"There were a lot of palpitations"
Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia, most known by Badshah, revealed his experience with clinical depression and anxiety disorder during a recent interview.
Talking to BBC Asian Network, the musician spoke about the mental health challenges South Asian communities, as well as his own experiences on his journey.
The rapper has been a prominent figure in the Indian music scene for nearly a decade, delivering hits like ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’ and ‘Kala Chashma’.
At 37 years old, he has achieved numerous successes in the UK’s Official Asian Music Chart and kicks off his UK tour in London on November 11, 2023.
Badshah’s influence extends beyond just his musical accomplishments, although, he admits he doesn’t find the fame too comforting:
“You will never find me in the centre of the room, you will always find me in the corner.
“I love the fact that a lot of people love me and I feel the love. But the fame is just a little uncomfortable.”
His rise within the music industry has also presented hurdles, most notably with his own mental struggles.
The musician says that he wished he sought professional help much sooner than he did.
But, there shouldn’t be any judgement and stigma towards mental health support, something which is rife within South Asian culture:
“Therapy is important and you need to realise that it’s OK, it’s absolutely OK.
“What is there not to talk about?
“The strength is to accept that there is something wrong, and if there is something wrong then let’s make it right.”
Alongside his treatment, Badshah states that music has been a massive aid in helping him manage his depression and anxiety.
This revelation came during a flight in 2014. He states:
“I thought it was a heart attack because there were a lot of palpitations.
“I took my phone out, I started writing. Within the next 15 minutes, I was fine. And that’s when I knew, it’s music.
“It helps whenever I go through something, I just write.”
This heart attack-like episode was almost a blessing in disguise as it helped Badshah recognise the ‘healing power’ of his craft.
As he opened up about these fragile moments, he believes it’s this transparency that has resonated with his “real fans”.
And, he’s now working towards breaking the taboo around mental health, expressing:
“I’m extremely vulnerable when I talk about the demons.
“I want to let people know.
“As an artist, sometimes you do not realise the impact that you have is both positive and negative.
“At the end of the day, you’re a responsible citizen, so you have to take care of a lot of things.”