Prabh Deep reflects & expands on Bhram [Deluxe]
“I just wanted to bring artists on tracks that I thought would elevate the project”
When Azadi Record’s Prabh Deep put out Bhram in 2022, it was a solo effort [and one guest] with deep meaning. A few weeks ago, Prabh put out the deluxe version and he added some tracks and a lot of collaborators to make “something beautiful and something that people will cherish as well.”
LiFTED got a chance to catch up with Prabh Deep and get his thoughts on MC Stan’s victory on Big Boss, his collab EP with RAFTAAR, directing music videos for artists, and finding the right people and audience for his music.
I thought of your words when I saw that MC Stan won Big Boss. The last time I saw you at Wonderfruit, you mentioned that Hip Hop was going to be the biggest music in India. Can you explain a little more why you said that? Also, how do you feel about MC Stan winning this reality show?
I think Hip Hop is the biggest music already. Like you said, MC Stan won Big Boss. When he won, it felt like everybody won. For everyone who has put in work for many years now, the feeling was really different when he came home with that win.
Every time, like when Gully Boy happened, even rappers who weren’t even a part of the movie benefited from that movie. The whole team got numbers. Same with Big Boss now is that we all have more eyes and ears towards Hip Hop now. It’s nuts. If there are 10 million people who are watching one person, at least 10 percent of that audience is gonna dig deep and see who are the other artists who are doing Hip Hop. That’s always beneficial no matter who’s making the moves.
There is healthy competition as well. It’s like one EP drops, and suddenly there are four other releases around it because everyone wants to be the best. It’s just a change of perspective now that I can see an artist’s perspective. I look at it differently than how I used to look at it two to three years ago.
You just put out PRAA with RAFTAAR. Tell me a little bit about how that came about. What’s it like to have two top-tier MCs going back and forth in the studio?
Oh man, it’s lovely. The whole experience was amazing. Of course, he’s had experience for 20 years and I’ve only been doing it for the last 10. I’m younger than him in the industry, so he came on as an older brother on this project with me. He guided me in more than music. There was an exchange of information that I needed at this point in my career, which I got from him. That was more valuable than this EP for me.
But I can’t neglect the learning curve that I had with this EP because he’s done a lot of commercial projects. So showing me the way to balance what people want and what I want to say, but I didn’t know very well what people actually want and how to change your image. I just understood with this EP that it’s all about the music. It’s all about how to cater to a bigger audience and what they are listening to. For this EP, we did research. He had his research already. I did my own R&D on what’s going on. What’s the audience we are going to cater to, and accordingly what I’m going to say in this, and how I’m going to present it.
With rappers, everyone has thoughts. How you deliver it on the beat is what matters. That’s what makes things different. That’s what makes you a hit or a flop.
That’s what I understood from this EP and it came out very naturally. There was no friction of any sort. Any ideas that we had, even if it's mine or his, if it’s good we’re going to put it on. We’re not going to fight about it like this was my idea or this and that. It was a full collaboration. We’re going to make a solid product and I think people can see that with these four songs.
On Bhram, you had very few features but on the deluxe version, you are running wild with your friends. What’s the difference?
I just wanted to bring artists on tracks that I thought would elevate the project. My thought was Encore can elevate this project. Calm can elevate this one. GD could elevate this one. It’s more that I didn’t go and explain the ideas to them. I didn’t say, “I want you to talk about this.” It’s everyone's whole experience that I knew was going to work. They are going to talk about something that they can’t talk about on other projects when they collaborate. That was the whole idea behind it. This can happen if you put the right people on the right track. With the experiences that they can share, it’s going to be something beautiful and something that people will cherish as well. It’s not for us at the end of the day. It’s for the people and the audience.
You directed your first video with ‘Gyani’ last year. Is directing something that you will be doing more of in the future?
Definitely, I’m going to do more direction, not just for my own music videos, but I want to direct other songs that I’m not featured on. Again, it’s mostly like a collaboration, where I can add to songs. I can come in with a fresh perspective from what the artist already has. There’s already a saturation point while making a song and going back and forth with recordings, mixing, and mastering. Artists reach a saturation point where they can’t cross that level. That’s where I come in as a director and let me do this for you creatively. That’s why I want to do it. It’s going to make the relationships between the artists healthier because I’m not going to take away your name or your audience from you. I’m here to bring you more audience for your project. If I’m doing it for myself, I’m going to execute the idea that I want to do with all the freedom I have because it’s my project.