Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Sakina - Shartaan

I'm always complaining about the number of female artists in the Desi music industry compared to the amount of male ones. So when Tigerstyle announced they were producing Sakina's debut single, I was was eager to hear the result.

Out tomorrow, Shartaan is big and bold. It's got enough tumbi in there to keep bhangra fans happy and has a summery feel to it. Sakina has some powerful vocals which work well with the signature Tigerstyle bass. It's catchy and perfect for the dancefloor.

In the press release Pops said "new female artists contributing to the UK bhangra scene is definitely what's needed." Couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Another Listen of Bikram Singh's Kawan

Bikram Singh and Tigerstyle are getting ready to release Kawan 2. Featuring the vocals of Gunjan, it's a revamp of the song that first appeared on American Jugni in 2005.

It's been nine years since the original Kawan, or "Kaone" as I now think of it, which is almost a lifetime in the bhangra world. This was in the time of myspace, before twitter and youtube had taken off. There is a whole generation of music fans who were probably too young to remember the impact the song had. Bikram wrote the lyrics to Kawan himself and his career took off with it.

Why was the song such a huge hit? Bikram told me in an email: "It had to do with a lot of factors. The melody, the lyrics and Gunjan's voice all contributed to a great song that people continue to enjoy. The concept of two separated lovers thinking about each other and providing reassurance to each other is really universal. We can all relate to it one way or the other."

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Asifa Lahore Covers Tum Hi Ho

Asifa Lahore, a DJ and British Asian drag artist, has released her LGBT cover version of Tum Hi Ho. It is her response to those who asked her to do a serious topic, and focuses on the visibility of ethnic minorities in the LGBT community.

Tum Hi Ho is suited to the subject and is sensitively covered. The video tells the story in a simple way that is easy to follow. The project was crowdfunded and some of the people starring in the video had never acted before. Subtitles translating the song make sure the point really gets across.

This cover version of Tum Hi Ho is up on Asifa's SoundCloud page as a free download.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Dipps Bhamrah - Sachi Muchi

Dipps Bhamrah has released Sachi Muchi. It is the second of 12 songs that the BBC Asian Network presenter is releasing as part of a year long project. 
Featuring the vocals of Surinder Laddi, the track is traditional Bhangra love song. Sachi Muchi  is inspired by Punjabi Hai Ni Mera Balam by Shamshad Begam. Sachi Muchi has a different feel to Twerking Jugni, which was the last month's release under #EmbraceTheMadness. It is easy on the ear, works well off the dance floor and will appeal to those who like their Bhangra a little more sedate.

Disappointingly there is no video for the track, but I am impressed that it has been released on time!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day Downloads

Like many other industries, the Desi music scene has learnt the power of a special Valentine's day tie in. Here's a round up of some of the songs released to celebrate the patron saint of bee keepers.

Parichay - Tu Hi Zindagi   

Parichay has been dropping hints about a Valentine's day surprise and this one doesn't disappoint. An acoustic version of Tu Hi Zindagi, which appeared on All New Everything, this song is slushy and romantic. Parichay can produce powerful gorgeous vocals and acoustic tracks like this really show them off. The original version was one of my favourites from All New Everything, but I think I like this one better. Download here.