Why This?

I’m not one to follow pop hit music trends in India – but this one is getting a little bit too big to avoid. I briefly peeped the song a few weeks ago, didn’t think much of it. But people can’t stop tweeting about it. Now, Tigerstyle did a Bhangra remix of it, there’s a dubstep remix of it, acoustic covers of it, and my favorite, the soothing soulful R&B remix. There are now over 20 million hits to the YouTube video for this song! Am I missing something? Why this song so popular?

Why This Kolaveri Di (Why This Murderous Rage, Girl?) is an Indian song from the soundtrack of the upcoming Tamil film 3, which is due to be released in 2012… The song was officially released on 16 November 2011, and it instantly became viral on social networking sites for its quirky “Tanglish” (portmanteau word of Tamil and English) lyrics.Soon, the song became the most searched YouTube video in India. Within a few weeks, YouTube honored the track with a Gold Award for getting the most number of hits. [wiki]

 

My favorite to all this is how slapped together the song is – they were looking for a playful love song and wrote this in about twenty minutes. And bhas, sensation!

“When I was writing down the lyrics, I kept in mind all the English words that are used in the Tamil vocabulary. Words like I, you, me, how, why, cow.. I just framed them into sentences and thats how I came up with the song,” said Dhanush, who also penned down the lyrics of the song. [TOI]

 

So here you go – Why This Kolaveri Di to get stuck in your head for today’s #MusicMonday. With enough remixes to last you the month. I’m going to get started on the Banglish remix of this song ASAP.

Traveling with the Dewarists

The hunt for the perfect song never ends and I remember last time I was traveling South Asia, I was trying to connect with local musicians in every city I went. On today’s search for #MusicMonday, I found a online series that wasn’t just traveling and highlighting songs of India, it was documenting that beautiful moment when collaborations are made. The Dewarists is eight episodes in and I’m pretty surprised this is the first I’m hearing about it.

In this latest episode, we take a beautiful trip to Goa where Humble to Poet, Midival Punditz and the host of the series Monica Dogra create a song together, No I.D. Required. If you want to go directly to the song, it’s at 32:15, though the whole show is beautifully shot and I would recommend watching it fully through. I knew that Humble was traveling India, but I had no idea that he was pairing up with legends like Midival Punditz while there. It’s so out-of-the-box to put a hip-hop poet with a legendary electronic/dance duo, but I think it totally worked.

The series pairs Imogen Heap with Vishal-Shekar to sing a Tagore poetic classic in Rajasthan; classical singer Shubha Mudgal with folk rock band Swarathma in Mysore; and  Karsh Kale travels with guitar virtuoso Baiju Dharmajan in Kerala. Funded by StarWorld, this documentary web series is a brilliant idea and I’m excited to see what comes out of this project. Best of all, it’s all viewable on YouTube!

Q&A with Bikram Singh: “Bhangra… Keeps Me Sane”

If you’re a student of bhangra – you already know Bikram Singh from his work on the Where’s the Party Yaar soundtrack and his hit single, “American Jugni/Kawan.” But even the most fervent of bhangra aficionados may not know that in addition to breaking it down on stage, Singh has a second career – as an esquire. In celebration of his third full-length album, BIK I AM, which released on Thanksgiving Day, SM asked Singh a few questions.

How does your lawyering help your bhangra-ing and vice versa? There is a creative aspect and business aspect to music. Lawyering helps the business aspect of music. Bhangra helps relieve any stress lawyering may have caused over the week! It keeps me sane.

Explain to me how you balanced your music during law school. It required a lot of hard work. I often briefed my cases on the plane. Law school is not necessarily hard in terms of the content. It is the voluminous amount of material that you have to manage in a very limited amount of time. I had to become better at time management. Whatever time I had, I had to use it wisely. I also slept very little. Continue reading

Ear Blasting Beats for the Pyar

I love when “world music” actually fuses into transnational worldly sounds that blend together melodically and intensely. This week’s song does that. Today’s #MusicMonday is a DJ Rekha & Dave Sharma (of Sub Swara) remix original - “Pyar Baile.” Though the single has been making the rounds since last year, the remixes (there are four) dropped in an EP form on Itunes a couple of weeks ago, which you can download here.

The single features Zuzuka Poderosa & Meetu Chilana and samples “Pyar Karne Wale” from the Bollywood movie Shaan. Twitterverse shows that DJ Rekha spun this at the Brooklyn Bowl this past month. I’m really digging this kind of a sound and looking forward to hearing more of this new sound from DJ Rekha. In the meantime - I’ll be listening in to DJ Rekha’s weekly podcast “Bhangra and Beyond” for a leak of her next ear blasting tune.

