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Karma, who is one of India’s fastest rising Indian rappers, recently released his debut album Made You Proud. We recently caught up with the artiste for a quick chat and touched upon everything from his first album to the next big thing in Indian hip-hop. Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Q. Tell us about your latest album M.Y.P?

M.Y.P. – Made You Proud is my debut album. It’s a tribute to my late father and to everybody who supported me from day one. In this album, there are 13 tracks, and each track is a different vibe in itself.

Q. Did you follow a set pattern while arranging the tracks for the album?

Yes, I did. So if you pay attention, the album starts with an intro that is full of technicalities and beats switches. In the mid-section of the album, it’s all about having fun where it contains one or two club bangers, and in the end, I gave a track with a very soothing vibe. Instead of storyline, I personally arrange the track in terms of the vibe they contain so that no one finds the track’s placement abrupt.

Q. What is your most personal track from the album?

“Believe” is the most personal track from the album.

Q. What can we expect next from Karma?

Well, after the album, I am experimenting with a lot of new stuff. So a lot of new music and sound will be there from my side.

Q. Who is the next big thing in Indian hip-hop?

The audience of Indian hip-hop is constantly changing its taste. Anybody who can adapt with the audience can make it.

Q. What is your take on diss tracks in desi hip-hop. Do you think it’s good for the culture?

Diss tracks are no doubt a part of hip-hop. They are important. However, in India, diss tracks are killing one very important element of hip-hop, which is storytelling. People are less interested in storytelling and more into diss tracks and insults, which is kind of sad.

Q. As you started your journey with releasing your music on YouTube, how important are audio streaming platforms in this day and age?

We all know that music videos are accessible on YouTube, but if I have to play a track again and again, I will not consider YouTube as a proper platform for that. This is why audio streaming platforms play a very important role here.

Q. What is your take on the popularity of audio streaming platforms like Spotify in India when compared to other countries?

Although a lot of people are using Spotify, I do feel that there is a major difference as compared to other countries because in India, we still have to increase the number of audio platform users.

Q. You have previously mentioned that stammering was an issue. How did you overcome the same and get so fluent in your style of rapping?

Yes, I used to stammer a lot. I still do, and I have mentioned this just to show my support to people who are suffering from the same problem. I think that confidence plays a very important role and you have to be confident about what you say. That’s how I overcame my stammering.

Q. Tell us about your journey in hip-hop. When did you start rapping?

My journey in hip-hop has been great and adventurous. I started writing songs in 2011. Then I made a YouTube channel, and started uploading videos there. Later on, I got a call from Kalamkaat and got signed. Things changed from there. I’m glad and thankful that the audience accepted me from the first song, and we never looked back.

Q. Do you think labels take away the creative freedom of an artiste?

In my case, I don’t feel any kind of restriction. I guess this differs from label to label and an artiste to artiste as well.

Q. What advice would you like to give to young upcoming rap artistes in India?

I would like to tell them that this industry is full of surprises, and it’s a rollercoaster, so don’t even think that just because you’re not doing well today, you won’t be able to make it tomorrow. Just don’t lose hope, work hard, cut the circle short for sometime and you’ll eventually get what you want.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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