Page semi-protected

Bohemia (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Birth name Roger David
Also known as Bohemia, Punjabi Rap Da Badshah, Raja, The Punjabi Rapper,
Born (1979-10-15) 15 October 1979 (age 36)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan[1]
Origin California, United States
Genres Hip Hop
Years active 2002–present
Labels Sony Music India, Kali Denali Music Universal Music India, T-Series, Speed Records Panj-aab Records.
Associated acts Snoop Dogg, Sean Kingston, Baby Bash, Glasses Malone, Kurupt, Akshay Kumar, Neha Kakkar, Mika Singh, Tigerstyle, Malkit Singh, Gippy Grewal, Sonu Kakkar, Rishi Rich, Taz, Devika Chawla, Coke Studio, Jasmine Sandlas, The Bilz and Kashif, Haji Springer, Sukhe, Guru Randhawa

Roger David (born 15 October 1979),[2] better known by his stage names Bohemia (stylised BOHEMIA) or Raja is a Pakistani American rapper, songwriter and music producer from California regarded as the first ever Desi Hip Hop artist, releasing his first Punjabi rap album in 2002.

Early life

Bohemia was born on 15 October 1979 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. While he was in his early teens his family moved to the United States, settling in San Francisco's Mission District.

Bohemia started learning music from his father, and writing Punjabi poetry around that time.[1] He occasionally played keyboards at local Desi events. He wrote songs and poetry, mostly in Urdu and Punjabi. His mother died of cancer[3] when he was 16 years old. At the same time he got a job at a recording studio in Sacramento. He dropped out of school and left his family to become a full-time musician. Along with a group of other musicians, he toured and playing gigs in the US and Canada, sleeping in cars and on recording studio floors.

He moved to join his cousin in Oakland, who was working at a West Oakland recording studio, and introduced him to a young hip hop producer called Sha One. Sha heard Bohemia reciting something he had written in Punjabi, and asked him to rap it over one of his beats. Over the next few months, Bohemia wrote the lyrics for his debut album Vich Pardesan De (In The Foreign Land) – an autobiographical story of his life as a Desi youngster adapting to life in the US. This album was a new genre of music which is today known as Desi Hip hop. Bohemia claims to be inspired by the poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal. He said in an interview, "People like Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mirza Ghalib are our icons and most of my poetry is inspired by them.[4] For instance, in one of my songs, I talk about 'going beyond the stars', the idea of which is essentially taken from Allama Iqbal's 'Sitaron Se Aagay Jahan Aur Bhi Hain'."[1]


His independent debut album, Vich Pardesan De reached the Top 10 on BBC Radio UK in 2002. The following album, Pesa nasha pyar [Money, intoxication, love][5] 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, including Best Punjabi Album and Best Music Director.[citation needed] It also remained at No. 1 on Planet M chart several weeks.[6] Bohemia toured in 2009. performing in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. He has appeared on several of Universal India's compilations. Bohemia was one of the best-selling artists of the year in 2009 for Universal Music Group India.[citation needed]

Bohemia likes to wear caps and hoodies

He performed the title track for Warner Bros film Chandni Chowk to China, appearing in the film with Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone.[7] A few months later he did the title track for another Akshay Kumar film, 8 x 10 Tasveer.[8] In 2011 he gave a song as a present to Akshay Kumar for his first Hollywood Production Breakaway.[9]

Bohemia also made a voice performance for the film Desi Boyz to set the cameo scene for Sanjay Dutt. In September 2012 he released his fourth album Thousand thoughts.[10] He also produced the album Gulabi for Jasmine Sandlas[11]
In 2013, it won Best Non-Resident Punjabi Album award at PTC Punjabi Music Awards.[12] At the Coke Studio Sessions he was the first rap artist, appearing in their season 5 and performing three songs, as well as the poem 'Geet mere yaad jiven school di kitaab' at Coke Studio.[citation needed]

He recorded a collaboration with Sonu Kakkar and Jamaican American artist Sean Kingston.[13] He is also working with new artists.[14] Bohemia is recording his 5th album Thousand Thoughts Deluxe, which is scheduled to be released in early 2015.[citation needed]


Bohemia Performing Live.

