Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rita Morar - Piya

Rita Morar, a singer who has performed at Glastonbury, has released a video for her single Piya. It is her debut solo single and the first music video she has made.

Piya is a simple and effective video. There are shots of London and a the video shows a blossoming love story. The wintry scenes feel out of season now that it is getting warmer, but suit the tone of the track.

The song is atmospheric and shows off Rita's vocals wonderfully. The lyrics are in Hindi and English and compliment each other well. A gorgeous debut from Rita.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

G-ta - MNK

G-ta, a Dubai based producer who remixed Tigerstyle's Kudi, has released a new track. MNK is a dubstep track with plenty of heavy bass. It has a lovely sitar opening that does not even hint at the drop a few bars later. There are hints of Manak's vocals, the title of the song is Manak's name with the letter A removed, and the track has a wonderfully dark atmosphere.

If you like MNK, you can download from g-ta's SoundCloud page here.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Aman Khaira Loves An Angry Bird

There are a a few songs about smart phones and now there is a song about the apps that run on them. Aman Khaira has made a song called Angry Bird inspired by the game. 

In the track he tells the girl in his life that she is as cute as an angry bird. The lyrics also make references to other cult smart phone games like Temple Run and Fruit Ninja.

Angry Bird is dire and is the worst song I have heard this year. It shamelessly rips off the Angry Birds theme tune as well as the pig grunts. It's funny on the first listen, but by the second I wanted to rip my ears off. I doubt there are many women who would be flattered if they were told they were as cute as an angry bird.

There is no official video for the song, just a slightly creepy photo of a man gazing lovingly at an angry birds carrier bag! 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Yogesh Kalia Parodies Imran Khan's Satisfya

Earlier this month Imran Khan released his new single Satisfya which has become a hit. The video saw him driving a fast car, sitting on a throne and gazing over the skyline of Dubai.

Yogesh Kalia, who plays Agent Kalia in Humza Arshad's Diary of a Badman, has made a hilarious parody of Imran Khan's Satisfya. Instead of driving a car, he rides a bike and the skyline of Dubai is portrayed by a hand drawn poster.

The lyrics of Satisfya are also parodied successfully. Yogesh keeps the odd mix of Punjabi and English and will bring the daal if the girl brings the naan!

It's great when comedians parody well known music videos. I can think of a few other desi music videos which need sending up. 

Tigerstyle Introduce Digi-Bhang

It's the end of Tigerstyle Week on Sari-Clad Speakers. In this last post celebrating the release of Digi-Bhang, Tigerstyle talk us through seven tracks from the new album. It features some exclusive clips of the songs that have never been heard before! This is the closest you can get to Digi-Bhang without actually listening to it!

Read the review of Digi-Bhang here.

Tigerstyle - Digi-Bhang Review

When Tigerstyle announced the release of their new album five years after Mystics, Martyrs and Maharajahs, no one knew quite what to expect. The singles they released sounded different to the tracks other producers were making. Sari-Clad Speakers was lucky enough to get a copy of this long awaited album and here is a world exclusive pre-release review of Digi-Bhang.

Tigerstyle have a way with bass lines like no other producers. The amount of styles, instruments and beats they pack into their songs is amazing. The production is so intricate that even after several plays of the album I am still picking up new things.

Digi-Bhang is a collection of 11 songs that work independently and are suited to the shuffle function on an MP3 player. If you listen to albums the old fashioned way (one song after the other in the order of the track listing), you may find it too intense as there are no slow songs to provide variation. Tigerstyle make great slow songs and I missed them on this album.

The lyrics on most of the tracks are all sung traditionally in Punjabi, so whatever Tigerstyle do with the accompaniment the song still has a desi feel. However, the bass line and accompaniment to the vocals is where Tigerstyle play around. mix things up and fuse sounds together. It makes it hard to classify the style of each song, especially when it changes halfway through. This is bhangra, but not as you know it.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tigerstyle - Boss

Tigerstyle are releasing Digi-Bhang next week. A video for the single Boss and four new remixes of the song will also be released on the same day.

