Earlier this year, I was traveling in South Asia collecting stories for a project I’m working on. Along the way, I met Taru Dalmia aka the Delhi Sultanate at a BASSFoundation drum and bass party in New Delhi. A dancehall/reggae/dub MC, I was surprised when he jumped on the mic. I didn’t even realize there was a reggae scene in India. For someone who hadn’t been to The Islands, he had a sick patois on the mic. At the time, he was telling me about a project he was heading out to start working on – a collaboration with a revolutionary singer out in a village outskirt of Delhi.
The project is complete. But after watching the video, it feels like maybe it’s just started. Check out the 12 minute short film, titled “Word, Sound & Power” about the dalit singer Bant Singh.
Amazing, right? The film production is so clean and the musical sounds are fresh and tightly merged.
Bant Singh from Jabbar Village in Punjab is a legendary singer and activist of Kisan Mukti Morcha… The film critically examines the need for the voices of dissent in todays capitalized urban society. Also a deeper look into Bant Singhs background, his lyrical inspirations, 20 years of the unsung dalit struggle in Punjab, followed by the mash up of genres between Chris, Delhi Sultanate and Bant Singh. A bold attempt to fuse socially relevant issues and lyricism across two different languages. [wordsoundandpower]
No word on if there are plans to turn this into a full length or if there is going to be a full length album to come out of this project. It seems that the film is making the rounds at screenings in India, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets picked up on the international film festival circuit. Keep an eye on their website at Word Sound and Power – I get the feeling the music should be downloadable there very soon. As soon as it is, I’ll be downloading it ASAP. I have a feeling you might too.
This is funny, because you don’t get much more silver-spoon than Taru Dalmia, descendant of the infamous Dalmia clan of industrialist nationalists in Delhi and ivory tower academics (by way of Germany). Glad that he wants to ‘take it back to 1857.’
This man is a freedom fighter, and he’s a true lion of bravery. The 7 Jatts who jumped him were all bastard capitalistic cowards. I feel quite sad for this freedom fighter, but I see that even he doesn’t feel bad for himself.
Oh yes. He sings really well. Did he imply that he’s illiterate, and the songs just flow out? If so, that is amazing.
Also, This DJ is doing humanity a service. I’ll support them for this, and also for producing bad ass music.
awesome post Taz! Bant Sing’s voice is amazing, and his story is even better. That was 12 minutes of my time well spent 🙂
If you like, my company Cowdung Films can send the film to various film festivals (without free entry) across the world. We normally charge Rs. 500 per festival (for festivals with no entry fees). But we can send your film at half price. Check our website: