Sunday, 30 September 2012

Jaz Dhami - High Heels (Ole Ole mix)

Jaz Dhami's High Heels seems to be song of the moment. It's spent four weeks in the BBC Asian Network Download Chart and it's currently number one. It samples / borrows Ole Ole from the 1994 hit Bollywood film Yeh Dillagi. The tune is the same, but the lyrics are different.

An enterprising person on Soundcloud has mixed the two tracks together. Whilst the result is not brilliant (if however you love it you can download it for free), it does show just how similar these two tracks are. Artists are often inspired by music not made by them, but when they borrow so much, they should credit the original artist. Mixing two tracks together is an interesting way of highlighting plagiarism.

As I loved Ole Ole, High Heels sounds cliched and unoriginal. But I think the video for the single is also cliched and unoriginal. Scandalously dressed models dancing and surrounded by cars, with token shots of the girl's shoes for foot fetishists. I just hope they had party feet and rollasoles on hand as dancing in heels can be painful. A more interesting and novel video would have been if Jaz Dhami had worn the stilettos himself.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Delhi 2 Dublin Turn Up The Stereo

Thanks to the internet music is now a global industry. Artists can connect instantly with their fans all across the world. So it makes little sense to release music in just one country. I was devastated when iTunes told me Delhi 2 Dublin’s new album was only available in Canada. However, when browsing their website looking for international release dates, I found that fans outside Canada could purchase Turn Up The Stereo directly from the band’s website. But only for a limited time.

Delhi 2 Dublin have a sound like no other musicians I have heard and are one of the few bands who properly fuse different cultures together. Turn Up The Stereo is full of rich tones, dancing rhythms and intelligent instrumentation. The tracks are energetic and uplifting. As with their previous albums I did have to listen to Turn Up The Stereo a few times before I liked it, but by about the third listen the album was on repeat.

Turn Up The Stereo kicks off with Our House. Out of all the tracks, this was the one that stuck in my head most and I won‘t be able to look at an Indian house without yelling “sadi koti“.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hunterz - Aja Mahiya

Hunterz, who once made a track with reggae band UB40,  has released his new single and a video to go with it. Aja Mahiya is the first new music from the musician since The Masterpiece which was released back in 2008.

The video that accompanies the song is simple and has no storyline. It consists of arty shots in scenic sunny locations. A model is posing in most of the shots and I thought she was superfluous in many of them. The camera work in the video is great and shows off the expansive scenery perfectly.

Aja Mahiya is instantly recognisable as a Hunterz song thanks to the stunning vocals. Rishi Rish produced the song and has done a good job. There is a gentle warm quality to the track with echos of summer. Aja Mahiya is laid back but still has a beat and bass line to groove to. The chorus is catchy and the lyrics are nice.

Overall this is a great come back song from Hunterz. A simple but exotic video with a catchy single to match.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Illegal Downloading on Nihal's Asian Network Show

Yesterday Musicmetric released figures in a report about illegal downloading of music. The statistics are shocking. 33 million albums and 10 million singles files were illegally downloaded in the UK in the first six months of this year. Nihal chose this topic for his phone in show on the BBC Asian Network and talked to Foji and DJ Vips about illegal downloading in the Bhangra industry. If like me you were unable to listen to it when it was broadcast, you can listen again here.

There is no doubt that illegally downloading music is morally wrong. If you want to buy a product that someone has worked hard to develop and produce, then you should pay that person for that product. However, there were callers on Nihal's show who tried to justify their illegal downloading. Reasons given by callers included that they couldn't afford to pay for music (even when they could afford to pay for big TVs) and that artists make money by touring and performing.

As with many topics on the phone in show, an hour was too short to fully discuss the subject. The music industry needs to look at why people download illegally and look for solutions to solve the problem. There are also wider issues in relation to illegal downloading such as promotion, quality of music released and the technology used to illegally download

Twitter users also joined the debate and I have posted some of the best tweets on the topic after the jump.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

UK Asian Music Awards Nominees List

The UK Asian Music Awards, which celebrates it's 10th anniversary this year, held a party in London last night to announce the nominees. For those who were not there to enjoy the event, the nominations were tweeted as they were announced.  Music fans can now vote for who they thing deserve the awards the ceremony will take place on the 25th October.

