The legend of Faadu: The Delhi rapper who says it like it is
I first met the reclusive rapper, Faadu, at The Toddy Shop in Delhi's Hauz Khaas Village. This was two years ago. We'd been talking on the phone and trying to fix a date for a rendezvous for as long. We'd come close. I live in R block, GK 1; Faadu made it to M block market-it was my birthday and I was throwing a party-but then went back to his place in Preet Vihar for unspecified reasons.
A few nights later, I called him drunk. It's not a conversation I remember. He told me later that I was in a state and told him: 'Main writer hoon aur tu rapper hai. Aukat me reh.' This is now a running joke between us.
Faadu aka 28-year-old Aditya Parihar is Delhi's best kept secret. A true blue maverick, and an instant internet sensation, his songs routinely get tens of thousands of hits on YouTube. His debut single 'Kash Koi Mil Jaaye', an anthem of sexual frustration, has been viewed 1,284,905 (that's 1.2 million or over 12 lakh) times.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
None of his songs have been backed by a record label, sponsor or event management company. Each song has made its own way in the chaos of the online space.
Faadu doesn't seem himself as an English-wallah. He's a Dilliwallah - an East Dilliwallah, suspicious of the air-kissing South Delhi crowd. When we met at The Toddy Shop, he told me: 'Sir, yahan par to sab ek doosre ko jante hain.' He felt like an outsider.
So who is Faadu?
When I ask him his age, he says: 27.5. He studied electronic engineering at Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, I.P. University, Delhi. He specialized in the 'communications' branch. He's worked as a patent analyser in Gurgaon.
In appearance, he looks like a regular guy - jeans, shirt, simple haircut. Not hip-hoppish at all. In his new track 'I vs Myself', he says: 'Naa hai gale mein haar, na koi super car/ Meri chhoti si duniya studio ki chaar divaar.'
This is what makes Faadu so special. He is a born rapper (Eminem is a big inspiration) but he doesn't feel the need to take on the trappings of the genre. He doesn't wear oversized pendants. He doesn't wear expensive sneakers. He doesn't own a flashy car. He rides a simple city motorbike - a Bajaj Pulsar.
In '50 Ladkiyan', he raps: 'Rukhi si class or sukhe se lectures attend karta hu/ Fir koi item dikh jaye to door se he aanhe bharta hu/ Karu b kya cuz I don't have that much of liquidity/ Impressing her requires at least a Honda City.'