Local rapper shows he’s anything but a Cliché

Kwantlen business student and rapper Aijaaz Gazdar is passionate about his music, his education and bringing his craft back to his roots.

By Kristi Alexandra
[culture editor]

(Matt Law / The Runner)

Local rapper, producer and scholar Cliché — probably better to known to his professors as Aijaaz Gazdar, or AJ — has a certain philosophy about following your dreams and getting an education.

The 28-year-old Kwantlen business student, who is also one-half of the No Regrets Music team, changed his perspective on education after getting into the music game.

“I do music full time and I’m at school part-time right now,” he says. “I feel like everyone should continue their education and get some kind of degree or something under their belt, not only for a back up plan but you can definitely use business in music because music involves a lot of business. When it comes down to the nitty gritty and you wanna take it to the next level you gotta know business.”

That, admittedly, wasn’t always his take on education.

“At first I had a different mindset, I was like ‘I don’t need education, I don’t need to go to school’ but at the end of the day, it’s something that you just gotta do,” Cliché says.

(Matt Law / The Runner)

Among his ambitions, many of which he has successfully achieved, is bringing his music back to his roots in India.

Cliché was born in Mumbai but moved to Canada at a young age, getting his start in music in the Lower Mainland. His following is mainly based in Vancouver, but he’s picked up a few fans in America’s south, where his No Regrets partner, Scooter (also known under the moniker of Audacious), is from.

With the help of his new video “Kolaveri Di remix”, a hip-hop take on a Tamil song featuring James Ferguson of indie-folk band, Gypsy Ray, Cliché has already appealed to his larger, multi-cultural audience.

“‘Kolaveri Di’ is made by Tamil artists from India, it went big — it went global. They’re almost at 50 million hits now. It caught on with so many people that I had to do a hip hop version of it,” he enthuses.

“It’s something that people just caught onto, really, and I thought, ‘Man, this is from my culture so I might as well just try this out.’”

His own music video for “Kolaveri Di”, meanwhile, already has over 54,000 hits on YouTube, so chances that an audience in Mumbai will soon pick up on Cliché and No Regrets are on the rise.

“I wanna take my music back home, because people want to take their craft back to where they came from at the end of the day. So, that would be something I’d like to do as a personal goal,” he says.

His upcoming solo album will be a mix of Hindi and English songs, and will be released under the No Regrets brand.

His audience is not limited to the Lower Mainland or even to Mumbai –– Cliché wants his music to reach on a global level.

“My music  is global,” he says. “If a kid from Ireland can relate to it then, hey, so be it. Music is universal.”

Cliché’s music can be heard at noregretsmusic.com.

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