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Bohemia performing in Houston, Texas in 2009
|Birth name||Roger David|
|Also known as||Raja|
October 15, 1979 |
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Roger David better known by his stage name Bohemia (Urdu: بوھمیہ, Punjabi: ਬੋਹੇਮਿਆ) or Raja (Urdu: راجہ, Punjabi: ਰਾਜਾ) is a Pakistani-American rapper, songwriter, poet and record producer regarded as the first ever Punjabi rapper, releasing the first Punjabi rap album in 2002. He's also known as the inventor and pioneer of Desi hip hop and The King of Desi Rap.
Bohemia was born on October 15, 1979 in Karachi, Sindh into an ethnic Punjabi, Christian family. He also has a bible and a Guru Granth Sahib at his home, as one of his forefathers was Sikh at one point. His father was an employee at Pakistan International Airline. The family were transferred to Lahore, where he spent his childhood, followed by seven years in Peshawar.In his early teens, bohemia arrived with his family in America, settling in San Francisco’s Mission District. Within their first month on the block, He witnessed a young man get murdered over five dollars. The killer was the man’s brother in law. This would be his first lesson on trusting others in the streets of Pardes (the foreign land). Although he had strong knowledge and passion for writing music, he made it a second priority, and began hanging on the street corners to run drugs for local hustlers.
The streets became a priority to Ra, but he would occasionally play keyboards at local Desi events. Through this platform, he gained recognition in the Desi music community. But what struck people most was his ability to write songs or poetry, mostly in Urdu and Punjabi. He was offered a lucrative job at a Sacramento based recording studio and he decided to follow his passion. He packed his bags and left his family behind to become a full-time musician. Along with a crew of other musicians, he was now spending his days on the road, playing gigs throughout the US and Canada, sleeping in cars and on recording studio floors. It would be through this experience that he would learn about stage presence. As the youngest member of the musical family, he came to consider them his older brothers, but as certain members became entangled in hard drugs, the crew fell apart. It was at this point that he, still a teenager, decided to go his separate way. Again, he packed his bags, this time to join his cousin in Oakland, CA. A city known for both its abundance of independent rap labels and it’s uncontrollable murder rate. Devastated by the loss of his friend and heavily influenced by his friends in Oakland, He began to loose focus on his music and indulge in heavy drugs, crime and women. He spent his days hanging in the streets and moving drugs across the 680 and 880 interstate.
Yet and still, Bohemia would be delivered an opportunity which would draw him back to his true passion. His cousin was working on a West Oakland recording studio, when he introduced him to a young hip hop producer called Sha One. Sha was in the process of setting up his own label. He was looking for an artist who had a strong presence both live and on record and he saw this in Ra. He flipped out when he heard Bohemia reciting something he’d written in Punjabi, and asked him to rap it over one of his beats. He has never rapped seriously before, but when he did, it was as if he’d found the perfect expressive medium for his writing.
Over the next few months, he wrote a library of lyrics. This would become arsenal for his debut album Vich Pardesan De (In The Foreign Land) – an autobiographical story of his life as a Desi youngster adopting to the streets of America. This album brought forth not only a voice for young Desis who were constantly balancing between Desi culture and American culture, but a new genre of music: Desi Rap.
His independent debut album, reached the Top 10 on BBC Radio UK in 2002. The following album, Pesa Nasha Pyar [Money, intoxication, love] became the first full-length Punjabi rap album released by a major label. He subsequently signed a multi-record deal with music label Universal Music Group [2006 – 2009]. In 2006 Pesa Nasha Pyar was on the Top 10 downloads of Maxim, and No. 3 on Planet M chart India.
Da Rap Star, his third album, received four nominations at the UK Asian Music Awards and PTC Punjabi music awards It also remained at No. 1 on Planet M chart several weeks. Bohemia toured in 2009. performing in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. He has appeared on several of Universal India's compilations.
He performed the title track for Warner Bros film Chandni Chowk to China, appearing in the film with Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone. A few months later he did the title track for another Akshay Kumar film, 8 x 10 Tasveer. In 2011 he gave a song as a present to Akshay Kumar for his first Hollywood Production Breakaway. Bohemia also featured in the track with Mika Singh on the film, Desi Boyz's track "Subha Hone Na De".
In September 2012 he released his fourth album Thousand Thoughts. In 2013, it won Best Non-Resident Punjabi Album award at PTC Punjabi Music Awards. At the Coke Studio Sessions he was the first rap artist, appearing in their fifth season where he performed three songs. Bohemia has also recorded a collaboration with Sonu Kakkar and Jamaican American artist Sean Kingston.
