Featured Rapper Rahat |Music
Is our featured Artist interviewed about his music on Dubb Spot Records.
Dubb Spot Records had the chance to catch up with Rahat and discuss how he developed an interest for rap music, his upbringing and how he feels about the state of rap right now.
DSR: How old were you when you developed an interest in music?
Rahat: I first got into music around the end of eighth grade, so basically first got into it when I was 13 years old.
DSR: What was your earliest musical memory? What formed your love of music in your head?
What got me into music was listening to the band Linkin Park while I was in middle school. I just found their music really interesting and oftentimes while I would listen to them I’d imagine it was me rapping or singing the songs I was listening to. Eventually I set out to become a singer until realizing that I had a horrible singing voice. I went back and tried out rap and I found that I simply loved it.
DSR: Let’s get to know a little more about you and how you grew up. What was it like in your hometown? What kind of kid were you?
Rahat: I grew up in the Bronx and in school I was usually the outcast and was considered the nerd. I was the only Bengali kid in my class so I usually felt alone. Around my neighborhood I had friends of my own culture as well as friends who weren’t. I started hanging out with what would be considered the “wrong crowd” as I got older and I pretty much did what most other teens my age were doing, i.e. couple drugs weed etc. During high school several of my friends passed away in what to me seemed like a whole chain of deaths. My best friend Angel was shot while visiting family in L.A. and this was after he had just attended a funeral for his cousin. A year after that another friend of mine Jezzie died in a car crash along with her baby brother. Another one of my friends Jose commited suicide and as I grew up I just felt really cold and at one point during high school I was taking sleeping pills and I was really just messed up. At the same time I consider myself lucky to have made more friends in high school who I still view as my friends to this day. This was also the time my relationship with my fiancé evolved and now I’m in better state of mind and happier having moved on from all the death that filled up a large part of my childhood.
DSR: So let’s talk about your music. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
My sound is really all over the place sometimes. When I first started I was into the whole boom bap hip hop but slowly I started straying away from that. I would still consider myself to be mainly an underground type rapper, a lot of my songs have a dark undertone to them. Instrumental wise I rap over a variety of different types including dubstep, orchestral, and somewhat pop hip hop but overall even the lighter tracks I’ve done are still pretty dark in their own ways. I rap mainly about my life and experiences as well as the experiences of some of my friends.
DSR: What is the significance of your name?
The name I go by, Rahat, is actually my given name which means calm and peace. Originally I attached MC in front of it and was MC Rahat. I changed it at other points to Mcrc. Back when myspace was the place you would promote your music on I had tried making my myspace url end in mcrc but unfortunately someone else had taken it. I settled with mcrac which just consisted of all the first initials of my name. I had put out a small ep in High school that I was giving out for free and someone actually came up to me and said something along the lines of “oh you guys think your funny naming yourself emcrak?” I personally thought that was hilarious and for a short time I went by that name as well until ultimately settling down with just Rahat, which in my opinion was unique enough in itself and really was just me.
DSR: There’s a part of the industry that irks me the most, where great music gets overlooked because it doesn’t fit a mold. How frustrating is that for you, if people seem to think that you don’t have that sound for radio?
Rahat: Yes that really irks me as well. I do have some songs that would be considered “Radio friendly” however a majority of my songs are not. I pour out a lot of my energy and passion into my music so when someone tells me it isn’t going to do well because it isn’t suitable for radio play really gets to me. There is a niche for everything and I know a niche exists for the music I make so that’s who I’ve got to target. Not everyone likes what’s on the radio, not everyone can really sound the same. That radio sound idea just really needs to die down.
DSR: What do you think needs to be brought to music in this decade and how do you plan to add to that?
I think something that is already being slowly done and needs to be done more is adding more lyrical substance into music. Don’t get me wrong I like the occasional party track but when that’s all you ever here from some artists it does get irritating. I’ve noticed however that more artists are putting more emphasis on the message of their songs which is something I am doing myself. I think the best way to spread a message through music is to attach it to some sort of action. I plan on making music based on certain charities and hope that I can sell some to raise money to help in their causes. I’ve contacted a few about doing something like this and I hope slowly I can do something positive with my music.
