I make music for myself. My goal to entertain comes second

Recently, The Business Standard chatted with SkibKhan about his new album, his early influences and what the future holds

March 13, 2022, 11:10 a.m.

Last modified: March 13, 2022, 11:41 am

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

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Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Skib Khan’s grandmother, Late Zaman Ara, was a writer for the Begum magazine.

She once wrote a poetry book about her grandchildren, which included Skib. As he read his grandmother’s poetry by her, he was fascinated by how she wrote about the things that happened around her. Inspired by his grandmother, Skib started to write from an early age.

“I failed an exam once and my father got very angry. I wrote an angry poem about him.”

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

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Skib Khan.  Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Bangladeshi rapper Khan Md. Sayeed, popularly known as SkibKhan, released his first solo album ‘Bangla Tape (Vol 1)’ on 10 March. When you listen to the album, it becomes very apparent that writing still plays a very important role in his creative pursuits.

Skib believes there are only two types of music listeners: Ones who listen for the lyrics, and the ones who listen for the music. Skib identifies himself in the former category.

SkibKhan is a founding member of Deshi MCs, the group credited for introducing ‘Bangla Gangsta Rap’ and hip-hop in the country.

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

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Skib Khan.  Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

His latest album explores his everyday experiences growing up and living in Dhaka. The sound of the album felt more contemporary and his lyrics from him talk about a variety of topics, ranging from men’s mental health to recent events in Bangladesh.

“I tried to include a diverse range of music in Bangla Tape (Vol 1). My track ‘Kanna’ deals with men’s mental health. We don’t particularly see many discussions on men’s mental health. The album explores most of the things a boy experiences every day in Dhaka,” he said. “You won’t find many similarities between one track from the next.”

Skib’s passion for music was influenced by his family. His mother was a student at Chayanaut, his father was a very avid listener of music.

“There was a turntable in our home. My family brought it back from Germany before I was born,” he said. “My elder brothers would listen to Warfaze, Iron Maiden, and other rock bands. I inherited my passion for music from them.”

His love for poetry eventually led him to write lyrics. Skib later learned to play the harmonium for two years before exploring different genres of music.

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

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Skib Khan.  Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Skib Khan. Photo: Noor-A-Alam

Listening to Eminem and Tupac Shakur was a life-changing experience for him. They were Skib’s first look into the world of rap and hip-hop. As he explained, “Eminem’s 8 miles was an eye-opening experience for me.” However, nu metal also greatly influenced his music, as he is a fan of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.

When Skib and the Deshi MCs first started making music, rock bands had already established a fanbase in Bangladesh. But they believed they could do the same for the rap and hip-hop scene. As he explained, “In the early days, we didn’t get much of a response from the masses. There were no other rap groups in the country.”

“If you look now, rap and hip-hop music is pretty common nowadays. You will find at least one rapper in every district,” he added.

Before Bangla Tape (Vol 1), Skib’s last single was ‘N3W AG3 (ProbLAME) feat. IamRizwan’, released in November last year. He also released a new single with the Deshi MCs titled ‘Drill Song’, last month. Skib believes that his lyrics have become more mature in recent times. He wants to continue developing his own style and make more of a contribution to the emerging rap scene in Bangladesh.

“I make music for myself. My goal to entertain comes second. I might also have a message to society through my music from time to time,” he said. “My core listeners, who have been listening to me since day one, still love my music. That’s what matters to me the most.”

The artist hopes to release Bangla Tape’s second volume after Eid-Ul-Fitr. The second volume will possibly have a lot more appearances from Deshi MCs, according to Skib.

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