In 2016 Bohemia was signed with India's largest music company, T-Series. His fifth album, Skull & Bones: The Final Chapter, was completely released on February 13, 2017 by T-Series and Kali Denali Music. The album hit the number one spot on iTunes. The album had a total of 10 tracks: the classic 'Bijlee' that narrates the tragic tale of a next door girl due to peer pressure; 'Zamana Jali' in which he told about the Fake World or How the world is it now; All the Tracks in Album have their own Special Quality. Commercial Hit-makers Badshah, Raftaar and Bollywood sensation Armaan Malik too tweeted acknowledging the album by the Desi hip hop pioneer.
Awards and nominations
|2010||"Da Rap Star"||Best Punjabi Album at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Nominated|
|2010||"Da Rap Star"||Best Sound Recording at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Nominated|
|2010||"Da Rap Star"||Best Punjabi Music Director at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Nominated|
|2010||"Da Rap Star"||Best International Album at UK Asian Music Awards||Nominated|
|2013||"Thousand Thoughts"||Best International Album at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Won|
|2015||"Excellence Music"||Award of Excellence - Music at FOG Festival Of Globe||Won|
|2015||"Music Career"||Make it large at Mirchi Music Awards Punjabi||Won|
|2016||"Jaguar"||Best Duo at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Nominated|
|2016||"Patola"||Best Duo at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Won|
|2017||"Hathiyar 2"||Best Duo at PTC Punjabi Music Awards||Nominated|
|2002||Vich Pardesan De||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2006||Pesa Nasha Pyar||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2009||Da Rap Star||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2016||KDM Mixtape Volume 1||Various||Various|
|2017||Skull & Bones: The Final Chapter||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|Chandni Chowk to China||Chandni Chowk to China||2009|
|8 x 10 Tasveer||I Got the Picture||2009|
|Desi boyz||Subha Hone Na De||2011|
Singles and collaborations
|Year||Track||Artist||Music director/Album name|
|2003||All Around The World||Bohemia ft. Aman Ali[disambiguation needed]||Bohemia|
|2006||Do Dat Dance||Bohemia ft. Bally Sagoo||Bohemia|
|2006||Favourite Spot||Bohemia ft. Sin & Snoop Dogg||Pesa Nasha Pyar|
|2006||Kurti||Sir Punj ft. Bohemia||Pesa Nasha Pyar|
|2006||Sahara||K-Ji ft. Bohemia||Pesa Nasha Pyar|
|2006||Mundiyan Ton Bachke||Curta-C ft. Bohemia||Pesa Nasha Pyar|
|2006||2 of the Best||R.D.[disambiguation needed] ft. Bohemia||Pesa Nasha Pyar|
|2007||Keep It G||Bohemia ft. Kurupt||Bohemia|
|2009||Ek Tera Pyar||Bohemia ft. Devika Chawla||Da Rap Star|
|2009||Dil||Bohemia ft. Devika Chawla||Da Rap Star|
|2009||Ishq||Bohemia ft. Malkit Singh||Da Rap Star|
|2009||Sahara Labh De||Bohemia ft. J. Hind||Da Rap Star|
|2009||Kala Doriya||Bohemia ft. Dj Chintu||Bohemia|
|2009||Cc2c (Hindi)||Bohemia||Chandni Chowk to China|
|2009||I Got the Picture||Bohemia||8 x 10 Tasveer|
|2009||Chalo||Bohemia ft. IQ[disambiguation needed]||Bohemia|
|2009||Sher-E-Punjab||Bohemia ft. Mika Singh||Mika Singh|
|2009||Dunali||Bohemia ft. Mika Singh||Bohemia ft. Mika Singh|
|2010||My Shoes||Bohemia ft. MiddleMan ft. Mr. Kay &||Bohemia|
|2010||Sh Sh Sharabi||Bohemia ft. Gippy Grewal||Bohemia ft. Gippy Grewal|
|2010||Holi Holi Nach||Tarsame Singh Saini ft. Bohemia||Tarsame Singh Saini|
|2010||Hathiyar||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Jatinder Shah|
|2010||Daru||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Gitta Bains|
|2010||What Have I Learned||Bohemia ft. Jennifer[disambiguation needed]||Bohemia|
|2011||Bandookaan||Desi Beam ft. Bohemia||Desi Beam|
|2011||Bulawa||Bohemia ft. Pakman & D-Naar,||Bohemia|
|2012||Chadd Ditta||Bohemia ft. Mixman Shawn||Bohemia|
|2012||Maar Charapa||Sir Punj ft. Bohemia||Sir Punj Richi Rich (Unreleased Track)|
|2012||Beparwah||Devika Chawla ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||Na Sun||Jasmine Sandlas ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||Aja Ni Aja||Baby Bash ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||IDGAF||Haji Springer ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||Right Now||3AM Sukhi[disambiguation needed] ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||Adhi Raat||Jasmine Sandlas ft. Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2012||Jaane Jana||J.Hind ft. Bohemia||J.Hind|
