Babar Mangi: From Struggle to Studio Spotlight

Meet the dynamic force of Pakistani hip-hop, the one and only Babar Mangi. Hailing from the vibrant cultural tapestry of Pakistan, Babar Mangi has carved his niche in the music scene with his electrifying Sindhi hip-hop beats and mesmerizing lyrical prowess.

Renowned as a rapper extraordinaire, Babar Mangi’s musical journey is a testament to his unyielding passion for music and his relentless pursuit of excellence. With a knack for crafting infectious beats and weaving compelling narratives through his rap verses, Babar Mangi has captivated audiences across diverse cultures in Pakistan. What sets him apart is not just his undeniable talent but also his remarkable journey of self-education, mastering the intricacies of music writing and production all on his own.

His recent smash hit “Aayi Aayi” for Coke Studio Season 15 stands as a testament to his rising star, garnering over 13 million views within a mere three weeks of its release, solidifying his status as a rising star in the Pakistani music scene. Brace yourselves as Babar Mangi continues to redefine the landscape of Sindhi hip-hop, one beat at a time.

Baber Mangi

Where were you born? Where did you get your elementary and formal education from?

I was born in Sukkur, got my Early education from Saint-Xavier High School and did my intermediate privately. Later, I moved to Karachi and graduated in Media Sciences in the Department of Filmmaking.

How many siblings do you have and is anyone in showbiz? Tell us about your family?

I have three siblings in my family excluding me. My eldest brother is an Australian citizen living in Malborne. My younger brother plays and practices in Karate and he is a gold medalist and won many international matches/competitions. No one in my family is from the showbiz field, I’m the only one who’s working in the industry presently.

Did you learn music or you are self-learned?

Yes, I am self-educated, I learned about music writing, and music production all by myself with the help of YouTube, one doesn’t need any kind of classes as everything is available online. One just has to take the initiative. I guess a laptop and a mic are all one needs other than natural talent to produce your music.

Are you inspired by anyone in the music industry? If yes then whom and why? If not then explain your style in your own words for our audience who are curious about you.

I am inspired by Eminem, J .Cole, and Kendrick Lamar because their stories are vivid and I like vivid storytelling through the rap. Now I listen to all kinds of Genres. I worked on my craft by working hard and putting in effort, so after some time it’s developed, and we also find our personal style with time naturally.

I didn’t choose the Sindhi language or audience as a preference or choice; it is just my mother tongue and I was comfortable with it so it just happened naturally. It’s who I am at the end of the day and I thought to myself if being a Sindhi I wouldn’t do that then who else would do better than me? Another reason why I ended up being a Sindhi Rapper was that being an artist audience love and appreciation were there which is very important for the artists, and back in that period there were no Sindhi Rappers as such so felt the urge to pursue it in the Sindhi language.

Are you like other rappers or do you have a distinctive style from other rappers nowadays?

I believe in being your true self. So, I don’t imitate anyone or pretend to be somebody else. I want to keep my individual unique style by all means, which develops with the passage of time.  My natural style is the way I communicate which is naturally showcased in my rap.

Baber Mangi

Rap is already a niche market in Pakistan, and Sindhi has become far more niche, so are you exactly promoting rap music or the Sindhi language itself?

Firstly When I started rapping in the Sindhi language, I realized early on that it has a vast variety to portray circumstances surroundings, and ambiance, and it’s much easier to express in a language with such a rich heritage, with the help of words and vocabulary. Secondly, there aren’t many mainstream artists doing it, so now I’m promoting the Sindhi language and Sindhi rap at the same time.

Which one was your first song? and was there any inspiration for that song?

My first song was “Gundo thyo ahn”, it went viral in 2015, it’s not anymore on YouTube though.  My inspiration was from a person I had some conflict with, as I couldn’t beat him and I have the writing skills so instead of getting into a physical dispute with him I prefer to use my writing skills as a tool to express my emotions that’s how and wrote my first song.

Did you face any obstacles while becoming a rapper in the Music industry?

I don’t think that I faced any major obstacles as such. I wasn’t dependent on the results solely; I was just doing it with passion. For example, people play games like cricket, football, and video games to relax, I used to make music instead of gaming, so making music was like a relaxing game for me, irrespective of what many people were pointing out to, was that I have been doing it for some time and not getting any recognition, still I carried on and took it as a journey to success one day.

What was your family’s reaction when you told them you only wanted to become a singer for your future plans?

I didn’t communicate to my family as such that I wanted to become a rapper only, I had been a multi-tasker all along, doing Photography (covering around more than 300 weddings), Videography, and Graphic designing to earn. So, my family was very supportive from the beginning especially my father is like a friend to me, and my mother always used to ask about my upcoming songs and video releases. However, I had been seriously and consistently making music throughout the year as I had a gut feeling that one day this was going to take me to a successful path.

