TNM spoke to the 25-year-old rapper, who announced last month that he was quitting music for religious reasons. He has about 2.36 million followers on YouTube.

Ruhaan Arshad while posing for a picture through his mobile in red colourRuhaanArshad/ByArrangement
Features Art Monday, December 06, 2021 - 20:41

Miya Bhai, Hyderabad rapper Ruhaan Arshad’s song that holds a mirror to Old City culture, has a whopping 530 million views on YouTube. One of the very few Deccani rappers with a quintessentially Hyderabadi style, he has managed to touch millions of hearts within a short period of time. So it came as a surprise to his fans when last month the composer-singer announced that he was quitting music for religious reasons.

The News Minute spoke to the 25-year-old rapper on the thoughts behind his decision to quit music, how his life has changed post that and what’s in store for his millions of subscribers in the future.

“I pursued music out of passion,” says Ruhaan, who does not have any professional training in music, but composed tunes to his own lyrics. He shot to fame in less than five years of starting his own YouTube channel, Ruhaan Arshad official, which has 2.36 million followers. Most of his songs showcase the local lingo, cuisine and the Hyderabadi way of life.

But now, Ruhaan has not only stopped composing music, but is starting to quit music altogether. “I’m not even listening to music anymore. And I don’t have any regrets either.”

Revealing the reason behind quitting music, the singer says, “I realised that it is haraam (sin) in Islam to do what I was doing, music is one of the things that is prohibited.” He adds that he quit music at a time when his popularity was rising. “I could have become more wealthy and slowly announced that I’m quitting. But I didn’t want to do that,” he says.

Last year, Ruhaan composed Bhai Bhai, a song for Bollywood star Salman Khan, which has been uploaded on the actor’s YouTube channel.

“I was also getting offers from Bollywood and TV shows. That was the life I once dreamt of, but I wasn’t happy. There was no satisfaction. I started realising that what I was doing is not right according to my religion,” he recalls.

Ruhaan says that when he was contemplating quitting the music industry, he started getting major offers to compose another version of the ‘Miya Bhai’ song and other rap songs. He was also invited to join the Bigg Boss Hindi reality show as a contestant for the next season. However, he rejected the offer and says that he has no regrets and will stick to his decision.

He further says that according to his religion, there are many things that are considered haraam, be it drinking, smoking, doing drugs and others. “Now, I want to motivate youth and others who are addicted to these bad habits. If I could leave behind music, despite the fame and money and what was my childhood passion, others can also try quitting other things that are considered haraam in Islam,” says Ruhaan, revealing his future plans. He says he wants to make videos aimed at encouraging people to quit ‘bad’ habits.

Ruhaan, who is a college dropout, started focussing on music videos since his Intermediate. “By the time I was in graduation, I had already become popular. Whenever I used to go to college, students from other colleges used to crowd and I wasn’t treated like a regular student. I did not like that feeling,” he recalls.

He further adds, “I did not want so much attention, I could not even have a plate of pani puri outside or dinner at a restaurant. People used to offer me a special table and things like that. I was not comfortable with all that. But after quitting, though people still recognise me wherever I go, I feel comfortable interacting with them. If they ask me, I happily oblige for a selfie. I tell them that I would like to be treated normally. I feel happy and content.”

Family members and others in his circle have been supportive about his move to quit music. “My parents and family, they did not have any objection when I entered the music industry. The same way, when I quit, they welcomed my decision,” says Ruhaan.

Though Ruhaan has given up music, he has now started to do video blogs. “I have not quit YouTube, I’ll be doing personal vlogs to explore and show people different places,” he adds. His wish is to show Hyderabad and other beautiful places to the rest of the world through his videos.

Read: Second act: People are switching careers to follow their dream jobs

Watch Miya Bhai song here :

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