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Hear Jammu Artist Bhau’s Guitar-Aided Hip-Hop on ‘Betaab,’ New Album ‘Aadataan’

Collaborators include Bengaluru composer Cisko Disco and rapper-producer Shen B

Anurag Tagat Aug 13, 2021

Jammu artist Bhau. Photo: Dron Chandwani

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By his own admission, Rohit Singh Bhau says he’s better at expressing through song than speaking. The guitarist, producer and singer from Jammu just released his new track “Betaab” and put out his album Aadataan in April. Across 11 tracks, Bhau taps into late-night introspection but also injects bright guitar leads throughout.

Although he released a record called Phir Se Qareeb in 2018, the artist considers that more of a compilation of singles whereas Aadataan is a more cohesive work that was consciously made as a full album. “I’m singing about heartbreaks and crossroads in life. The way I’m handling things right now, there’s a habit of processing things. As you grow older, you get less flexible usually,” he says about the themes on the record.

He carries some of that vibe forward with “Betaab,” which sees Bhau in total lover-boy mode. The music video features a couple wandering the sunny and serene town of Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir. While “Betaab” is a standalone single, the songs off Aadataan – sung in Dogri and Hindi – were written through most of 2020, during which Bhau moved from Bengaluru back to Jammu city. “When I made ‘Andheron Mein’ and ‘Aadataan’ in December last year, I thought it could shape up as an album. The process of song making was spontaneous and a lot smoother,” the artist says. The only two previous singles which have made it on to Aadataan are “Kelli?” and “Makheer.”

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Watch the video for “Betaab” below.

Then again, songs like “Khumaari” (featuring producer Akshu) and “Vikasit” (featuring Jammu’s hip-hop frontrunner Shen B) were left halfway until the collaborators showed up. In addition to Bengaluru composer-producer Cisko Disco aka Sharath P.S. on the buoyant, soul-leaning “Raaz,” there’s also Bharath Rajeevan (from pop-rock band Kapow!) aka Soundwalebhaiya on the track. Rajeevan also aided Bhau on the intro track to Aadataan.

As for Shen B, who adds a delectably dark atmospheric element to the flittering “Vikasit,” Bhau says they’ve known each other for about a decade now. “His [Shen’s] hip-hop is very different from what I make, but in February this year, I called him up and he said to come over to his studio,” the artist adds.

Since there aren’t any touring opportunities yet – although Bhau does point out there’s a venue named Nox in Jammu where he might start off – there will be more videos coming up. “Lots of videos are in the process of storyboarding. They usually get a lot more response than audio,” Bhau adds.

Listen to ‘Aadataan’ below. Stream on more platforms here.

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