Was your family supportive of you being a rapper? Tell us about your journey?

My family has been supportive as I mentioned before. About my journey, Initially, I wasn’t a music producer, I didn’t know how to make music professionally and I had no producer at that time. I was making rap songs on U-tube videos that weren’t of good quality as I used to record them in the car and my family also gave me a separate room to make music so could have some personal space still quality suffered. And s Later on, I joined S. Zabist Karachi Campus, where I had my own room space, and I could make music easily with freedom after doing my assignments. Meanwhile, I got connected to other local musicians and then started music production in 2018. My first song as a music producer was released during Covid time, called “Corona Vaccine”.

Baber Mangi

How would you explain your journey from your 1st song to Coke studio season 15? Elaborate?

My Coke studio journey started as I was already listening to Coke Studia Season 14 and noticed that young rappers like Kaifi Khalil,Eva-B and Young Stunners are getting recognized. Meanwhile, my elder brother suggested I should make my way to Coke Studio, but I didn’t know exactly how to do that. I started contacting Mr. Zulfi of Coke Studio through DMS of my latest track links on Instagram, but he didn’t respond to me for a whole good year, so I won’t suggest newbies to follow this mode of action at all. In the meantime, I was posting regularly. I posted a song “Hikro kafi aan” on YouTube and  Mr.Zulfi watched it, appreciated my work, and offered me to work together with him. Everything started on WhatsApp. The song, composing, and almost everything with ongoing communication, back and forth, was a long journey that I followed patiently with enthusiasm. Meanwhile, the vocalist Nauman was discovered by Mr.Zulfi, who later searched and discovered the Local women shown in the song of Coke Studio, and it all carried on for more than a year till the final product. So a lot of hard work and effort has to be put in, nothing comes easy.

Do you write your songs or does someone write them for you?

Yes I write all my songs. It’s been a few months since I hired a writer whose Sindhi and his name is “Amjad Minani”. I believe that two minds are always better than one, it’s more productive that way, whether you are a singer or a rapper. Above all one should know how to write by oneself, then hire anyone for more productivity and creativity.

Are you a good singer or a good songwriter? How would you rate yourself?

It’s difficult to say if I’m a good singer or a writer, all I would say is, that there is always room for improvement and growth and I have a long way to go as for me it’s only a beginning and I have a long way to go InshaAllah.

How would you describe Babar Mangi ( yourself )in one line?

Describing myself in a one-liner would be that “Babar Mangi” is a guy with a pocket full of dreams, and who wants to achieve his endless dreams.

What is your marital status?

No, I am not married as of yet, will see to it in the coming future.

Any love affair, and any lost love?

My love affair and passion are for singing and my work only.

Belonging to this industry, is Love more important than finances and social status? Which one is your priority?

I think for me a particular balance has to be maintained between one’s personal love life and financial status to survive successfully.  A balanced approach is always appreciated.

Do you make your music videos and direct them as well?

I make my own music videos with the help of my friends to direct & shoot the music videos. I recently met a guy whose name is “Aarab Khan” he’s producing my music videos now as I do connect with him more & we are looking forward to working together. Although I do give creative directions as I studied filmmaking,  but as want to focus more on music, meanwhile others can do creative work too and we can work collectively.

In rare cases, If some project is really close to my heart then I direct that project on my own.

Baber Mangi

What is your dream as a singer? Anything big you want to achieve in the future?

One of my dreams as a singer is that I would love to perform in front of a huge mob of audience singing my songs along with me, and another one is that I want Sindhi rap Music to make it big on the world map and to be listened by all the people worldwide like K-POP, Spanish, Punjabi music etc. I am Working towards making more good rap songs for the future and making my dreams come true.

Do you earn a handsome amount in this profession to earn a good, decent living or are you still in a of your life?

I do sometimes get good projects in a month or so, not getting any shows yet, and just recently did Coke studio, so for a stable amount, when I start getting good shows and more work, more money will be generated automatically from multiple avenues. For now, I’m making money from my Projects and my Music production mainly, which is not that stable, but with time I’m sure more revenues will be generated as work progresses towards betterment.

Any side hustle other than being a singer and a rapper?

Yes, I have multiple skills other than being a rapper like writing, directing, and Music productions which I use as a side hustle too. So I do earn from my music productions and also I write for other people for their projects, even if I am not getting shows as of now I can use my other skills to earn. So multiple skills are important and very useful for the long haul.

What would be your message for today’s generation who want to pursue their career as a singer and rapper?

My message for the young generation who wants to become rappers in the future is that Firstly” Be your authentic self”, don’t try to be someone else, and Secondly” Believe in yourself” and what you want to achieve.