Chennai based rapper Nitish Dogra aka King ND is out with his brand new album “Kings Never Die (K.N.D.)”. The 7 track album has the rapper reaching out to people who are trying to find solace through music. King ND speaks to his audience through his lyrics and hopes to get the recognition he deserves. Finally the album is out and DesiHipHop.com is exclusively distributing it on all major platforms!
Nitish spoke his heart out on an exclusive interview with us. Recollecting his past journey and speaking of his recently released album.
“K.N.D is a dream project and is very close to my heart. This album is me reintroducing myself into the scene so I can reach out to more people and maybe help them in a few ways.” – King ND
1. How did you get into hip hop? What inspired you.
From a very young age I’ve was fond of anything that had to do with creativity. I was a dancer before and in a way I was already connected to music. How did I get introduced to Hip-hop? I could go ahead and lie by just saying that Grandmaster Flash, 2pac or Biggie were the ones I used to bump. Just to sound more knowledgeable. But I was born and raised in India so I’m sure almost everyone got introduced to Hip-Hop the way I did. You remember those early school days when we broke out of our innocence and started getting introduced to profanity? I heard many of my classmates speak about this guy called ‘Eminem’. So I wanted to know what this hype was all about. I went back home and went out in search of it but couldn’t find it.
(First hip-hop album King ND ever heard)
So the next day I asked my classmate what this Eminem was. He takes out a cassette from his bag and shows it to me. I borrow it from him and I go home and play it on my Aiwa walkman (hardly see them these days). And as soon as I hit play I was introduced to this very weird but unique genre that the kids were talking about. I found it funny how this Eminem would easily use profanity in his songs and not care.
Then I came across the tracks ‘Stan’ , ‘The Way I am’ and ‘Marshall Mathers’ which blew my mind. I found it amazing how Eminem was telling stories through his songs and even without a video I could visualise the entire scene in my head. It was “The Marshall Mathers LP” and I heard it almost after a year of its launch. After 2001, I would listen to Eminem now and then and try to write my own lyrics which were a disaster.
2. What’s your music usually about? Tell our readers about King ND as an artist.
My music is all about me and the world around me. I write on what I see and what I feel and I think this is very important because in a way you are talking to the world through the mic. So you might as well reach out to others like you. I write when something upsets me or just when I want to escape the world. The world is changing every day, almost everyone is a little broken on the inside. That is where KING ND comes in. Like they say that everybody is only present with you during your good days, but the days you are down, not many people come forward.
I try to reach out to people with my songs and speak to them. It’s my way of convincing them that they aren’t alone and that I know life’s hard but that’s how it is. I sometimes put out tracks to motivate them and fight the phase they are going through. If people should take anything from my music it shouldn’t be anything negative. KING ND is just another artist that’s trying to be there for people and maybe make a difference in their life through music. It gives me happiness when someone reaches out to me and tells me that my music has inspired him/her which is a true blessing to any artist.
3. Give us a little insight about your album Kings Never Die. How was the whole process behind making this album?
K.N.D is my dream project. I’ve always felt that I am underrated and not many people know me or have heard my music even though I’ve been doing this from about 7 years. I never really concentrated on promotion and I guess that is where many artists miss out on an opportunity of being heard. Yes, every artist wants to be heard out and wants to make it big. I have the same dream too because it’s not only about the money and the fame to me, its the reach that matters. I’ve always wanted my music to reach a wider audience so I can touch as many souls as I can and if I’m lucky, maybe help them in a way or two.
K.N.D is me reintroducing myself into the scene with proper promotion. The 10 month journey did have a lot of ups and downs but it has carved into a beautiful piece of art. Every track has its own uniqueness and tells a story. K.N.D is me, and if you listen to it from the start to the end it will tell you all about my life and the struggles of an artist. People think it’s easy to write a song but when a poet is penning down his poetry he is in a constant battle with his thoughts. Pay attention to the lyrics, every track has a deep meaning attached to it with a hint of motivation.
King ND aka Nitish Dogra
K.N.D has seven tracks in it which is like a movie itself from the start to the finish. I wanted to push my own limit of making music so I experimented with the first track of the album titled ‘THE MESSAGE’ which is completely Accapella, The music for the rest of the album is done by Thomas Hodek (Tellingbeatzz) who is an amazing music producer from Munich, Germany. The entire album was recorded at Vanajkesav Digi Audio Waves at Chennai by a good friend K.K. Senthil prasath who has guided me during the making of this album and provided me with professional quality overall.
There are two other artists, Ankan Mondal and Georgina Mathew who are featured on my album. They are both really talented and have helped take the two tracks to a next level. The music video is shot by the very talented Santosh Chinni and D’PAK has beautifully edited it. The poster designs are done by my brother Romi Kahlon while Sandeep Singh aka Master Ji helped and guided me along the full process. I’m thankful to everyone who helped me to fulfill my dream. A big S/O to DesiHipHop.com for having always having my back. I hope that the audience get what they have been waiting for.
4. What’s your take on the Desi Hip Hop scene right now?
Desi Hip Hop scene is getting huge by the minute. Tons of songs drop and tons of artists join the scene on a daily basis. Even Bollywood has developed a bond with this culture and that itself shows the impact of hip hop music. Established artists like Bohemia, Manj Musik and Raftaar are providing opportunities to artists who deserve their space.
Hip Hop has broken down boundaries between India and Pakistan and I see rappers come together on a track which is just amazing. International collaborations are happening which proves that Hip Hop has the power to unite people from different religions. I see rap battles happening around, people organising dance battles, Hip Hop gigs and Graffiti showcases. The culture is blooming everyday and I’m sure it will continue to bloom till music exists. Although it will take time for Hip Hop to be fully understood and reach every corner, it still is doing just fine.
5. Message to other artists.
Never judge anyone based on their skills or looks. Yes, not everyone will be as good as you and you might not be good as someone, so do not judge. An artist you call wack today might go ahead and prove you wrong tomorrow cause you never know who might become what. Growing is a slow process and every artist is working to grow stronger wings so they fly to even greater heights. Help other fellow artists and guide new artists. If you like a track then share it. It does not matter if they belong to your city or not, if you feel its deserving then share it. Don’t be jealous that he or she has done better than you.
You need to understand that you are a part of this adapted culture and you need to help it grow if you want to grow too. Be humble no matter how big or small you are, cause before being a good artist you first need to learn be a better person. In the end listen to your heart and do what you feel is right. Keep making good music and along the way help as many as you can cause after you leave the world your music may have left a little impact on the people but the way you were as a person will define your life. I wish everyone all the very best, keep grinding. Peace out!