Here is the full list of those nominated for an AMA.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Interview with Desi Boome in Paris

The Punjabi French rapper Desi Boome looks unimpressed when I confess that even with my half forgotten A-level French I had to consult a dictionary to work out what his lyrics meant. “That’s what I do for English. The same! It’s the way for people to study, to learn.” In my defence the colloquial words that he uses were never taught at school.

Desi Boome is currently one of the most unique artists around. Since being a BBC Introducing artist on Friction last year, Desi Boome has performed on the English mela circuit. On a recent holiday to Paris, I managed to meet Desi Boome and ask him about his career. During the interview he keeps apologising for his English and slips into Punjabi or French if he can‘t find the right words. His English is endearing and I have kept his turn of phrase where possible.

Also known as Imran Nasar, he explained his stage name. “Desi for my Desi people because I'm Pakistani anyone to present my Desi community as no one did before. I think that if you're Indian Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan that is the same thing because in the past we are just one people. So that’s where I got Desi from. For Boome it’s for one of my friends who was singing with me who is actually dead. It’s in his memory.”

Rap doesn‘t instantly fit with the Eiffel Tower and other romantic tourist images of Paris, but was a feature in the banlieue where Desi Boome grew up. French rap seems to have connected him others. “I have got two big brothers they were rapping before me so when I grew up I listened to them. They were rapping where they live in the ghetto - everyone's rapping in the ghetto. People, they think we Pakistani and Indian people are different. So that's why I’m rapping in French like my brothers, I follow them.”

His French background is an advantage and Desi Boome uses it as a selling point. “Everyone told me that in UK everyone loves French, the French accent so that's why in this industry there is nobody before me in French, French Asian that's why I come with my French and Punjabi mix to be original in this scene”

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Josh - Meri Dua

JoSH have released a video to Meri Dua. The video uses a house remix of the track rather than the original version released on their album Beyond Kismat. The band's last video for Yeh Zameen was spectacular and JoSH have have followed this up with another love story, but one that is very different.

Meri Dua is produced by Tom Glass and the first two minutes of this mini movie set the scene. Rup works as a mechanic with Q as his supervisor. Gia Sandhu stars as Rup's girlfriend and the viewer sees that despite some tender moments, the relationship is troubled as Gia spurns Rup's bracelet and locks herself in the bathroom during an argument. 

The action happens in the second half of the video. On a night out Gia is upset when Rup chats with another girl. Gia leaves and Rup sends Q to calm her down. After talking to another girl and brushing off her seduction attempt Rup goes to find Gia. He walks into the garage only to find Gia in Q's arms. Outraged, he punches Q and the video ends with them looking at each other.

Back in June when news of the video was first released, there were reports that the scenes of betrayal, intoxication and violence in the video would be controversial. However, the content is no more shocking than in any Bollywood action film. We are used to seeing Rup and Q as friends, so when they start fighting  it's a shock. The acting is good. Rup looks genuinely distraught when he walks into the garage and Q looks hurt from being punched.

I'm not too fond of the remix and prefer the album version, but the house mix of Meri Dua fits the modern look of the video. Even though I predicted the end, the story line was well thought out. I liked the fast pace of the video and how so much was packed into just a few minutes. The first section allows the viewer to get to know the characters enough to feel betrayed with Rup. The ending was atmospheric and leaves the viewer to wonder what happens next.

Overall this is another good video from JoSH. With an engaging story line, a love triangle, and a fight scene, Meri Dua has it all.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A Summer of Melas on BBC Red Button

The BBC Asian Network is once again on the Red Button. A Summer of Melas goes behind the scenes and shows performances from this year's melas in London, Manchester and Newcastle. Highlights include Jaz Dhami singing Aaj Mausam with the London Philharmonia and Sukshinder Shinda singing Ni Sohniye Ni. The programme is on the Red Button until the end of next Friday.

Full details of how to watch the highlights can be found on the BBC Asian Network website.