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We caught up with the rapper ahead of her performance at Zomaland, Mumbai and spoke to her about all things music and more. Read on…

CH: You recently released your debut project “Breadcrumbs” with Warner. How has life changed since releasing that diverse record? 

Srushti Tawade: My debut album, Breadcrumbs, was filled with experimental songs, and since its release, I have continued to experiment with various genres and art forms beyond music. I’m eager to explore all possible creative avenues and can’t wait for you guys to see  what I have in store next. 

CH: You worked with notable producers for “Breadcrumbs” including Phil Cook who has produced for major artists such as Liam Payne, Lewis Capaldi & more. How was working with him?

Srushti Tawade: I created “Ghummi Ghummi” with Phil Cook, and the entire process took just about three hours. We started from scratch, having no pre-existing ideas, concepts, or lyrics. We entered the room with a blank slate and emerged with a completed song after those three hours. Phil’s production style for this song was unlike anything I had seen in the country, which was quite a shock for me. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him.

CH: You’ve often rapped about your various struggles while you’re on the come-up. Considering that you’ve become one of the finest emcees in India right now, how does it feel when you look back?

Srushti Tawade: Honestly, I haven’t rapped about my struggles because, in reality, my writing journey has been quite smooth and enjoyable. I don’t view my hard work as a struggle; instead, I had fun throughout the entire process of reaching where I am today. So, I never experienced any sense of struggle, just pure enjoyment. That feeling has remained the same from the beginning.

CH: Please talk to us about your major influences in music. 

Srushti Tawade: In music, I have very few influences, with Bo Burnham being my number one. His writing, concepts, and mindset always amaze me every time I listen to his songs. Although he’s a comedian, his songs are both funny and introspective, and I’m deeply inspired by him. I aspire to write the way I do because of his unique writing style. Another significant influence is Varun Grover, whose writing has produced incredible music. I’m a huge fan of his work, particularly the “Gangs of Wasseypur” album. These two individuals have had a major impact on how I perceive and create music.

CH: Who are some of your favourite rappers from the scene right now? Any collaborations you’ve been working hard to manifest?

Srushti Tawade: Eminem is undoubtedly an all-time favourite in every scene. In our country, some of my friends are excelling in their craft, such as Paradox, MC Square, and King Bhaiya. King, in particular, has achieved remarkable success with his skills. I would be thrilled to collaborate with these three individuals, who are consistently among my favourites, even as other preferences may change over time.

CH: The world continues to celebrate 50 glorious years of Hip-Hop. How do you feel about the genre coming so far from a small party in the Bronx? 

Srushti Tawade: I think the direction hip-hop is taking in our country is promising, and I believe we can push it even further. While it’s commendable how far we’ve come, there’s still a long way to go given our potential in Desi Hip-Hop. More artists should explore the DHH scene as we have much to share and contribute to the world. Their participation will accelerate DHH’s growth. I believe we need to focus on more important matters than just the glamour side of hip-hop and artists from outside the genre should also participate and  infuse new perspectives.

CH: Is another album on its way? 

Srushti Tawade: Currently, I’m not working on an album, but I am focusing on creating singles. What excites me about these upcoming singles is that, after releasing Breadcrumbs last year and exploring different genres, I started missing my original style. I asked myself “woh Srushti wali baat kaha hai?”, and now I can confidently say that I’ve successfully revived the “hustle wali Srushti.” In the new songs coming out this year, I’ll be addressing important topics while still maintaining an experimental approach. By blending “Hustle waali Srushti” and “Breadcrumbs waali Srushti,” I hope you all will enjoy the songs and contemplate the messages within them.

CH: How would you define your personal style?

Srushti Tawade: I’ve always been true to myself both on and off stage. I prefer to keep things as natural and authentic as possible, and I get uncomfortable with drastic changes. I feel that if you’re special, you don’t need to wear anything extra to make you more special. My style is simply being myself.

CH: When you are not making music, you are…?

When I’m not making music, I usually attend comedy shows and spend time with my friends, many of whom are artists themselves, such as comedians, musicians, writers, or rappers. While hanging out, we often create more art together, staying productive even during our downtime. Most of the people in my life are associated with art, and I’m constantly involved in it in one form or another.