Prabh Deep says meeting Sez On The Beat changed his life
April 15, 2019 · 3 Minute Read
Two months before releasing the critically-acclaimed and popular Class-Sikh, Delhi rapper Prabh Deep nearly quit. Frustrations over the finalizing the album from an initial batch of 40 demos and lack of gigs resulted in a low point for him and his record label, Azadi Records. However, Azadi’s co-founder Uday Kapur asked Prabh to give him two more months.
Needless to say, it worked out for Prabh. For him, any project, be it an album or a single, it’s all about the story.“And Class-Sikh is my story,” he says.
And what a story Prabh had to tell the world; his grandfather was murdered in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 following Indira Gandhi’s assassination, after which the entire family had to shift to a refugee camp. He still does not talk often to his father, and when he does, Prabh says, they often fight. “I understand now why he got into gambling. He wanted to get rich, so that he could give me the life he had before 1984.”
Growing up, he faced financial issues in school, where the principal would pull him up in front of the entire class as to why he was late on his fees yet again. By class 12, Prabh decided to drop out of school to pursue his musical career. However, the lack of monies also played a role.
The Tilak Nagar native is disenchanted with the entire education system of the country and believes ,”The education system is too outdated. It’s just getting you ready to be workers, to be cogs in the machine.”
A part of JioSaavn’s Desi Hip-Hop campaign, Prabh’s early critical success of his singles such as “G Maane” and “Kal” launched him to the ever-growing underground rap scene in India. But Prabh says he does not have to sing it in his songs to make him the best in the country. “I don’t claim to be the king or the best rapper in India in my songs, I just try to prove it in every single I drop,” he tells.
Slowly but surely, Prabh has found his footing in the industry. Each song on Class-Sikh is about an incident Prabh had been through. “Click Clack” was about his friend died from an overdose, “Kal” is about being chased and beaten up. The album as a whole is about growing up in the post-1984 Sikh riot and the west Delhi community. With songs like “Sauce“, he finally lets go of his seriousness and sings a preppy, upbeat song. “Sauce” is bright and full of colors, it is a whole different sound. “People thought I’d continue the Class-Sikh sound because, in India, artists make one hit, they continue making the same sound again and again for years. It works for so many artists but in our case, we get bored with repetition,” Prabh says.
With inspirations from Punjabi folk singer Amar Singh Chamlika and poet Sant Ram Udasi, Prabh lets his inner Punjabi take control of him when he’s on the mic. While his compatriots mostly dabble in English, he has continued to use his mother tongue in his songs.
Prabh cites “Meeting Sez was one of the turning points of my life, we need to project Sez as a big deal.” The rapper adds, the two have big bigger things in store for the future. “[Sez and I] have… A plan,” he says. “Catchy hooks, deep verses. That’s how you get a big audience while still talking about real stuff.”
Beyond music, Prabh wants to make a difference to his community too. Never one to forget his roots, he talks about improving the reputation of the place he fondly calls home. “In 10 years, I’ll stand for MLA from my streets,” he says, talking about his plans for the regeneration of the neighborhood. “Growing up, I always wanted to make money and move my family out of the gullies. But I don’t want the next generation to feel that way. I’m going to make Tilak Nagar a place people are proud to live in,” he affirms.