Bohemia (rapper)

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Bohemia performing in Houston, Texas in 2009
Background information
Birth name Roger David
Also known as Raja
Born (1979-10-15) October 15, 1979 (age 37)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan[1]
Musical career
Years active 2001–present
Associated acts

Roger David (born October 15, 1979) better known by his stage name Bohemia (Urdu: بوہیمیا‎, Punjabi: ਬੋਹੇਮਿਆ), stylized BOHEMIA, 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.

Early life[edit]

Bohemia was born on October 15, 1979[2] in Karachi, Sindh[3] 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.

Bohemia performing live at Canada's Wonderland in 2014

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][4] 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.[3]

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.[5] 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.[6] A few months later he did the title track for another Akshay Kumar film, 8 x 10 Tasveer.[7] In 2011 he gave a song as a present to Akshay Kumar for his first Hollywood Production Breakaway.[8] Bohemia also featured in the track with Mika Singh on the film, Desi Boyz's track "Subha Hone Na De".

In May 2012, Sony Music India signed Bohemia. As part of the association, Sony Music managed his music albums, launches and shows under its artist management program.[9][10][11]

In September 2012 he released his fourth album Thousand Thoughts.[12] In 2013, it won Best Non-Resident Punjabi Album award at PTC Punjabi Music Awards.[13] 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.[14]

In 2015 Bohemia decided to launch his own music label Kali Denali Music.[15] Bohemia appeared in XXL magazine in New York.[5]

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[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
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



Year Album Music Director Artist
2002 Vich Pardesan De Bohemia Bohemia
2006 Pesa Nasha Pyar Bohemia Bohemia
2009 Da Rap Star Bohemia Bohemia
2012 Gulabi Jasmine Sandlas Bohemia
2012 Thousand Thoughts Bohemia Bohemia
2016 KDM Mixtape Volume 1 Various Various
2017 Skull & Bones: The Final Chapter Bohemia Bohemia

Film Soundtracks[edit]

Movie Song Year
Chandni Chowk to China Chandni Chowk to China 2009
8 x 10 Tasveer I Got the Picture 2009
Breakaway Sansaar 2011
Desi boyz Subha Hone Na De 2011
Faraar Taur 2015

Singles and collaborations[edit]

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
2006 Evury day Bohemia Bohemia
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 Sansaar Bohemia 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 ft. Bohemia Bohemia
2012 Adhi Raat Jasmine Sandlas ft. Bohemia Bohemia
2012 Jaane Jana J.Hind ft. Bohemia J.Hind
2012 Paigam Bohemia Bohemia
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 Bohemia
2013 My Ride Remix The Bilz & Kashif ft. Glasses Malone, Bohemia, Drega, Nivla
2014 Phenomenon Bohemia Bohemia
2014 Bad Boy D Major ft. Bohemia Tigerstyle
2014 Brand New Swag Bohemia ft. Haji Springer, 2014Panda Bohemia
2014 Yaad Anah Bohemia 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 Main Bohemia Bohemia
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 Salute Bohemia Bohemia
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
2016 Muqabla
  • J. Hind
  • Bohemia
  • Shaxe Oriah
Haji Springer & Shaxe Oriah
2016 Gametime
  • Bohemia
  • J.Hind
  • Shaxe Oriah
  • Pardhaan
  • Haji Springer
  • Raxstar
  • 3AM Sukhi
  • Young Desi
  • Gangis Khan
  • Deep Jandu
Haji Springer & Shaxe Oriah
2016 Zaalima Waqar Ex ft. Bohemia The Magician
2016 Gang Bang Operation
Gitta Bains
  • Bohemia
  • Doughboi Fiji
Deep Jandu
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
2017 Gold Digger Gud Luck ft. Bohemia Deep Jandu
2017 Purana Wala Bohemia ft. J.Hind Bohemia

2017 thodi wala till simranjeet ft Bohemia

Coke Studio[edit]

  • School Di Kitab
  • Paise Da Nasha
  • Kandyaari Dhol Geet


  1. ^ Mahmood, Rafay. "Bohemia: More than just forties and shorties". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "TDIM – Bohemia's Birthday – 15th Oct". 15 October 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Bohemia (30 August 2012). "Bio". Retrieved 25 July 2014. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ "iTunes – Music – Pesa Nasha Pyar by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Bohemia Bio | Bohemia Career". MTV. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  6. ^ jfsocc (16 January 2009). "Chandni Chowk to China (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  7. ^ manojharisree (3 April 2009). "8 x 10 Tasveer (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Sansaar [Breakaway 2011]". Bohemia The Punjabi Rapper. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sony Music signs Punjabi rapper Bohemia". Daily News & Analysis. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Neha Kakkar Akhiyan Lyrics Bohemia Raps". Indian Times. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sony Music signs singer Bohemia". Times of India. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "iTunes – Music – Thousand Thoughts by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "PTC Punjabi Music Awards winners". The Times of India. 25 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "BOHEMIA, IRAJ, SEAN KINGSTON". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Main". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 

External links[edit]