapper Dino James opens up about his work, his playlist and more
Dino James never stops working, but what is his process like?
His rap in Laal Kaptaan is already storming the charts, but Dino James isn’t taking a pause to revel. The rapper has already released three singles this year, namely Nidarr, Girlfriend 2.0 and Bhokali, and has already started work on his next outings. Dino has only been making music for just a little over three years now, but already has a stellar output and a very promising soundscape. He also has a brand new single coming out today, titled Tandav. So how does the young rapper keep his score relevant? Here’s finding out.
Tell us how your stint in Laal Kaptaan came about?
Samira Koppikar, who scored the music for the film is actually a friend and we have jammed before and we were interested to collaborate. So, she sent me a track and said, ‘Dino, I made something and I’d like you to be a part of it, but I don’t know how.’ I brainstormed and came up with the rap and she loved it! And I didn’t know anything about the plot of the film, I only knew it had something to do with the idea of ‘kaal,’ or time, and it went really smooth, to be honest.
What are the kind of feedback have you been getting?
You know, this is not the kind of rap or language that I usually use in my songs; in my work, the Hindi we use is so modern and relevant, that’s my kind of songwriting. So, this has been somewhat challenging, but it’s nice. Many friends from the industry got in touch with me and they admitted that they loved listening to it.
Tell us about how you got your start in music
I’m a Malayali, and I was brought up in a place called Sarni. I moved to Mumbai in 2006. It was quite organic actually, I hadn’t planned on becoming a rapper. I used to play guitar and I used to do impromptu covers of Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Linkin Park and all. It was quite random, I didn’t know about YouTube or streaming portals, but then everything just fell into place. Maybe I had it in me…
You’ve already released three singles this year! Can you tell us a little about your process?
It actually depends, you know. I get excited when I find a subject, my writing comes in the end actually. I go through the flow, I talk to several people, collect quite a lot of data, and then I collate everything into writing.
Do you enjoy the independent music scene as a performer?
I’m actually quite dependent on some people for my music (laughs), but it’s a good high for me that I don’t have to report back to anyone or that no one is intervening with my process. In whatever I do, my call is the last call, and I take full responsibility for the outcome. So, yeah, I love it!
Can you tell us what you’re listening to now?
I’ve been listening to Nusret Fateh Ali Khan for the past two days.