The colorful city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, where the rhythm of the bustling city is harmonized with the resounding tunes of Bad Trip Symphony — a dynamic rap duo that’s taking the Indian hip-hop scene by storm. Meet the prodigious duo, consisting of the thought-provoking rapper Lakshay Singh, fondly known as BadLuck, and the mastermind producer Shivam Sharma, better recognized as rbbt. Together, they’ve woven a mesmerizing symphony — oh, the Bad Trip Symphony — that pushes the boundaries of the rap genre, fusing experimental elements and conscious storytelling like never before in Indian hip-hop. Their journey began in 2016 when the stars aligned, and destiny brought BadLuck and rbbt together. Little did they know that their artistic partnership would ignite a spark of creativity that would soon explode into a sonic explosion, captivating listeners far and wide. In 2019, they unveiled their debut album, a revelation of their raw talent and musical vision. Their unique approach to blending genres, infusing electronic, trap, retro-synth, Indian classical, and jazz samples, has set them apart from the conventional rap landscape.
Picture this: the stage set with ambient reverberations and trap beats pulsating through the air, each lyric dripping with purpose and passion. Bad Trip Symphony brings a soul-stirring experience that transcends mere music; it’s an odyssey of emotions, thoughts, and dreams. With each project, they redefine the boundaries of possibility, captivating hearts and minds with their extraordinary soundscapes. As they continue to leave a trail of sonic innovation behind them, Bad Trip Symphony is on the brink of releasing their new project, a much-anticipated opus that promises to elevate their artistry to new heights.
In a heart-to-heart conversation, the enigmatic producer rbbt opens up about the origins of their duo, their diverse inspirations, and the burgeoning hip-hop scene in Rajasthan. He delves into the challenges they face as they navigate through the labyrinth of the Indian hip-hop industry, carving their path with courage and tenacity.
So, get ready to dive into the world of Bad Trip Symphony — a symphony that transcends the ordinary, igniting a revolution in the Indian rap realm. As we sit down with rbbt for an exclusive conversation, you’re invited to witness the passion, the struggles, and the unwavering dedication that fuels this trailblazing Rajasthani rap duo. Brace yourself for a soulful journey as we uncover the secrets behind the captivating symphony that is — Bad Trip Symphony.
This conversation was edited and condensed for clarity.
Bad Trip Symphony Interview
Tell us about yourself? How did Bad Trip Symphony form, and how did you both meet?
Well, Bad Trip Symphony is a Jaipur-based rap duo, and we have been making music since 2019 as a duo. We initially started with generic sounds that we usually hear around in Indian hip-hop. But later on, we started experimenting with more and more sounds, kind of playing with ambient music, and atmosphere has become our signature.
Basically, Bad Trip Symphony started in 2019, but my friend BadLuck (His real name is Lakshay Singh) and I met around 2016 in a recording studio. Then we started working on a few projects, and later on, we decided to take things more seriously, and hence we formed this Bad Trip Symphony.
We have released 4 projects till now and have been featured multiple times on Rolling Stones India, VH1 India, and many more. We had some highlights; we opened for the OG Dino James and have worked with Gravity and Shaikhspeare.
How was your background, and how did your Rajasthani heritage influence your musical style?
Well, Rajasthan has some kind of pinch of royalty in the music, and also at the same time, it’s very colorful, warm, and welcoming. But we tried to take the elements and sounds of different classical instruments and sampled them in the songs with more dark, noir and gritty lyrics. It is not really colorful or fun enrichment; rather it’s a bit the opposite — it’s dark and ambient.
Tell us about the hip-hop scene in Rajasthan?
Well, hip-hop in Rajasthan is flourishing now. It is getting there where we can say we have people and artists here doing great kinds of stuff and contributing to the scene. Rajasthan Hip-Hop Cypher is a strong community of rappers and people who are doing great stuff.
Could you give us some examples of the musical influences that have inspired you and how they shaped your sound?
Well, the idea of the duo came from Bad Meets Evil, and then we are big-time fans and consumers of DHH (Desi Hip-Hop). We got Young Stunners, Seedhe Maut, Full Power, and many more. It later got turned into a producer-rapper thing. Since I have taken the job on the production and have been producing most of the tracks for Bad Trip Symphony.
Can you please tell us about your new project? What’s the inspiration behind this project?
Oh well, about it. Last year, we released our most ambitious and experimental project. It is called ‘Show After The Show.’ It is a 20 tracks long, hefty project, and it has everything from synthwave to electronic music to heavy bars and bangers. It narrates the story of an artist getting spoiled and ruined by fast life, fame, drugs, and how he destroys his relationships and all. So there were initially 25 tracks we made for the project, but we took out these tracks.
Now we are releasing 6 unreleased tracks since they were made with the same mindset and sonically they sound the same as the album. That’s why it’s basically ‘Show After The Show (Bonus Tracks).’
How did you approach your last album? Were you consciously making a new project, or were you just recording new material and realized you had an album on your hands?
No, ‘Show After The Show’ was well planned. It took us 2 years to make it. We had this idea for a long time, and we were slowly writing and producing to make it sound like a cohesive project.
Can you tell us about the topics this upcoming project touches and focuses on and what do you want listeners to take away from it?
Well, these 6 tracks have been compiled in such a way that each track will blend in with the next one. Starting with a grooving DNB track which makes the listener kinda high, you can say, and the feeling of euphoria keeps it going to the next one also. So there is again a narrative of how one is feeling high then sad about lost love and then getting back on his feet to find his inner peace.
Are there any tracks on the project that are your personal favorites?
Well yeah, there is ‘Gumshuda’ and then there is ‘God Particle.’ I love how they turned out.
Could you walk us through your creative process when crafting a new song or an entire project? How do you approach blending different genres and creating a cohesive musical experience?
Well, I listen to everything, to be honest, like everything. And the idea of blending music into what I create or what I love is what pushes me to make experimental music. And inspiration could come from anything.
I have been listening to a lot of ‘Thaikuddum Bridge,’ and they inspire me to dig deeper into Indian classical root music. So I have been taking inspiration here and there from whatever hits my ear, and I find it good.
In your opinion, what sets your music apart from others in the industry and makes it resonate with hip-hop fans?
Well, I think what we are doing is more musical compared to what’s out there in DHH (Desi Hip-Hop). Rather than making a simple 16-bar rap banger or something like that, we try to create a musical experience for the listeners not only for hip-hop fans but also for other people as well.
As artists, what are the major challenges you guys face while trying to pursue music as a career in India?
Well, there are a lot of challenges, to be honest, but the main one is how to make money out of your art, and the race is way long with a lot of self-doubts, quitting thoughts, juggling with 9 to 5 like I am a lecturer in a Medical college, my friend is a Cricket coach, we have to manage both of the things to keep the food on the table for the family. Since when you are 28, you have to do something. So I guess how to generate money from your music or art, whatever it is, that needs a lot of effort, not only just talent and skills, you need a team for it.
What can fans expect from Bad Trip Symphony? Apart from this new project, are there any upcoming projects or collaborations planned that you would like to share with us?
Oh yeah, we have already produced a 15-track mixtape. It has features from MC Kode, Vasudev, Tienas, and many more. Um, we are working on a track with Spin Doctor and Rada from Pune. So yeah, we are yet to finalize the final product, but yeah, beats are ready, and we are getting into the writing and recording process.