Dilin Nair, best known professionally as Raftaar, was born on November 16, 1988. He is one of the earliest desi rappers, songwriters, performers, Television personalities, and music producers.
He began his profession as a dancer. He started rapping in 2008 with Lil Golu and Ikka, making tracks and sharing them on social media. As a member of the Mafia Mundeer gang, he began collaborating with Yo Yo Honey Singh. Raftaar later left the organization owing to financial difficulties. Raftaar subsequently stepped down.
Raftaar's first album, WTF - Witness The Future, was launched in 2013. He made his debut appearance in Bollywood was also in the year 2013 with the track "Tamanche Pe Disco," which starred Sonakshi Sinha and Saif Ali Khan and became a significant hit at the time.
Hip hop had made a few appearances in Bollywood before this incident, but with artists like Raftaar and Honey Singh, its position became much more strong. Since Bollywood was large, rap slowly but firmly began to establish its foothold in Bollywood, and there appeared to be a time when no Bollywood movie was done without rap songs from either Raftaar or Honey Singh.
Raftaar was distinguished from his contemporaries by the songs he chose and the meaning he conveyed via his lyrics. Raftaar once stated that when an artist begins his underground career, he begins strong with real-life issues and continues to write for a better society that in a true sense is a depiction of his own self, but as he gains traction from mainstream press and investors, he changes to cater to their needs by giving more significance to the preferences and tastes of audiences, attempting to create more commercial content, and this connotes the death of the authenticity an artist carry.
Raftaar, on the other hand, has overcome this reputation, and throughout his career, he has developed an incredible blend of commercial and underground songs.
Hip-hop has only been popular in India for a little more than a decade, and in recent years Raftaar reasoned that for hip-hop to enter the public, it must first pass via the Bollywood sound. Thus, comparing hip-hop in the West to hip-hop in India would be unjust as cultural background differs immensely in both contexts.
"It only took us ten years to get here, and in another ten years, there'll be pure rap compositions with really no melody verses at all," Raftaar remarked. "Now, we're gradually moving aside from films and onto our own projects." Slowly, the idea of a person speaking spontaneous poetry over a beat is being accepted as an artistic expression."
He began as a member of Mafia Mundeer alongside Baadshah, Ikka, Honey Singh, and Lil Golu, and his platform was poised to take off, but he was forced to split owing to artistic and ideological conflicts. There was no turning back from that point on. He has been sailing with artistic vigor and collaborating with a variety of artists from various genres.
Some of his well-known collaborations throughout the years have demonstrated his ability to create variety and deliver it well every single time. Some of his most popular collaborations are Raftaar and singer Sukhe's song "All Black", Raftaar's work with popular dancer and performer Nora Fatehi for the track "Baby Marvake Manegi", and the song "Dhaakad" from the film Dangal. This song was Raftaar's collaborative effort with songwriter Amitabh Bhattacharya and composer Pritam, The title track "Naachne Ka Shaunq" is a consortium is ideas between Broda and Raftaar, "Tamanche Pe Disco" is another blockbuster integration of Raftaar and Nindy Kaur from the movie Bullet Raja, "Tiger Zinda Hai" is yet another chart-topping collaboration of Raftaar with singer-songwriter Sukhwinder Singh for Salman Khan's hit film.
These examples only scratch the surface of his great talent, which, when paired with his years of professional experience, gives him an ideal repository of knowledge to learn from.
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