|2012||Talli||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Tigerstyle|
|2012||School Di Kitaab||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2013||Rooh (the Soul)||Bohemia||Bohemia|
|2013||Rooh Remix||Bohemia ft. Pardhaan[disambiguation needed]||Bohemia|
|2013||My Ride Remix||The Bilz & Kashif ft. Glasses Malone, Bohemia, Drega, Nivla|
|2014||Bad Boy||D Major ft. Bohemia||Tigerstyle|
|2014||Brand New Swag||Bohemia ft. Haji Springer, 2014Panda||Bohemia|
|2014||Preet||Haji Springer ft. Pree Mayall Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2014||U n Me||Sean Kingston ft. Sonu Kakkar, Janani[disambiguation needed] & Bohemia||Iraj|
|2014||Akkha Mumbai||Mun E. Fame ft. Bohemia||Mun E. Fame|
|2014||Fire||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2014||Saheli||Gurdeep Mehndi ft. Bohemia||Gurdeep Mehndi|
|2014||Wake N Bake||Bohemia ft. Avenue OB||Avenue OB|
|2014||Meri Bandook||Haji Springer ft. Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2015||Devil inside||Haji Springer ft. Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2015||Koi Ni Parwaa||Haji Springer ft. Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2015||Jaguar||Sukh-E ft. Bohemia||Sukh-E|
|2015||Tension Stress||Master-D ft. Bohemia||Master-D|
|2015||Yaaran De Siran Te||Nishawn Bhullar ft. Bohemia||Rupin Kahlon|
|2015||Ankhiyan||Tony Kakkar ft. Neha Kakkar Bohemia||Tony Kakkar|
|2015||Akhiyan Unplugged||Tony Kakkar ft. Neha Kakkar Bohemia||Tony Kakkar|
|2015||Stolen||Sahyba ft. Bohemia||Rishi Rich|
|2015||Patola||Guru Randhawa ft. Bohemia||Preet Hundal|
|2015||Taur||Bohemia ft. Gippy Grewal||Haji Springer|
|2015||Level||SunnyBoy ft. Haji Springer Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2015||Mere Baare||Bohemia||Haji Springer|
|2015||Muqabala||KS Makhan ft. Bohemia||Prince G|
|2016||Setti||Gippy Grewal ft. Bohemia||Jatinder Shah|
||Haji Springer & Shaxe Oriah|
|2016||Gametime||Haji Springer & Shaxe Oriah|
|2016||Zaalima||Waqar Ex ft. Bohemia||The Magician|
|2016||Gang Bang Operation||
|2016||Club Pub||Ramji Gulati|
|2016||Gaddi Meri||Bohemia ft. Pardhaan||Haji Springer|
|2016||Challa||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Deep Jandu|
|2016||Hathyar 2||Gitta Bains ft. Bohemia||Deep Jandu|
|2016||Teri Kamar Pe||Tony Kakkar ft. Bohemia||Tony Kakkar|
|2017||Tamasha||Sajjad Ali ft. Bohemia||Ali Mustafa and Sajjad Ali|
|2017||MTBK||Bohemia & Lazarus ft. Deep Jandu & Shaxe Oriah|
|2017||Weed Da Saroor||J Lucky ft. Bohemia||Deep Jandu|
|2017||No Make Up||Bilal Saeed ft. Bohemia||Bloodline Music|
|2017||Meri Bandook (Refix)||Haji Springer ft. Bohemia & Pardhaan||Haji Springer|
|2017||Patake||Satti Satwinder ft. Bohemia & Haji Springer||Haji Springer|
- School Di Kitab
- Paise Da Nasha
- Kandyaari Dhol Geet
- Mahmood, Rafay. "Bohemia: More than just forties and shorties". The Express Tribune. Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "TDIM – Bohemia's Birthday – 15th Oct". Mtv.in.com. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Bohemia (30 August 2012). "Bio". Thepunjabirapper.com. Retrieved 25 July 2014.[unreliable source?]
- "iTunes – Music – Pesa Nasha Pyar by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Bohemia Bio | Bohemia Career". MTV. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- jfsocc (16 January 2009). "Chandni Chowk to China (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- manojharisree (3 April 2009). "8 x 10 Tasveer (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Sansaar [Breakaway 2011]". Bohemia The Punjabi Rapper. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Thousand Thoughts by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "PTC Punjabi Music Awards winners". The Times of India. 25 March 2013.
- "BOHEMIA, IRAJ, SEAN KINGSTON". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Sony Music signs Punjabi rapper Bohemia". Daily News & Analysis. Dnaindia.com. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Neha Kakkar Akhiyan Lyrics Bohemia Raps". Indian Times. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "Sony Music signs singer Bohemia". Times of India. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Main". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015.