We get chatty with the Delhi-based rap artiste King to talk about his latest collaboration with Jason Derulo, his life, collabs and what’s next for him

Following a successful collaboration with Nick Jonas, King is back with another track, Bumpa, which making noise for all the right reasons
In frame: Rap artiste King
In frame: Rap artiste King

It’s almost impossible to ignore him when talking about the current Indian rap scene. The imprints he is leaving behind with every song, he has made the stage his own.

His journey from a young, aspiring artiste to a celebrated figure in the rap industry, is quite inspiring. One of his most popular songs was a collaboration with American singer-songwriter and actor Nick Jonas.

From Maan Meri Jaan to Tu Jaana Na Piya, Arpan Kumar Chandel aka King, has given us several songs that continue to top charts in the country. Known for his ability to blend catchy melodies with introspective lyrics, his music resonates with audiences across ages.

Having worked with international artistes like Wiz Khalifa, Royce da 5’9” and R Kelly, King can now proudly say that he has also collaborated with Jason Derulo.

The duo recently released their latest single Bumpa and we had a quick yet fun chat with the Delhi boy to learn more about this track, his journey, the values he upholds and lots more…

In frame: Rap artiste King
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Tell us about the process behind Bumpa, your recent collaboration with Jason Derulo.

Jason and I met last year when he came to India and we instantly clicked. From the minute we met, we started having fun and that was our mood throughout. We reached the studio and within three hours we had made the song, with both Karan Kanchan and Riz Shain, who’ve produced the song. Making the song was no pressure at all. It was rather two guys getting together, having fun and making music. Later, we went out and partied (laughs). So yes, coming up with a track was definitely on our minds, but we didn’t expect it to be so easy and fun. When we finished making the track, I asked him what we should name it and he came up with ‘Bumpa.’ He said, “Just call it Bumpa, it’s a vibe.”

Tell us about your musical journey, so far?

It’s so difficult to sum up four years in just two minutes (laughs). This journey has been beautiful but definitely not without its own difficulties. However, throughout this journey, I had a lot of fun while also learning so much. This journey started from the streets of Delhi and doing what I am doing right now feels unreal. This life feels like a completely new life. For the past four years, I feel like I haven’t been in my senses but rather in a dream. I don’t really feel anything. I wake up every day and I have a mission to accomplish and I can say that I am privileged enough to have things to do. I don’t give myself time to think too much but what I always keep in mind is that I have to do good work. Now, what I mean by good work is something I believe in and something that the people around me believe in, as well. Whether people like what I do or not is subjective and a story in itself. What comes first is the fact that I love to create music and I must stay true to that. When people love you for exactly what you are, I think there is no better feeling than that. The advice, “just be yourself,” that, I believe, is the best advice one can get and I follow it religiously. All I did was listen to the people and present my own experiences to them and people understood that I was just like them. Of course, not everyone will like what I make but I keep trying to make something for everyone. So, in these four years, I think I’ve realised all of this: I love my work, I love to make music and the fact that people understand me is quite a big deal for me.

What are some values that you hold on to?

There are some values that I’ve always held on to, which I believe have gotten me where I am right now. Surely, those values have evolved as I live through new experiences. I think, the first one would be that I always want to have something that I can share with my people. Whatever I have now is not just for me. When you achieve your goals — it is your people who stand beside you in the journey as well as when you reach that milestone. Other than that, you must learn how to forgive people, which helps you not become a hater. Never try to change anyone, just like I wouldn’t let anyone change me.

In frame: Rap artiste King
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How do you deal with trolls?

There is nothing to deal with I believe. Of course, I get hate, but the people who do hate on me are not at the place where I am right now. They’re not on this stage and they have no idea about the struggles that I have faced and gone through. They’ve been given a platform where they can spread hate freely, freedom of typing as I call it (laughs), but these same people would never be able to come up to me and say the same things to my face. Sure, the hate would get to me two years ago and at that time, I would waste my energy on answering back to the hate, as well (laughs). I saw that answering back changed nothing, so, I’ve grown a lot since and it doesn’t have an impact on me anymore. The environment I consciously surround myself with now is one that is filled with respectful people who understand and appreciate art and are extremely giving.

Your advice to aspiring musicians?

Do your homework. Your art requires you to sit down and study. Do not listen to the people who say, “I didn’t want to study so I became a rapper.” Believe in yourself. Don’t try to imitate anyone, learn from others but come back and do things as you want to do them. I wish I could scream this to all those who aspire to come into this field (laughs), but I know not everyone will listen to me, so now, if there’s even one person among billions who will listen to this advice and try to follow it, I think that would be amazing.

Tell us about your upcoming projects?

Well, there’s a new project coming up. I haven’t revealed the name yet, but I’m teasing the people with MM. I want to make a classic, something that people would listen to for a long time to come. So, it’s going to be something new for a new audience and something extremely nostalgic for the old audience. The people who say, “King is back,” will also realise that he never actually left.

Bumpa is streaming on all audio platforms.

Written by: Shambhavi Ranjan

Email: indulge@newindianexpress.com

X: @indulgexpress

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