Featured Insights — 15 July 2015

Krishna Premda puzzles about his name(s).


What’s my name?

Krishna Premda, uh, yeah, but everyone calls me Prem.
No, not Graham.
No, not Pram.
That’s, K. R. I. S. H….


Most sannyasins have had some story with their names. Either they have their old ‘straight’ name that their family and pre-Osho friends still call them by, because they can’t get used to (or refuse to use) the new name: “I know you’re called Swami Papadum Curry Powder Lord Vishnu now but, you know, to me, you will always be Dave.”

Or, if like me, you are lucky enough (or unlucky depending on your view) to be born with a sannyas name, you will most likely have used different names throughout your life just to get from A to B.

Reason 1 – Avoiding conversations about your name:
“No, my parents are not Asian.”
“Well, it’s only strange because I am white; in India it’s a common name like Dave or James.”
“That’s my prefix but people call me the second part of my name. A prefix is…”

Reason 2 – Avoiding conversations about Osho:
“No, it’s not a cult.”
“Ever heard of the guru formerly know as Rajneesh?”
“Well, it would take a bit of time to explain the entire movement and ethos….”
No! It’s not a cult, you ignorant….”

Reason 3 – Ordering food for home delivery or a cab:
“My name? It’s Dave.”

So my personal story may in some ways be like yours and in some ways a little different.

I started as Krishna Premda.
When I went to school in America I wanted to fit in with the other kids so I became Mike.
Another kid was called Mike and took offence, so I changed to John.
There was another kid called John but he was more chilled out about us sharing a name.
So, for a year and a half, I was John.

Then, when I returned to England and went to primary school I went back to Premda.
But at school, if people did not know me, they called me Brendan.
Around this time I started Rapping and my Rap name became Prem Z.

When I started secondary school I wanted a fresh start and to use my Dad’s surname and a new name of my choosing – so I became Nick Harwood.
But, on the first day of secondary school, when they called out my name, they called me: “Nick… Premda.”
What the fuck?
This was not the name I chose, this was some shitty halfway house of a name, not new, not old, just… shit.
I asked my mum what had happened with my name and she said that the school would not let me change my second name / surname from Premda to Harwood.

Ok; so just to recap – at secondary school I was Nick Premda.
But I was still rapping and wanted to have a new Rap name. I wanted a cool name like Lord Amazing Rap Star Funky Ninja but in the end went with one a friend suggested: Prem C.
At first just a temp name until I could come up with a better name but in the end, one that stuck and one I grew to love.

When I left school at 16 I stopped using Nick and was pretty much Prem to everyone who knew me.
But you know how it is… go down to the dole office:
“Soooo Krishna, what have you been doing to find a job?”

Prem C

Also, if you are part of the Hip Hop family you will know that rappers and DJ’s and Graff artists will very often have more than one name.
These names are the ones that people start to call you with.
I did a set in Hackney that went well and the host called me “Prem Serious!”
Or names you choose for yourself.
I did a gig in Scotland and called myself Prem C Nesbit.
So in the Rap World my names are:

Krishna Prem C, Prem Minister, Premlock, Premdog, Mr Premtastic, Premskidaddle, Premetheus, Mr P, P C, Prem Dirty Dirty, Premonition, Premordial Slime, Premdamental, Prematorium, Prem N Proper, Prem Brule, Premrose, Mr Miscellaneous, Swamp Ting, Mc Algi, The Green Hornet, Sir Premothy, Prem Fatel, Premicillin, Preminsula, Premaphrodite, Scum, Garbage, Anarchist, Failure, Rebellious, Down Under, Prem De La Prem, The Mad Rapper, Nick The Greek, The Green Flem, Pimms…

and so on…

But recently I have been branching out into different artistic directions and have found names a good way to express these feelings and ideas.
So when I am recording country and western blues folk music I use the name
Strange Wolf.

and when I write I use
Nick Harwood or
Jack Door.
And of course when I order food I use

And when they bring me my burger and they say
“Here you go, Mike!”
I always smile.

Article by Prem C

Related Osho discourse
A Name Is Only a Label

logo-Prem-CBorn in London, Prem C spent the early part of his life living in India, travelling throughout Europe then to San Francisco before returning to London at the age of eight. Having worked in the highly competitive UK underground scene for years, Prem C has made a reputation for himself with some of the most respected names in the scene. He has recorded with many different producers, has featured on different projects and has two EP’s to his name: the underground classic ‘Just the Beginning’ and the critically acclaimed ‘5 Senses of Def’ produced by Dagnabbit from the Foreign Beggars. He recently had this track played on the BBC. facebook.comitunes.com