Mad Junglee

I’m a day late for #MusicMonday, I know. But this one is too good to wait for another six days. The track comes from DJ Ben G, a mashup-remix-master that has just signed on to Rukus Avenue. The remix profiled in this video is a tribute to the one and only Shammi Kapoor in a song called, “Junglee.” The video art is the work of our talented friend MadGuru.

MadGuru found 8-bit inspiration for the video from the original film.

I wanted to do something quick, which seems next to impossible in animation, and fun too. I really enjoyed the story of the film and that along with the creative sounds in Ben G’s mix made me think of old 8 bit video games like Donkey Kong and Mario Brothers. It sounded like a mashup of the two and so I thought, why not approach the visuals in the same way. Watch the original film and you’ll recognize many references in the piece. [madguru]

 

Watch the original film Junglee here and see if you can spot the references. The 8-bit video game inspired animation reminds me a lot of Das Racist’s Who’s That? Brooown! video. And of late nights playing Mario Kart in college. Bollywood 8-bit video games, now there’s an idea. How about it, MadGuru?

 

Strings Sing With Violinder

This past Friday, Mandeep Sethi hosted Bhangra, BBoys and Breakbeats here in the East Bay, a show where bhangra dancers were dancing to hip hop, B-boys were breaking to bhangra breakbeats and there were an incredible line-up of Desis taking the mic, turntables and tablas. It was a great showcase of talent and one talent that totally blew me away is today’s featured #MusicMondayViolinder. He doesn’t sing, but he sure does make his violin sing!

A Bay Area based second year college student, I first heard about Raginder “Violinder” Momi when he performed at the 5K for the 5Ks Walkathon a couple months back. Looks like he has performed w/ Bhangra Knights before and got his start doing devotional music. He’s good at what he does unplugged too.

Keep an eye on this one – at this rate he’ll be touring with Kanye West in no time.

Los Desi Kung Fu Monkeys

Today’s #MusicMonday comes from Tijuana, Mexico via a tip from my friend Sasha. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of them, especially given that the band opened for Voo Doo Glow Skulls over the years. Los Kung Fu Monkeys is a ska band w/ two Pakistani brothers (Hassan and Tarek) that was formed in 1997, has six albums under their belt and has toured with Vans Warped Tour. AND, they sing bilingually in Spanish and English. Take a listen, what do you think?

To me, the sound is classically Southern Californian ska punk, with a little bit of tequila thrown in. I’m a sucker for punk covers (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes anyone?) and am really digging this Boys Don’t Cry cover. According to their facebook, they are working on their latest demo and have an international tour planned for early 2012. Follow Los Kung Fu Monkeys here on Facebook and on Twitter.

Also, I do realize there are South Asian diaspora migration stories of every kind, and I’m really curious as to how the Pakistani brothers ended up in Tijuana, Mexico. Is there a big South Asian population in Mexico? Anyone know?

Pakistani Politi-Pop from Beygairat Brigade

The trio of young men from Lahore, Pakistan, in the pop group Beygairat Brigade (The Dishonor Brigade) seem to be singing a catchy little ditty in Punjabi complaining about their mom making potatoes and eggs when they really want to have chicken. But those are just the opening lines of their first song Aalu Anday–the lyrics appear in English subtitles. Before the video’s three minutes are up, the group has covered many topics that pack a political punch.

Dawn’s cultural critic and senior columnist Nadeem Paracha offers details on a few of the many references contained in the lyrics of Aalu Anday.

Continue reading

Is Chippy Nonstop Swag?

I’m slipping in a #MusicMonday in right at the last minute – because Tasneem hit me up on gchat with a (crude) gem of an Oakland artistChippy Nonstop. She’s named Chippy cuz she likes to eat chips, no kidding. And she’s Desi. She’s like a Desi-fied version of Kreayshawn meets Peaches.

I kind of the dug the sound above. Then I started finding her other videos. And then, well… I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s her latest with Andy Milonakis. And since it’s with Milonakis, you better know it’s NSFW.

And then there’s this video. With the Desi languag-ed hook and the (overused) multi-handed dance move. Continue reading

Don’t Toss It Into The Bins

Today’s #MusicMonday comes from our very own Bay area based DJ Drrrty Poonjabi. A mix master of a musician (remember this SF Meetup Mixtape?) , he recently joined on to the eclectic and electronic sounds of The Bins. The group was recently signed on to the label 1320 Records and they are making some big moves. Listen to their debut album Every Minute of the Day below and download it for “name your own price”.

Like the sound? Then check them out in San Francisco on Oct 5th at the 1320 Showcase. And be sure to facebook, tumblr, soundcloud, and bandcamp them to tell them what you think and hear more sounds.