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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bantai Records is the next big thing in the Indian hip-hop scene: Emiway Bantai

Rapper Emiway Bantai talks about his debut album 'Malum Hai Na', the next big thing in Indian hip-hop and audio streaming platforms among more.

Written by Varun Krishan |
Updated: August 11, 2021 11:38:24 am
EmiwayEmiway Bantai recently released “Jawab De” from his upcoming album ‘Malum Hai Na’. (Photo: PR Handout)

One of the most popular rappers in India, Emiway Bantai is busy working on his debut album ‘Malum Hai Na’. We recently caught up with Emiway for a quick chat and touched upon everything from the Macklemore collaboration to the next big thing in Indian hip-hop.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Tell us about your latest release “Jawab De”.

“Jawab De” is a very personal song from my upcoming album ‘Malum Hai Na’. It’s close to my heart as the song reveals how my soul sought intimate answers to its questions.

Do you have a set pattern which you follow when releasing songs?

I don’t have a set pattern as such. I just go with the flow, and whenever I feel like the time is right, I drop my music.

How did the Macklemore collaboration come about?

Macklemore really wanted to do a commercial number with an Indian artiste and that’s when his team took “Firse Machayenge” to him. He loved the song and our management teams connected to get everything ready for the grand moment. I’ve been listening to Macklemore since I was young, and I felt super proud to have him be a part of my song.

What can we expect next from Emiway?

Next up is something I am working on day and night, my debut album ‘Malum Hai Na’. I am extremely excited for this album to drop.

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

Bantai Records is the next big thing in the Indian hip-hop scene. I have handpicked some of the best rappers I’ve ever come across, and I really believe that in a year from now the whole country will believe in them, inshallah!

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

I think diss tracks are definitely a beautiful way to express your true feelings against a person or situation that has been unfair to you. It’s a good way to deliver your message out loud and clear. When I released diss tracks, I didn’t do that for fame, but to tell my part of the story. I think this is where a lot of people make mistakes, by dissing someone just for the views and fame. It doesn’t work like that.

As you started your journey by releasing your music on YouTube, how important do you think are audio streaming platforms in this day and age?

Yes, I did primarily focus on YouTube in the early days of my career, and I am grateful to the platform for supporting me in every way that they could. Speaking of audio streaming platforms, they are everywhere. No one can ignore them. Platforms such as Spotify make listening to music a very engaging, beautiful experience. Audio platforms also give a good payout to artistes, ultimately supporting them in their careers. So, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Do you think there is a gap in popularity of popular audio streaming platforms like Spotify in India when compared to other countries?

Yes, there is definitely a gap, mostly because the Internet is still growing in our country. However, I’m very sure in the coming days we will have more users in India than in many other countries.

How has your experience been releasing songs on Spotify?

I love Spotify. Even if I give them a song in the morning, they get it live by evening …hahaha! I really appreciate all the support that the platform has been giving me, especially with the Bambai Bantai playlist and having me on the cover. I am a huge fan of the user interface as well as the Spotify for Artist app where I find relevant resources and analytics. Shoutout to Spotify for supporting not just me, but also several independent artistes. Playlisting really helps all these independent artistes reach new set of audiences and an opportunity to get discovered.

As one of the most popular rappers in India, do you wish to foray into Bollywood?

My move to Bollywood has been in talks for a while. However, I’m waiting for the right time and the right break, where the money is right as well. Hahaha!

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

Bantai Records is a record label, and we give our artistes complete creative freedom to make the music they like to make. Do check out Bantai Records artistes. They are dope.

What advice would you like to give to young upcoming rap artists in India?

Stay consistent, and don’t think too much. Just fall in love with the music and keep releasing tracks. Don’t get distracted by others. Focus on your art, and don’t try to take shortcuts.

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