Pakistan has certainly produced some of the continent’s best artists. Whether it be singers like Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Noor Jahan, actors such as Nadeem Baig and Shabnam, or poets such as Parveen Shakir and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistan has added its fair share of legends in the subcontinent. Change is unavoidable. With the passage of time, the world has opened its hearts and ears to a variety of genres of music, with hip-hop unquestionably reaching its pinnacle. Today, we have been fortunate enough to arrange a “Hip-hop Conversation” with a Pakistani-American artist Lazarus, is the stage name of Kamran Rashid Khan who has made a significant national and worldwide contribution to the hip-hop industry’s ascent. Collaborating with top-notch Musicians of such as D12, Bohemia, Ghostface Killah, KXNG Crooked, Hopsin, etc, Lazarus is making us all proud!
Fashion Collection: What first got you into music?
Lazarus: I always looked at music as a form of remedy. There was a healing factor in it that could make your mood go from bad to good or get you motivated to complete a goal. It was a driving force for me.
Fashion Collection: What made you keep your stage name, Lazarus?
Lazarus: Represents resurrection and I always feel like I write bars with the intent to bring back Hip Hop to its purest form.
Fashion Collection: How do you divide your time between your love and your work as a doctor who is occupied with that vocation?
Lazarus: It’s all about successful time management. I block out specific hours of the day for each profession and maintain my focus on each.
Fashion Collection: Who and What inspired you to make Hip-Hop music?
Lazarus: I’m heavily inspired by Wu-Tang, Nas, Rakim, Talib Kweli, emcees with a strong sense of artistry and message.
Fashion Collection: Where do you see the Hip-Hop Industry in Pakistan in the next 5 years?
Lazarus: I definitely see it evolving to something greater. I’m very proud to see kids in Pakistani using Hip Hop in a similar way that I used to when I was growing up.
Fashion Collection: What piece of advice would you like to give to the struggling music artist?
Lazarus: To never give up. I had 100,000 thoughts of giving up but never acted on it once. If you love what you do, stay doing it. You’re only going to get better with time.
Fashion Collection: How do you take criticism?
Lazarus: As long as it’s coming from a proper source and from credible individuals, I love it. Constructive criticism from genuine fans has been a molding factor for my progress over the years.
Fashion Collection: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Lazarus: My music usually conveys a lot of strength and passion. I want my music to motivate someone to accomplish their goals. They need that energy, that’s what I give. Lots of energy.
Fashion Collection: What is your creative process like?
Lazarus: I start with finding a beat that I love. It has to be a beat I love or else the rest of the process is a waste. I then build a hook, concept, and verses around that. I like to sit with my engineer through the mixing and mastering process and am a perfectionist in the studio. If I don’t feel my product has longevity, I won’t put it out.
Fashion Collection: Which Bollywood Or Hollywood Artist Would You Like To Collaborate with in the future?
Lazarus: I don’t really have any interest in working with a Bollywood or Hollywood artist.
Fashion Collection: What is one message you would give to your fans?
Lazarus: Life is short, follow your dreams and your passions. Educated yourself and go to school also. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do in life.
Fashion Collection: What would you be doing right now, if the music wasn’t your career?
Lazarus: Being a doctor full time. But now I’m a full-time doctor and rapper.
Fashion Collection: Struggles make you strong! What struggles did you have to go through to reach this level?
Lazarus: I struggled with just about everything. Mainly fitting in. Growing up in America without a true sense of identity, being torn through racism, and not being accepted, it was always tough for me to find a home where I felt I belonged. Then balancing my love for Hip Hop with my education and having to fight through everyone saying I could never accomplish both.
Fashion Collection: How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Lazarus: It’s dope. People don’t have to be signed to a major label anymore. Independent artists are thriving now better than ever because they have a direct medium to the fans.
Fashion Collection: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Lazarus: Killing way too many emcees.
Fashion Collection: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Lazarus: To have patience. Nothing comes overnight but a steady grind will lead you to the stars. Some words from my late Uncle Mahmood.
Fashion Collection: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Lazarus: To embrace rappers with lyricism and message and put that on bigger platforms. Mumble rap has enough push behind it.