Fusion, fission, and films

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And get your desi fix on the dance floor

What’s up party people! Happy Holi first of all, enjoy all the celebrations with family and friends. I’d like to start this month with my thoughts on the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM). There’s been a lot of discussion recently in The Indian Sun about film selection, more community consultation and a suggestion by Gautam Gupta that Pallavi Sharda be made an Ambassador alongside existing stars like Vidya Balan. In my opinion this idea makes a lot of sense and should be taken up by the Victorian Government and Festival Directors. Apart from being a great event promoting Indian films in Australia the festival is also about building cultural links and the relationship between the two countries. What better way to symbolise that than by appointing the first ever Australian Indian Bollywood star as an Ambassador, someone who represents the fusion of both worlds, east and west. And yes, let’s keep Vidya Balan and anyone else suitable too, the more the merrier (how about me!).

I must admit I’ve been really getting into the Despicable Me movies lately, watching both films about fifty times. Stuff Meatballs, Croods and Frozen, Gru and the Minions is where it’s at! I’m also a fan of the music, catchy original tunes like Fun and disco classics like You Should Be Dancing and Boogie Fever. Of course the main one is Happy by Pharrell Williams which has been a big hit spending weeks at number one in the charts. It was therefore with great pleasure I received a promo from Flavashop last month of a bhangra style remix of the track by Phat Kat and Bobby Panesar. If there’s anything a song about happiness needs it’s a bit of dhol and dhad to make you throw your hands in the air! So I did the needful, listened to it a few times and shared the love on Facebook and Twitter. The verdict? I like it, simple and effective. It’s called Happy (desi refix) and it’s on YouTube now with a cool video, be sure to check it out.

Loads of new releases from the UK Bhangra scene. Panjabi By Nature (PBN) has dropped his latest single Phatte Chuk Di with Raj Bains. Nice colourful video, Bambi’s in there too. If there’s one thing I like about PBN it’s the fact he keeps putting out singles every now and then. He keeps the vibe flowing and doing his thing. I think he’s really established himself as one of the leading UK artists over the last few years. Speaking of which, congratulations to my bro Rishi Rich who’s been signed by his mentor and r&b legend Teddy Riley. For those of you who don’t know, Rishi’s collaborated with loads of artists since the 1990‘s, launching Jay Sean and Juggy D, producing Bollywood/film soundtracks, doing mixes for Craig David, Ricky Martin, Mary J Blige, Britney and Madonna. Rishi’s hard work has paid off in a big way and his dream has become a reality. Outstanding Rish, big respect.

Elsewhere, Dipps Bhamrah’s Embrace The Madness project is in full swing with two singles, the first Twerking Jugni some nice breakbeat bhangra with his dad, the legendary KS Bhamrah from Apna Sangeet, the second Sachi Muchi (If You Really Love Me) with Surinder Laddi. Gin & Rees are back for more qawwali action with Aslam Ali on Rab Disda.  Ronak Punjab (DJ Dubz, Meet Malkit), Jigrey Yaaran Di (Lux Phull, Kaka Bhainiawala) and Gussa (Sukhi Dosanjh, Tigerstyle) are keeping it desi Punjabi. There’s also Nakhro by JC Sona and Dalvinder Singh, Rabba by Deep Jandu, Surinder Rattan and Genghis Khan and London (Nesdi Jones, Money Aujla). Apparently London features Honey Singh but I don’t hear any Yo Yo signature. Finally on a Hindi vibe check out Kehna Hi Kya (Naamless remix) dub step style from Naamless, AR Rahman’s Highway music and the soundtrack to Gunday with disco man Bappi Lahiri, if that’s your thing.

That’s it for this month! For more on the latest in the scene, check out my weekly radio show Mumbai Masala at www.pbsfm.org.au (available on demand online or live in Melbourne on 106.7 PBS FM, Monday evenings 7pm-8pm). You can also listen using TuneIn app or PBS Radio’s iPhone and Android apps. Get in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to hear your feedback on this column and the show via my website www.richimadan.com,info@richimadan.com. Peace out.

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