The Fifths score big, and the Royale smash

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Aussie Indian artists seem to be rocking the mainstream music scene this month. And it’s not just fusion we’re talking about

What’s up party people! After releasing Nath Dig Pey just a month ago Panjabi By Nature is back again this time teaming up with ex-B21 lead singer Jassi Sidhu. The track Singh is touted as being another anthem and sounds pretty good. Speaking of B21 the even bigger news is the boys, as in the remaining lads Bally and Bhota Jagpal, are back with their first album in 12 years called 12B. There’s a swag of tunes featuring Shazia Manzoor, Baljinder Bilga and Miss Pooja with the desi mix of Dil Tharkeh leading the way. There’s no mistaking their trademark sound and it’s good to see them return but time will tell whether it’s been too long in the wilderness for them to attract interest. Personally I do like it and I thought their earlier stuff was great, not to mention their cameo appearance in the film Bend It Like Beckham which really made their song Darshan famous.

Punjab 1984 is smashing box office records in Punjabi cinema and the soundtrack is also worth a listen. I’ve always liked Harshdeep Kaur’s sufi style especially on Katiya Karun and Heer. She’s done it again with Rabb Meri Umar, another beautiful song to add to her collection. Sukhwinder Singh is also featured whilst most of the tracks are sung by the lead actor himself Diljit Dosanjh, Rangrut, Channo, Kismat, Swaah Ban Ke, Ammi Udeek Di and Sodha Laun Nu. As you’d expect there’s a mix of bhangra and slow songs, happy and sad, to go with the film’s emotional subject and narrative. It’s out now on Venus/Speed Records and available on iTunes.

If there’s one thing I’m excited about right now it’s the variety of acts developing in Australia. The Bombay Royale has made waves around the world and I’m pleased to see a group I recently came across, The Fifths, kicking it with their own funky sound. I’ve heard a couple of their songs Ummeedein on an acoustic vibe and the upbeat Bhoot and I like what I hear. Do check ‘em out. Also have a listen to The Three Seas and their album Haveli. I caught up with my man Bobby Beebob the other day and got a sneak peak of some of the stuff he’s working on with my bro NZ Shriram. I really enjoyed their first single Aaja Phir Se (One More Try), a cool melody. Fusion’s an interesting area and I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys aka Saffron Groove come up with on their next release.

But it’s not just about fusion. I’m thrilled to see Aussie Indian artists making a name in the mainstream music scene as well. Bobby’s one of them and I’d also like to congratulate Sikh rapper L-Fresh the Lion on the release of his debut album One. This guy is really picking up some fans on the hip hop scene. One sounds fantastic with so many great tracks including Faithful, Survive and The Heart, The Pen. His music is being requested and played on stations like Triple J and his music videos have been selected for airplay on MTV. This is big news people. This guy is representing us all across the globe whilst at the same time keeping it real and respecting his roots and culture, indeed even raising awareness of it through his music. Check out his videos including Faithful and Survive on YouTube and support by buying his CD or music on iTunes.

In Bollywood I’m feeling the love song Humdard by Arijit Singh (Ek Villain) as well as Piya Ke Bazaar and Caller Tune from Humshakals. Jazz maestro Raghav Sachar has teamed up with Sophie Choudry on the single Raat Akeli Hai. I liked his beatboxing style on Gulabi Ankhen and Yeh Ladka Hai Allah and I’m digging it here too. Rishi Rich protege NaamLess has dropped his EP The Heights with a wide variety of musical styles. Check it out, songs featuring Kiran Dhanoa, Rita Morar, Navin Kundra and more. Speaking of Navin also check out his single Forever with Ill Defined. Finally there’s Satinder Sartaaj’s new album Rangrez, MindGames (Nav Sidhu, Dark MC, Angel), Bring It Back (Shizzio, Tigerstyle), Sardara (Sona Walia), MagiQ (new artist Baby Ice), Nakhra (Gagan Sharma) and a remix of house tune Pichlee Galee by Onkar Sumal, Illegal Demo and Bushkin.

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.

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Melbourne)

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