Emiway Bantai is one of India’s most famous musical artists.
Currently he has a whopping 17 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.
Sheikh Mohammed Bilal (Emiway Bantai) was born on 13 November 1995.
His father runs a godown business.
Emiway Bantai’s father is a Muslim whereas his mother was a Hindu and theirs was a love marriage.
Emiway Bantai was a decent and studious student in school.
Currently, he lives at Kalpak Estate, Antop Hill-37, Mumbai.
Initially, Emiway Bantai’s father named him as Sheikh Mohammed Bilal.
In 1995, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge movie was released and as his mother was a huge fan of Shah Rukh Khan, she renamed him to Shah Rukh Sheikh.
Later, when Emiway Bantai started rapping, he took the first three letters (Emi) from Eminem and another three letters (way) from Lil Wayne and renamed himself to Emiway Bantai.
Bantai is a slang word used in Mumbai.
Introduced to rapping-
While in his 10th grade, his friend, Jay Paul who was sitting behind him sang Eminem’s Not Afraid song and this introduced Emiway Bantai to rap music.
After coming home from school, he listened to this song on television.
Later, Emiway Bantai listened to the Not Afraid song on YouTube and saw Eminem’s live concert.
Wanting to become a rapper-
Emiway Bantai was very impressed by the way Eminem was receiving applause on the stage from his audience and during that moment, he too decided to become a rapper like him.
Then, he read the lyrics of the Not Afraid song and memorised it.
The next day, Emiway Bantai rapped this song in front of his friends in the school and his friends appreciated his talent.
Later, he started listening to many songs of Eminem and started rapping in his home.
Emiway Bantai also started listening to the songs of Lil Wayne and Tech N9ne.
He is also a fan of NF and Token.
Wanting to become a doctor-
As Emiway Bantai wanted to become a doctor, he chose to study Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) in his 11th standard.
Even while studying intermediate, he was listening to the songs and rapping.
One of his friends appreciated his singing and requested Emiway Bantai to write his original song and sing it.
So, he wrote the GLINT LOCK song and this was his first original song.
Rapping in English-
Initially, Emiway Bantai rapped in English because he wanted to reach a global audience and become famous like Eminem.
Initially, he began rapping in his home with a dynamic microphone.
His friends appreciated Emiway Bantai’s GLINT LOCK rap and this inspired him to write more songs.
He started his YouTube channel by his name on May 4, 2013.
In his 12th grade, Emiway Bantai uploaded his GLINT LOCK rap on YouTube.
He collaborated with Minta to produce GLINT LOCK in Imax studio.
Minta is a Marathi and Hindi rapper.
Later, both of them used to meet at a studio in Sion to freestyle at night.
Currently, Emiway Bantai works in his BANTAI THE STUDIO.
Switching to Hindi-
Emiway Bantai’s father listened to his rap and suggested that he not rap in English.
His father opined that understanding English is difficult and also rapping in English is very competitive as there were already many famous English rappers.
He suggested Emiway Bantai to rap in Hindi with the Bantai slang because Indians can easily understand Hindi and this would make his raps famous.
First successful rap-
So, Emiway Bantai wrote a Hindi rap and titled it as EMIWAY-AUR BANTAI.
His father was impressed by this rap and this rap became viral and also got shared by BuzzFeed.
Only after the success of EMIWAY-AUR BANTAI rap, his parents completely believed in his capabilities.
Emiway Bantai started including the language of his neighbourhood in his rap and thanks to this, his raps started becoming popular and he never turned back again.
His ambition is to take Hindi rap to the global level.
Dropping out from high school-
During the time of recording the EMIWAY-AUR BANTAI song, Emiway Bantai was studying 12th standard and had to attend the board exams.
But he wanted to record this song instead of attending the exams.
So, Emiway Bantai convinced his parents to let him record the song.
After this he dropped out from his school.
First stage performance-
His friend, Pappu was an organiser of Ganesh Chaturthi events and he gave Emiway Bantai a chance to rap on the stage.
Initially, he was very scared to perform on the stage but his friend motivated him to perform.
Emiway Bantai rapped well and the audience clapped for him.
Initially, he used to do all his work like shooting and editing videos, composing music, writing lyrics, uploading videos, etc. all by himself but now he has a team to help him.
Initially, as Emiway Bantai had no knowledge of music, he paid a tutor to learn music.
After just a couple of days, the tutor ran away after taking a fee of ₹40,000 from him.
And Emiway Bantai was left with no choice except to learn music on his own from YouTube.
Working at a cafe-
During that time, Emiway Bantai worked at the Hard Rock cafe for ₹300.
His job there was to arrange furniture for a hip hop event.
Emiway Bantai got very inspired by that event and he too wanted to do such events.
Later, he won a Hip hop rap award in the same cafe.
As Emiway Bantai wasn’t earning with his raps initially, he used to do events.
Struggles and successes-
Initially, Emiway Bantai used to get only around a hundred views per video in a full year.
But he didn’t give up and eventually, he started getting millions of views within a month for almost all of his videos.
Emiway Bantai is the first independent Indian hip hop artist to cross one lakh subscribers on YouTube.
He became very successful despite not having any prior knowledge of music and without the support of any music record label.
From his initial days, both his parents supported Emiway Bantai to the full extent and this helped him to become successful.
Working in Bollywood-
Thanks to his popularity as a rapper, Emiway Bantai also got a chance to act in Bollywood.
He acted in the Gully Boy film.
Some interesting facts about Emiway Bantai-
- In 2017, Emiway Bantai received the Silver Play Button and in 2020, Diamond Creator Award from YouTube.
- He won the People’s Choice Award, the Europe Music Awards and Radio City Freedom Awards 2018- Best Hip Hop Artist.
- Emiway Bantai’s favourite actors are Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh.
- Ranveer Singh also likes the work of Emiway Bantai.
- His favourite actresses are Jacqueline Fernandez, Alia Bhatt and Kajol.
- Emiway Bantai’s favourite movies are Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
- His favourite singers are Arijit Singh and Atif Aslam.
So, how are you inspired by the amazing success story of Emiway Bantai?
Tell me in the comment section below.
Featured Image credit: EmiwayFannn/Wikimedia Commons
Emiway Bantai Image credit: Creativehatti/pixabay