Boss is full of drama and atmosphere. It divides into neat sections which mix different styles. There's plenty of dhol, bass and dubstep. RK Mendhi provides some impressive vocals and the lyrics were written by Ranbir Jagatpuri. They appear together again on another Digi-Bhang track.

The remixes are very different from each other and focus on different aspects of the track. All the remixes keep RK Mendhi's vocals which shows how good they are. D-Boy Bawse adds additional vocals alongside RK Mendhi's and the remix works well. Matt the Alien briefly changes the pitch of the vocals and gives the song a laid back feel. Boss is Jakes Hench's second time remixing a Tigerstyle track. His Boss remix is as complex as his remix of Ay-Ha!. With it's eastern vibe and assortment of additional sounds the Caballo remix is my favourite.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Interview With Tigerstyle Part 2

Read part 1 of the interview here. 
You’ve grown up in Glasgow where the Asian community is small. Has this affected the music you make? Would you have made less radical music had you grown up in the bhangra bubble that is Birmingham?
Raj:I think where we grew up has something to do with it because we weren’t surrounded by pop bhangra when we were younger. We were surrounded by traditional music that our dad or our chacha was listening to. Our older cousins weren’t really into bhangra music. Most of the music that they were listening to was pop, dance, rock. Being bit removed from the hub of the Asian population in Britain has put us in a position where we’ve not got drawn into trends.

Pops:In our school we were the only Punjabi kids. Your friend circle is not just Asian or Punjabi. The influences you get from people around you, the type of music you encountered going out and socialising, isn’t bhangra.

R:When you are in an area where there is a large Asian population, I don’t think you have to develop a strong identity for yourself. Being at schools and universities where there weren't many Asians, meant that we had to be strong in our own personality and our own identity and I think that comes through in our music. The music that we make has its own unique identity in itself. I think that comes from us as people.

There are websites and magazines that wouldn’t write about Desi music which have picked up on the singles. What can fans of other music genres get out of bhangra?

P:We’ve built relationships with DJs and producers from different genres that we follow and we’ve invited them to remix our work. The original tracks that we’ve made borrow different concepts and sounds from these genres. We have DJs from all across the world who are receiving our promos, giving us feedback as well as going out and playing our music. We are trying to get bhangra out there further than where it’s gone before. People that would not necessarily come across bhangra music or listen to it, we are giving them an entry into the scene but in a format that is more accessible.

R:I think dubstep bhangra or more electronic bhangra has its place. It has Punjabi vocals on it but if it was played in the middle of a dance set in the middle of Europe where English isn’t the main language I’m sure most people would appreciate it in exactly the same way they would appreciate a dance track that’s in English.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Interview With Tigerstyle Part 1

Tigerstyle are two brothers from Glasgow who have been making music since the late nineties. They have set up their own record label, recorded a live session for John Peel and even had their song featured on Britain's Got Talent. I caught up with them during the shoot for the Boss video to talk about their new album Digi-Bhang.

How did Digi-Bhang come about?
Raj:Digi-Bhang’s come out of people saying to us that you guys don’t seem to be just like the typical bhangra producers. The sound that you make doesn’t seem to fit the bhangra mould. So maybe the sound that you are coming through with needs to have a different name. Not bhangra it needs to be something else. So Digi-Bhang is an amalgamation of a couple of words. Its taking the concept of digital and electronic music and fusing that with bhangra and we’ve tried to play with a few different words and come up with a few different ideas and "Digi-Bhang" was the most resonant with us.

Pops:We have been trying to evolve the sound that we make. We’ve looked at the other music genres that are from niche backgrounds but can be blended well with bhangra. Like dubstep, electronic dance music, moombaton. The type of sounds that we’ve used are all borrowing ideas and blending them with the Punjabi bhangra music that we make. As a music form, bhangra has its own place in the world. It evolved out of Punjabi folk music to be a British sound but lately we feel that it’s become a copycat sound rather than being something exciting like in the late 80s and early 90s. Each artist or band had a different sound. When the DJs and producers came along, they were creating a sound which was signature to them alone. When you heard a Panjabi MC track or a Bally Sagoo track you knew straight away it was them. That’s the type of artist we have been following and that we have grown up listening to. To be a bhangra artist, to be a  British bhangra artist, we feel that we need to be making a unique sound that represents who we are. It as much British as it is Punjabi.

