A large part of my struggle was because I was a girl: Hard Kaur
New Delhi : Rapper Hard Kaur says that ever since she was a child, she faced a lot of negativity and a large part of her struggle was because she was a girl, especially an Indian.
Kaur is one of the seven influences who is part of the fourth edition of Levi's #IshapeMyWorld movement that celebrates unstoppable women who have shaped their lives on their own terms.
In the video, the rapper can be seen expressing how she had to face struggle while making her way in the rap scene, more so because of her gender.
Asked about it, Kaur told IANS over an e-mail: "A large part of my struggle was because I was a girl, an Indian girl to be more precise. People couldn't believe I could be a rapper and I was asked to prove myself time and again just because it was a male dominated industry."
"Ever since I was a child I faced a lot of negativity. From being bullied, to having no friends, to growing up in a world full of stereotypes, I've faced it all. But I'm honest and I've always felt its either my way or no way at all and I'd rather do it the Hard Kaur way.
"I have always been working on breaking away from all the stereotypes, I worked hard, honed my skills, and used them to prove people wrong. I want to give power to other people to turn negatives into positives," she added.
Some of her works include song "Ek Glassy" that topped the UK charts in 2007. Since then she has sung in movies like "Ugly Aur Pagli" ("Talli"), "Singh Is Kinng", "Kismat Konnection", "Bachna Ae Haseeno", "Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag", "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani" and "Prince".
Her first solo album "Supawoman" was released in 2007.
She says that staying strong, fighting back and believing in herself helped her make a mark in the music industry.
She also credits her mother for her achievements.
"My mother has always been my strongest support. She is the real Hard Kaur, I am just her franchisee. My mother and my talent helped me fight all my battles fiercely and come out strong and successful," she said.
"She asked me to make songs which resonate better with Indians, but even though I've had big success in Bollywood, that's not where my heart is. Hip hop is my love and that's what I'll keep pushing, keep learning and doing new things," added Kaur.
But did the incidents when she was questioned for speaking up make her even more stronger?
"I faced a lot of inequality growing up, and this was a great drive to be successful. I'm thankful for all the tragedy I went through, it made me wiser and experienced. All bad things that you think that happen to you, are for your good," she said.
Citing how #IShapeMyWorld is all about breaking barriers, stereotypes and shattering the glass ceiling, she says that this is what she has done all her life.
"I want to be that woman who is known as the girl who wasn't afraid to live and speak her mind. As I said in my video, not just a pretty face, but someone with brains and guts," she said.
So what else is keeping Hard Kaur busy nowadays?
"In 2017 I released the biggest hip hop mixtape in Indian history -- 'The Rising Mixtape Vol 1', featuring 30 South Asian artistes from around the globe. This was to give back to the people and I've already started work on part 2.
"So I'll be working with a lot of upcoming artists and have some exciting things in the pipeline. Stay tuned to know more," said Kaur.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)