‘Deepika’: KOAD's New Single Might Just Be The Bicultural Bop Of The Summer

You, me, Ranveer Singh and perhaps millions of others aren't alone in our admiration and love for Deepika Padukone. KOAD, a rising Indian-American rapper from San Fernando Valley, recently caught the spotlight online with his latest single, Deepika which has become an anthem for diasporic Indians and reflects the emotions that arise from growing up bicultural. KOAD embodies the experience of many first-generation children. He infuses his music with the essence of his upbringing, blending American hip-hop with the narratives of his dual identity that celebrates his heritage.

Deepika opens with a scene straight out of a childhood memory. Six-year-old KOAD, captivated by Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, asks his mother to take him to India. The innocence of the request is both endearing and tinged with a longing for a cultural connection he doesn't quite grasp yet. The song progresses, exploring the influence of Bollywood movies on his identity. As KOAD admits in the song: "Grew up on that shit so probably could be/A hopeless romantic, at least."

Indian cinema, with its grand gestures and larger-than-life characters, becomes, for KOAD, a window to a fantastical India, a place yet to be experienced.

KOAD isn't shy about his ambition. He dreams of returning to India a success story: "...with whole lotta mills." The song's brilliance lies in its ability to paint vivid pictures with metaphors. Lines like, "I got on a jacket 'cause I feel like I'm the coldest in the room" resonate with the feeling of being an outsider, navigating cultural complexities. He craves acceptance yet dreams of achieving something extraordinary: "A lotus when I bloom."

KOAD's story isn't unique. It's the story of millions of diaspora kids, constantly reconciling their American identity with their heritage. Deepika uses the playful premise of a crush to subliminally talk about longing, belonging, and the unwavering quest to find your place in the world and to find or even build a home when you're away from home.

Follow KOAD here & watch the music video below.