Step it up this spring


The boys are getting their groove on, but here’s hoping to see more female artistes in the Punjabi hip hop and r&b scene

What’s up party people! Hope you’re having a great year as spring kicks in here in Melbourne and it’s finally starting to warm up! Great to see my sister Pallavi Sharda in town last month and I’m looking forward to the release of her new film Hawaizaada with Ayushmann Khurrana (Vicky Donor) and Mithun Chakraborty. Not just the movie but the soundtrack, this is gonna be interesting. Sure, I can’t wait to see Sharda’s dance moves in the film but I’m also hoping Khurrana drops one of his cool acoustic tracks ala Pani Da Rang, Sadi Gali and O Heeriye. That would be awesome. Come on son, give us another one!
There’s been plenty of Punjabi hip hop and r&b over the years with artists like Bohemia, Imran Khan and Sukshinder Shinda kicking some serious ass. But there haven’t been many notable female artists in this genre with the exception of Hard Kaur who’s rapping is more on the English and Hindi side. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see new artist Rameet in the charts in August with her Punjabi hip hop song Kuriya. It’s typically auto-tuned as songs are these days but it sounds pretty good. Have a listen.
UK artist San2 made an impressive debut with his qawwali tune Nayo Lagda Dil last year. Great voice and smooth sound. He’s now followed that up with a new single Gal Sunja on a club vibe. It’s been getting a good reaction and I recommend checking it out. Another very interesting song is Salique’s I Think I Love (Yallah Azzizi). This is a very nice fusion of English, Punjabi and Arabic lyrics r&b style. Terrific sound, smooth as butter and sure to please people of all cultures.
I’m reminded of a song called Feel It Sohniye by British act Bonafide. This was a mix of English and Punjabi lyrics also on an r&b tip. Did well in 2012. Now Maz from Bonafide has released his own single Jaan, which is a Punjabi love song with a video shot in Pakistan featuring actress and VJ Hina Sultan. I wasn’t feeling the original as much but I liking the dance remix by DJ Shadow (Dubai). Have a listen to both versions and see what you think.
I do love Asian electronica and a group back on my radar is Fusing Naked Beats. Heck even the name itself is enough to attract attention and just because of that they never really left! They’ve had plenty of releases but I especially enjoyed Sundust and Renaissance from their album Zenith. Now they’re back in the house with a new EP Vibrasonik and I’m certainly feeling the bass. Both songs Vibrasonik and Stubborn are absolutely wicked and I suggest electronic heads get themselves on iTunes and buy the EP immediately.
What about desi Punjabi? Yes of course! There’s Jatti by Harjit Harman, give that a whirl. Best of all though if you really want an authentic sound why not mash it up with the social media craze that’s changed our lives over the last few years. This isn’t the first song to do this but it pretty much sums up the situation. I’m talking about artist Biba Singh’s single Panga Facebook Da with Dipps Bhamrah. If you like a hardcore sound with a western twist go stick your ears on this one!
Finally some Bollywood shollywood. Arijit Singh’s voice is in so much demand these days it must be running dry. He seems like a natural successor to Atif Aslam. Fresh from Samjhawan and Humdard he’s kicking on with Tere Hoke Rehengay (Raja Natwarlal) and Sawan Aaya Hai (Creature). I’m digging the bounce of Vishal Dadlani’s Tu Meri from Bang Bang. And Honey Singh’s teamed up with Munni Badnaam girl Mamta Sharma on Aata Majhi Satakli (Singham Returns 2). Yo yo!
That’s it for this month! For more on the latest in the scene, check out my weekly radio show Mumbai Masala at (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, Peace out.
Published in The Indian Sun/ RIchi Madan Groove Nation

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