DSR: What do you think of the music that came out in the last decade?
Rahat: I honestly don’t like that majority of it, in terms of mainstream music. There’s a ton of great music that came out in the underground and through independent and lesser known artists. In the past decade everyone was jumping from one bandwagon to another milking it out for all it was worth until you just got sick and tired of hearing the music. I think nowadays your less likely to have someone who listens to certain songs for more than a couple months. It’s almost like music is designed now just to be cool for a couple months until its forgotten about down the road. I still listen to a lot of songs I listened to while I was growing up but a lot of the music that’s been coming out recently just haven’t stuck with me like that.
DSR: How would you rate the music that your music competes against in your local area?
Rahat: Well I rap and it seems like almost everyone thinks they can download a beat off Soundclick and record something at home and call themselves a rapper. I like to think I’m not part of that boat but there is really a huge oversaturation of rappers who I don’t feel take it very seriously. I like to think I have some substance in my music which I don’t see all too much of anymore. At the same token it seems like there is also a hell of a lot of people like me struggling to do the same things I struggle to do as well so in terms of my music relating to them I think I rate myself on the higher end of the spectrum. I’m still local and doing this on my own but I believe I’ve to the music to really take myself far.
DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?
Rahat: The biggest lesson I needed to learn, was how to take criticism. It took time getting used to people not saying completely nice things about my music but eventually I got over it and tried to learn from what it is that seemed to be turning people off. I’m still learning and improving everyday and as an artist that’s what you are constantly doing. Art is never perfect you learn all the time while you do it.
DSR: Do you write all of your own material? And if so, are you working on any new projects or have any projects that you are promoting right now?
Rahat: I write all of my own lyrics, as far as beats go I lease them. Once in a blue moon I might work out my own beat but I tend to usually stick to rapping. Right now I am working on a follow up to my E.P. from last year which was titled “The Resurrection”. The project I’m working on right now is a short album and I’m going to be calling it “A Seraph’s Gift.” I hope to release it this spring and hope to also have a music video of the first single “Hero” out sometime soon as well.
DSR: Where can the people find you performing or attend the events you are involved in?
Rahat: Best way to find out where and when I’m performing is to either follow me on twitter or my facebook fan page. Links to those can be found on my personal page of my website. www.utuneslive.com There’s a page dedicated to just my music on the site which will have updates on what I’m doing and links to follow me online.
DSR: Where can we find your music online and offline?
Rahat: Like I said before www.utuneslive.com has a page dedicated to me. There is a soundcloud music player on the page that has some of my songs on it. Some of my older stuff like the E.P. I released last year can be found at rahat.bandcamp.com I plan on updating the bandcamp with the new album once that’s done as well. You can also find some of my singles on Itunes. My song “Here We Go” was the single off my E.P. last year and is available on Itunes. My song “Hero” which is the first single off of my upcoming album is also available on Itunes. You can also fine my songs on Spotify I usually send out updates on this stuff on my Twitter and facebook pages. As far as offline I haven’t got any current physical releases other than a free E.P. I gave out in high school which is no longer available. I plan on doing a limited physical cd release of my upcoming album but just keep the look out on my site for more information on that.
DSR: We ask all Artists that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you?
Rahat: Always keep writing. The more you write the more you stretch your creative muscles. That advice was given to me by my friend Angel. Really just keep writing and never stop. You never lose the artistic value of what you’re doing if you don’t stop.
DSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in closing of this interview?
Rahat: Just be on the lookout for my stuff and follow me on twitter @Rahat_music one of the songs “War” off my upcoming album was featured on an Indie Top 50 mixtape from Coast to Coast mixtapes hosted by DJ Whiplash. I promise you’ll be seeing more and more of me and my music soon just keep your eyes peeled.