UK Born Indian Rapper Inderpaul Sandhu Rhymes for God Despite Cultural & Religious Expectations
Uk-based Christian rapper, Inderpaul took time off his busy schedule to chat with Rapzilla about his music, faith, what inspires him, and his walk with the Lord.
The Indian rapper was born in Barking, East London where he grew up and spent the majority of his life before moving to Canada for four years. He then found himself moving back to London. An artist’s experience always has a strong influence on the art he creates. Hence, we need to decipher the art against the backdrop of the story of the artist. This is why it is critical we have such conversations with upcoming artists to set the tone for how people will interact with their music.
In case you were wondering, ‘Inderpaul’ happens to be his real name. No, it isn’t his ‘rapper’ name. However, the name has quite an interesting history. His father faced a lot of discrimination when he first moved to the UK, and decided to give Inderpaul a name that would give people the impression that he was European. He added, “So where the original name is Inderpal, he made it ‘Inder-paul’. Many people think I changed it after I became a Christian but that’s legit my name.”
Inderpaul quit his job to pursue music full time and said he did so after God told him to. Though he has received confirmation on a number of occasions, the road hasn’t been smooth either as he faced so many challenges since he set off on this path he is on. He recalls often standing in the living room as a kid and pretending to be performing in front of millions of people. Music has always been a part of his life and at a point, he was even inspired by spoken word artists like Shihan and Daniel Beaty on Def Poetry Jam.
Inderpaul stated that “When I became a Christian in my late teens, I met two of my right-hand men, ‘Unique Creation’ and ‘RUTS’. Hearing them spit bars just as hard and raw as cats did on the street would, but with the message really struck something deep in me.”
This was where things really took off for him as he would start doing shows back to back with these guys.
When asked if he had a defined group of people as his target audience, Inderpaul said “To be honest anyone can get it! Like music breaks barriers period and I’m aiming my microphone at everyone.”
Typical of most rappers, they allow circumstances in their own lives to inform the kind of music they make. Inderpaul is no different. He said he derives inspiration from his struggles, experiences, and flaws along with how God speaks to him through them all. This is probably the reason why he mentioned that his music is for everyone. We are humans and though our challenges may vary, they are challenges nonetheless. So hearing an artist speak about his problems helps you connect with the artist in a special way even if you haven’t gone through the exact things he has.
Inderpaul also mentioned that he has recorded an EP with Unique Creation and RUTS called The Response EP, and it’s available on SoundCloud. The rapper added that the project was birthed out of all the madness that was going on in their neighborhoods at the time and so they decided to just speak on the issues. However, it isn’t enough to just address issues. Most artists end up talking about problems people face in their communities and lives without offering a solution. Inderpaul puts it this way, “We just felt we had to speak on it because everyone else was but they weren’t really trying to speak peace into the storm.”
He went on from there to record his own EP called #iPaulEP. The EP is only available on Bandcamp.
“This was just an eclectic body of work I put out, I probably had some complex spiritual explanation behind this EP but now when I look at it, and it’s plain to see this was clearly an assertion of my new found faith but it was more so aimed at like my family and friends,” Inderpaul explained. “It had to be known, look I’m a Christian now, I believe in Jesus like it is what it is. I told you in word, now I told you in song, leave me be. Amongst it being an outreach and all of that it was kinda like letters in songs to my peoples and my past too actually.”
His latest release is a single entitled “Money Aint A Thing” which was just recently made the track of the week on BBC Asia, which according to him, is a huge non-Christian station in London in general but especially for the Indian/Pakistani/Bengali etc community.
Inderpaul will be dropping two new songs in the next few months. The first song, “DEEP,” will be released on December 18th. In this song, he talks about going deeper in his walk with God. Early next year, on February 22nd, which turns out to be his birthday, he will be releasing the second single entitled “Compromise.”
“This song is based on one of the doors that was opened for me, I had an interview on a non-Christian station and the show was called ‘Tipsy Talk’ so there were loads of bottles in there” revealed Inderpaul. “I ended up drinking quite a bit, now I was able to hold myself down in the station but when I was at the bus stop afterward I knew in myself I had compromised and this song was birthed out of that compromise. Now you can judge me on this, but the truth of the matter is this whole ‘Compromise’ thing is something we’re faced with every day as Christians.”
Inderpaul also had much to say about his journey as a Christian thus far.
In the seven years, I have been a Christian it has truly been strength to strength and faith to faith, whilst being lonely sometimes too as I’m the only Christian in my family. I have been broken and rebuilt over and over again, being made better and stronger than I was. To be honest, I’m in my walk deeper than ever before and I have learned that a walk with God is far from boring, mundane and routine. It is truly an adventure, and if you don’t feel like you are on an adventure with God, I beg you go back to your foundations because I promise you it is.”
Inderpaul has a unique style of delivering his flows, which makes it very natural for one to want to know who the artists he looks up to or who have influenced his art are. He made a long list of artists including Mali Music, Jackie Hill Perry, Sevin, Bizzle etc. He was quick to add that some of the artists who have inspired him are those whose style appeals to him though he might be averse to their message.
If you didn’t know Inderpaul I believe this article has introduced you to him and his music. He is an honest artist who doesn’t shy away from talking about his flaws and challenges.
“I seriously appreciate every single person that genuinely rock’s with me man, this road can be very lonely sometimes and like a random tweet or whatever it is can be so encouraging and yeah I really appreciate everyone that’s feeling my joints and just sharing them and all that good stuff…”