What was the reason to hand out remixes?
P:The coverage that we were getting from various other websites and DJs. It just clicked that there must be other people that are not from a bhangra background who are not Punjabi people. They don’t go out and DJ to Asian people but they still want to play our sound so it was a risk that we took. It gives us a lot more material to play with. We want our DJ set to be exciting. A lot of the music that is coming out in the scene just sounds the same. It doesn’t excite us enough to want to play that material in our set. If we have tracks of ours that have been remixed in particular genres or styles that we are fond of, then it becomes really exciting for us.

Was there a particular remix that surprised you?

R:For me the WAFA mix of Ay-Ha was really out there and it’s amazing to hear. He hadn’t taken many elements from the song, he’d been inspired by what was there and created something completely fresh, but had the Ay-Ha! shouts and little elements in there that referred back to our track. We follow the producers that have worked on our stuff and it’s exciting for us to hear what they’ve done with it. When we send out the remix parts to these producers we are always checking our emails waiting for someone to send us something because we are that excited about it. 

P:G-ta’s remix of Kudi is so intense. It didn’t have any vocals on it, it was mean. But it had these little elements of what we had put into into Kudi that he had played off and made his own sound.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Behind The Scenes Of Tigerstyle's Boss

It’s Tigerstyle week on Sari-Clad Speakers celebrating the release of Digi-Bhang. To kick it off, here’s an exclusive behind the scenes photo from the Boss video shoot.

The video for Boss is has been made by Mad Tatter Films and is so scary that Brit Asia TV will only air it after 9pm!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Imran Khan - Satisfya

Imran Khan has released his new single produced by Eren E. Satisfya is his first new material since Unforgettable was released in 2009.

It is instantly recognisable as an Imran Khan track. The song is cinematic and atmospheric. The sound is more mature than his previous work and the bass line is heavy and bouncy. Satisfya is catchy and is a tune to blast out of the car summer.

There are English lyrics mixed in with Punjabi ones, presumably to appeal to a wider  international audience. I prefer it when Imran sings in Punjabi only and it sounded odd when he switched languages every sentence. The lyrics don't always make sense, and words like "worldwide-ah" and "satisfya" are invented, but some of the lyrics in his other songs don't make sense either!

I'm curious what the video will be like. The video for Amplifier was cheeky with an interesting storyline and panoramic shots of Amsterdam. For Satisfya it would be easy to pack a set with models and cars. I hope Imran doesn't do this and can come up with something as original as Amplifier.

Satisfiya is a song that says to the world I've returned. A big welcome back to the ride provider. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Two Female Singers To Watch

There is a huge lack of female artists in the Desi music industry. Bhangra is dominated by men and there are only few successful female singers based outside the subcontinent.

In the past month a couple female singers have stepped into the limelight to reverse the situation. Shaz, a solicitor, released Tere Liye in April and Sarika Gill released Punjabi Suit last week. 

Both vocalists have experience. Shaz has sung around Scotland and Sarika has released a few singles on a different label. The singers each have their own style and sound different to each other.

Sarika's Punjabi Suit has a traditional feel to it. Her vocals are strong and this is a tune that would work well at a Sangeet. I liked how the dhol player in the video was a woman as it's another industry that is full of men.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tigerstyle Week On Sari-Clad Speakers

Tigerstyle are all set to release their new album Digi-Bhang and single Boss on the 23rd of May. Sari-Clad Speakers has an exclusive a copy of Digi-Bhang and will be reviewing the album before anyone else!

To celebrate, next week is Tigerstyle Week on Sari-Clad Speakers. From Monday there will be exclusive pictures, interviews with the duo about how they put the album together and snippets from Digi-Bhang that have never been heard before.

This is the closest you can get to Digi-Bhang without actually listening to it. So make sure you log on to Sari-Clad Speakers and follow me on twitter for a whole week of exciting exclusives.