Saari Dunya - Bohemia’s world of rap
Saari Dunya from week 4 of Coke Studio is a desi rap and hip-hop track composed and performed by Bohemia, aka David Roger. Hip-hop began as a cultural movement in the late 70s and gained popularity worldwide. The musical style incorporates rhythmic and/or rhyming speech. Written primarily by Bohemia, the song is the artist’s personal shared through the performance of his art (i.e. rap).
The lyrics of the song explain an artist’s struggle and the downside of fame leading to the disillusionment of worldly/material gains.
“I arrived alone, distinct from everyone
Ever since Akshay brought me into the desi industry
That’s when you all started following me
In 2002, a pen in my hand
With my own hand, I sowed the seeds of hip-hop
Now, look how these seeds I sowed have grown into trees
Now, in the shade of these trees, I sit like a lion
This jungle is my glory now
From root to fruit-laden branch, the trees of this jungle are filled with my spirit
But the way the trees are cut one by one
My name is starting to fade from the world
…to fade from the world”
“In Saari Dunya, I am describing Bohemia as an artist being introduced to the industry, coming (of age) into the scene, planting seeds into the soil and seeing them grow, seeing them get to a level now where those trees have to be used for other purposes,” says Bohemia.
Saari Dunya merges hip-hop with a desi-element, adding a distinct uniqueness. The intro and outro lines of the song, being sung by the backing vocals team, have been written by Asim Raza and were meant to give the song an ethnic twist. The song also has the sub-continental dholak sound being accompanied by war drums giving the song a powerful feel yet modulating between aggression and sorrow in the composition. A Nepalese hand cymbal instrument called the “bhushya” is being played by Siddharta Maharajan, adding a tribal yet festive flavor to the song.
The departure of the song is dark and almost theatrical right before it goes into the main chorus line “andheron mein shama, bina lafzon ke naghma hoon main” to show the contrast of light coming out of darkness. This line also encompasses the main premise of the song – hope and light emerging from darkness.
Adding an element of poetry to his rap, he says, “I am trying to encapsulate myself in the third person in this song. Saari dunya ko mil kay tanha (lonely even after meeting everyone).”
“I am light in darkness
I am a song without words
I have met the whole world, and yet I am alone”
Saari Dunya is produced and arranged by producer Rohail Hyatt with backing vocals being given by Wajiha Naqvi, Nimra Rafiq, Kumail Jaffery and Shahab Hussain. The house band includes Asad Ahmed on the guitar; Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar on the bass; Hyatt on keyboards as well as the acoustic guitar; Shehroze Hussain playing the sitar; Nawazish Nasri on the rabab, Volkan Öktem on the drums; Siddharta Maharajan (from Nepal) on the bells; Abier ‘Veeru’ Shan playing percussions and Babar Khanna on Eastern percussions