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Badal Talks Musical Diversity and Why He Loves Studio Time

The Mumbai-based, Haryana-bred hip-hop and pop artist talks about influences and spending his quarantine indoors

Anurag Tagat Mar 30, 2021

Mumbai-based hip-hop and pop artist Sahil Badal. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Like several musicians, Sahil Badal has been privileged enough to not have too big a change in routine owing to the pandemic. He’s spent most of his time making the studio his favorite place, apart from occasionally working out and meeting friends. “I’m still in the studio bhai. I feel like someone should drag me out of here. I do workout but more or less, I have the most fun when I’m in the studio. So lockdown or not, I still like being in the studio,” Badal says over the phone.

The Mumbai-based singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist grew up in his Haryanvi hometown of Safidon, learnt music in Karnal and started off with a band in Chandigarh. He covered English and Punjabi songs, but the real big break arrived after releasing songs like “Vamos” with seasoned producer-singer Dr. Zeus and Indo-American star Raja Kumari in 2018 and subsequently signing to TM Talent Management LLP. Badal found himself well into the groove of things with Punjabi songs like “Trip” as well as bangers like “Afsos” and “Peeta Nahi” in the span of the past year.

While his own channel continues to be populated with covers ranging from Justin Bieber to Arijit Singh, Ed Sheeran and more, he also released an acoustic version of his latest single “Bas Ka Nahi” in December. It showcases something we don’t see often in the more mainstream, commercially friendly world of hip-hop – an artist peeling off layers of bombast and offering the essence of a song. “Whenever I make a track, I always create a second, alternative version of that track, usually just so I can listen to it on my own and think, ‘If I’d made this song this way…’ I wanted to see if I could sing this song and make it more melodious,” he says.

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The track, produced by Sunny M.R., takes the multi-genre approach while keeping to Punjabi rhythms as well. Several future releases are in the works, including trap songs and reggaeton-leaning tunes. “It’s a mix, not just in any one direction,” Badal says.

He says with the team he has, it’s only rarely a challenge to execute what he envisions for his music. He adds, “Maybe a tiny disadvantage to this, I’d say, is that you get freed up really quickly. Before, I would handle a lot of things myself but now when work gets delegated, an artist like myself gets a bit laidback. I do like to get involved as much as possible in all aspects of my music, though. Whether it’s the poster, the video editing, I like to get in on it.”

Watch the video for “Bas Ka Nahi” below. 

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