'SUNDAY EXCLUSIVE' - Girish Khatiwada : 'Rap isn’t about baggy pants and loose t-shirts, be original'
Girish Khatiwada also known by various stage names like Gorkhali G, Girish Pranil, DJ Girish, and G.P is a Rapper/Hip-Hop artist of Nepal. He is also considered as the person who started new trend in the music industry of Nepal. He brought hip-hop to Nepal in the era where people had no idea about it, one would definitely not argue with this statement. He planted the roots in a barren land; watered it and now people can adore the fruits. Girish has been an inspiration to many youngsters who follow the Hip-Hop music. As we see that Hip-hop music is gradually starting to have a share of its own in the Nepali music market, previously it wasn’t the same.
Hip-Hop music sets a different culture, the culture which might be hard to be digested by the elderly people but amongst the youth, it is very popular. And with the rise of Hip-Hop in Nepal, a new name has been given birth to it: Nep-Hop.
Girish has always been active in Nep-hop. And lately, he has started his own Vlog channel named 'KTM Lifestyle'.
Girish explains the journey of Rap music in Nepal to Biplob Prasai.
How are you?
Fine, totally alive and kicking hard.
Tell me, who is Girish Khatiwada?
For me, he is his father’s duplicate, a happy and lucky guy. And besides, his personality comes from his father.
My father is my role model and I have always looked up to him. He has always been there for me.
But, did your father support your career choice?
Well, it was difficult for him initially, since I was good at school, you know I completed my MBA. The word 'support' let’s not use it. He was more concerned about me than not supporting me. It was difficult for him. But I was happy with my choice and 'lukera chupera gareko mazza beglai hunxa'.
Represent yourself in your favorite rap punchlines?
“I’m not cocky, I’m confident
So, when you tell me I’m the best it’s a compliment”
- “New York” – JA RULE.
How did your interest sparkle for hip-hop?
Honestly, I had no idea about rap previously. Rap is all about reciting poetry in a beat. In school, I used to write and recite poetry. I used to follow the rhyming structure; I unknowingly became a part of rap. Then I was introduced to the music, the energy kept me involved in this game. I am a person who doesn’t like slow tempo; I am a person full of energy I instantly felt connected to it.
(And yes if you meet him you will know the energy level he has within himself, he is always doing something and personally I feel he is a very cool guy to hang out with on a boring day, you won’t have a track of time with him).
And now what does hip-hop mean to you?
Hip-Hop is my belonging, and I also belong to it. It will never change.
There are many but amongst them, Tupac and Eminem stand out clearly. Eminem, I like him very much because he has grown up gradually every minute. He is evolving from being good to better and better to best. It’s that thing that teaches us a valuable lesson in life.
Lose yourself by Eminem.
Favourite Nepali Rappers?
Looking back, how was Hip-hop in Nepal?
I remember, there were no cd’s and hip-hop album available at new road. People had no idea about it. It was always difficult to keep a connection with the songs. So, every time I used to see a foreigner in Thamel especially Americans I used to ask about hip-hop. I used to be connected in that way.
Some of them would be surprised like how do you know about hip-hop and the artist you just mentioned? And some of them wouldn’t have a clue since hip-hop was in the beginning stage.
I remember I used to sit all day at Solti mode hoping to meet foreigners who had ideas about the hip-hop genre.
And matter of fact, when I did my first song ‘Meaningless Rap’ slowly hip-hop started to flourish in Nepal, CDs and albums were also made available.
Do you take credits for starting hip-hop in Nepal?
Yes, I do. In fact, I am the person who bought hip-hop in Nepal. Maile Nepal ma bhitryakoho, with ‘Meaningless Rap’.
And how do you see hip-hop currently in Nepal?
The present is good, the fans for hip-hop are great, and one day, hip-hop will win the reputation of people. Since it is a good form of art.
Are you satisfied with the way hip-hop was being portrayed?
Seriously no, we had a huge generation gap with the top level media, mainstream media, the corporate houses, Television and every show. They had old and aged people handling the news so they had no correct understanding about this art and genre. They never did portray hip-hop the way it was supposed to be portrayed, which certainly affected the general public understanding.
Hip-hop was being made fun of by general public; I too have many personal encounters. It was a subject of a joke. There was a vast generation gap previously.
Are you satisfied the way celebrities are treated in our country?
Personally yes, I am satisfied. And to make a point I have never thought of myself as a celebrity. I always was normal and I am still. I never mind being interrupted by fans, I love walking in the streets meeting them, clicking pictures. And yes I do enjoy getting head turned in my direction. So yes, I am satisfied. We are made by the fans.
And people who complain about this are those who got an opportunity by luck became successful and are treating themselves as a celebrity.
The people choose celebrities, celebrities are made by fans but they don’t understand this.
What’s your say on Raw Barz?
It was a great platform. Many youths were attracted to it. Raw Barz was a great opportunity but they could have done it better. They could have served hip-hop in a better way.
Define your music?
I make music for satisfaction, I make music for myself. I don’t make music because the idea is great and other things I make it because I feel like doing so. The music I make depends on me; if I am happy I make happy music. If sad I make a sad one and in resentment, I make songs which reflect anger.
My music is all about the state which I am in.
Where do you see yourself in the competition?
I don’t compete and If I do, I only compete myself and with my previous music. My previous music is my competition, to make better music than the ones I did is my motive.
What is the advice you would like to give a new rapper?
Rap is being true to you. Hip-hop is a lifestyle. So become you, be yourself in this game. Rap isn’t about baggy pants and loose t-shirts, be original. Music doesn’t follow the rule.
What project are you currently involved in?
Currently, I am involved in making Vlogs and short movies. I am focusing on my YouTube channel. I am making Vlogs and short movies that would inspire people. And yes, making songs will always be there.
How did you get the idea to start a Vlog channel?
I used to Vlog, whether I was in a family outing or in the home. I was good at editing videos so I used to edit the videos I captured. Once, I came to watch Roman Atwood somehow and saw him doing Vlogs, and I enjoyed watching him. I never knew that the thing I used to do was being done so beautifully by him and I also didn’t know people would do that. I enjoyed watching him and therefore I decided to make vlogs, I used to make it for myself and now I am making it publicly for everybody to watch. The first vlog I did I got a positive response and comment which then encouraged me to make more. I reached new viewers through my Vlogs and yes, I have received a positive reaction for my work.
‘Alice Rai from Dharan’ the Vlog of Girish Khatiwada from the 'KTM lifestyle' is worth watching.