Bohemia toured in 2009 performing in Europe, Asia and America. His work was included in several of Universal India's compilations, including three tracks on The Chart Busters.

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.[15][16][17] In 2014 Bohemia decided to go independent under his own music label Kali Denali Music.[18]

Bohemia appeared in XXL magazine in New York.[6]



Year Album Artist Music Director
2002 Vich Pardesan De Bohemia Bohemia
2006 Pesa nasha pyar Bohemia Bohemia
2009 Da rap star Bohemia Nigeria
2012 Gulabi Jasmine Sandlas Bohemia
2012 Thousand thoughts Bohemia Bohemia

Bollywood Music

Movie Song Year
Chandni Chowk to China Chandni Chowk to China 2009
8 x 10 Tasveer I Got the Picture 2009
Breakaway Sansaar 2011


  • "All Around The World" – Bohemia ft Aman
  • "Kala Doriya" – Bohemia ft Dj Chintu
  • "Evury day" – Bohemia
  • "Paigam" – Bohemia
  • "Sharabi" Gippy Grewal ft. Bohemia (musician)
  • "Keep It G" – Bohemia ft Kurupt
  • "Talli" – Bohemia ft Gitta Bains and Tigerstyle
  • "What Have I Learned" – Bohemia ft Jennifer F
  • "Rooh (the Soul)" – Bohemia
  • "Yaad Anah" – Bohemia
  • "Brand New Swag" – Bohemia ft Haji Springer and Panda Vution
  • "Main" – Bohemia
  • "My Shoes" – MiddleMan ft. Mr. Kay & Bohemia
  • "Meri Bandook" – Bohemia ft. Haji Springer
  • "Koi Ni Parwaa" – Haji Springer ft. Bohemia (musician)
  • "Devil Inside" – Haji Springer ft. Bohemia (musician) & Marty James
  • "Jaguar" – Sukh-E ft. Bohemia (musician)
  • "Yaraan De Siraa Te" – Nishawn Bhullar ft. Bohemia (musician)
  • "Patola" – Guru Randhawa ft. Bohemia (musician)
  • "Akhiyan" – Tony kakkar and Neha Kakkar ft. Bohemia
  • "Mera Joota Ha Japani"
  • "Stolen" – Sahyba ft. Bohemia
  • "Salute" – Bohemia
  • " Koi nahi intro " – Bohemia
  • " Taur " – Bohemia ft. [Gippy Grewal]

Coke Studio

Awards and nominations

Year Recipient/Nominated 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


  1. ^ a b c 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 c Bohemia (30 August 2012). "Bio". Retrieved 25 July 2014. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – Nihal, Tabla Soul Session with Swaati, Bohemia talks with Nihal". BBC. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "iTunes – Music – Pesa Nasha Pyar by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Bohemia Bio | Bohemia Career". MTV. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  7. ^ jfsocc (16 January 2009). "Chandni Chowk to China (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  8. ^ manojharisree (3 April 2009). "8 x 10 Tasveer (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sansaar [Breakaway 2011]". Bohemia The Punjabi Rapper. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "iTunes – Music – Thousand Thoughts by Bohemia". iTunes. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jasmine Sandlas". Facebook. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "PTC Punjabi Music Awards winners". The Times of India. 25 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "BOHEMIA, IRAJ, SEAN KINGSTON". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "BOHEMIA X AVENUE OB – WAKE N BAKE (COMING SOON) ~ Pesa Nasha Pyar – All About Bohemia". Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Sony Music signs Punjabi rapper Bohemia". Daily News & Analysis. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Neha Kakkar Akhiyan Lyrics Bohemia Raps". Indian Times. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Sony Music signs singer Bohemia". Times of India. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Main". BOHEMIA. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 

External links