Hot music acts to light up Indian cultural event


Three-day Indian Summer Festival to coincide with Australia vs India Boxing Day Test in Melbourne at MCG; festival will be headlined by international acts Raxstar (UK) and Humble The Poet (Canada), Sydney-based L-Fresh The Lion and more

Victorians and visitors will be treated to an incredible line-up of musical talent at the Indian Summer Festival—a free, three-day community and cultural festival to coincide with the Australia vs India Boxing Day Test in Melbourne at the iconic MCG.

The festival will be headlined by international acts Raxstar (UK) and Humble The Poet (Canada), Sydney-based L-Fresh The Lion and Pav Dharia, and Melbourne grown Ecca Vandal. The festival will also feature local emerging artists including Manorism, Sahida Apsara and Dub FX.

To be held in Yarra Park outside the MCG, the Indian Summer Festival will showcase the best of modern Indian culture and celebrate Victoria’s vibrant Indian community to foster cross-cultural understanding.

The Indian Summer Festival begins on Sunday, 23 December coinciding with the annual Bupa Family Day and will include appearances by the Australian and Indian men’s cricket teams. Live performances by Raxstar, Amin & Hari, Karishma Sadhai and Jay Dabgar Quartet will light up the stage.

The festival will continue over days one and two of the Domain Boxing Day Test.

L-Fresh The Lion, Pav Dharia, Pavvan (USA), DJ Mixtabishi, HAYCH Cramer, Aarti Jadu and Sadhana will perform at the festival on 26 December and Ecca Vandal, Humble The Poet, Sahida Apsara and Dub FX, Harjinder, DJ R-Ya and Manorism will perform on 27 December.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Indian Summer Festival and bringing the best of modern India to Melbourne,” said Manorism’s lead vocalist, Shantanu Joshi said. Manorism had visited Little India precinct in Dandenong on Wednesday, 21 November, where they entertained shoppers with their new single, Letter On My Wall. “It was so fun to surprise the local community,” he said.

The full Indian Summer Festival program will be announced in the coming weeks. It will feature Indian cuisine alongside Indian art and culture. It will also provide fans with the opportunity to play cricket, meet some of their favourite cricket stars and enjoy the spectacle of some exhibition kabaddi games.

The Indian Summer Festival is hosted by Cricket Australia in partnership with the Victorian Government. It is a free event and all members of the public are welcome.

Here’s the line-up…

★ Ecca Vandal

Ecca Vandal is fired up. South African born with Sri Lankan heritage, Ecca Vandal grew up in Melbourne where her keen ear for jazz, hip-hop, rock and punk-rock combined to inform her current signature sound. Ecca’s colourful heritage is well represented in her music, lyrics and staunch refusal to be pigeonholed. After careening into our collective consciousness in 2014 with the release of anthemic debut single “White Flag”, in 2017 she released her self-titled debut album Ecca Vandal.

★ L-Fresh The Lion

Prowling the Australian scene, Western Sydney artist L-FRESH The LION has quickly become renowned for his powerful presence, inspiring live shows and thought-provoking lyricism. His organic amalgam of world-class music and social activism has him seamlessly segue from underground events and ciphers to national tours and major festivals, the natural ascent of an MC with an abundance of purpose and self-belief.

★ Raxstar

Raxstar is a British rapper from Luton Town who first came to prominence in 2005 with his producing partner Sunit. Their breakout single “Keep It Undercover” documented young love and the internal conflict when choosing between following your heart and going against parental expectations or conforming.

★ Manorism

Manorism is the dream-pop, post punk, passion project of south-east Melbourne crooners Shantanu Joshi, Hai Nguyen, Damien Kaluarachchi and Stanislav Likane. After playing in various punk and jazz arrangements together, Manorism came together in early 2014, making music that is a nod to the post-punk sounds of the 80s housed within a 2018 sonic palette—think The War on Drugs meets The Smiths. Their new single ‘Letter On My Wall’ creates a nostalgic atmosphere, conjuring up images of past summer holiday romances.

★ Sahida Apsara

Sahida Apsara is an Australian poet, singer, songwriter, dancer, arts educator and mother. Born in Singapore coming from Indian/Malay ancestry, she left home to travel from the age of 21 before settling in Australia seven years later. Since then, she has received the Victorian Government Multicultural Award for Excellence in community building through the arts. She was also the recipient of the UNESCO grant to learn poetry-making in New York.

★ Parvyn Singh

Parvyn Singh from Melbourne’s retro Bollywood outfit The Bombay Royale has teamed up with dancers Ida Ghatge and Sham Sivabalan to produce a show celebrating traditional and contemporary Indian culture.

★ Saadhana

Saadhana offers up a delectable tasting plate of traditional Indian music featuring Jay Dabgar on the tabla and Josh Bennett on sitar, dil ruba, guitar and vocals.

★ Amin and Hari

Amin and Hari are born out of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s ReMastered Myths music program. They create hypnotic soundscapes that fuse traditional Indian music with hip hop elements and modern technology creating something fresh to bring both cultures and sounds together.

★ Kanwer Singh

Kanwer Singh aka Humble The Poet is a Toronto-bred MC/Spoken word artist with an aura that embodies the diversity and resiliency of one of the world’s most unique cities. With tattoos, beard, head wrap and a silly smile, Humble stimulates audiences with ideas that challenge conventional wisdom and go against the grain, with dynamic live sets that shake conventions and minds at the same time.

★ DJ MixtaBishi

DJ MixtaBishi is widely regarded as Australia’s #1 Indian DJ. A career spanning a decade has had Australia’s homegrown talent rocking clubs across Australia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Canada. Blessed with the ear of a true musician, MixtaBishi’s technical skills and mixing ability make him one of the hottest Desi talents to come out of the southern hemisphere.

★ HAYCH Cramer

Named after the comet that flew overhead when she was born, Hailey Cramer aka HAYCH Cramer is a distinctive voice in the Australian musical landscape. Releasing her debut EP under her name Hailey Cramer she launched her collaborative project with producer Dan West to packed-out venues across Australia, which became a defining moment in her musical journey.

★ Jay Dabgar Quartet

Jay Dabgar Quartet presents the essence of North and South Indian music with an added twist of contemporary and world music. This collaboration of four Melbourne-based versatile artists provide enough combinations of talent and instrumentation to cross multiple genres—from classical to Qawwali, Bollywood—featuring their own written music.

★ DJ Richi Madan Crew

DJ Richi Madan Crew was born in London and brought up in England and Australia. Richi has a background incorporating British, Australian, Indian and Sikh culture. He began DJing in the early 1990s, organising the first ever Bollywood and Bhangra club nights in Melbourne. In 2004, Richi left behind a career in law and IT to follow his passion of music full time.

★ Aarti Jadu

Aarti Jadu acquired a sampler in mid-2017, and after spending some time in semi-seclusion is now ready to debut her first recorded production. Her notable works include Quiet Earth a collaborative album with Matt Coldrick (2016), collaborations with electronic artists such as Kaya Project, Pan Electric, Shunya, High Tea, and Tincture, and a series of experimental intimate art performances designed to create mindful listening.

★ Pavvan

Urban Punjabi artist Pavvan (Pawan Singh) is one of New York’s very own hometown rockstars. He has many notable songs and collaborations, with artists like Pav Dharia. His latest release, Bewafa, with Pav Dharia received over 2 million views within weeks of releasing.

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