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Bhangra & Bollywood Goes Mainstream

Over the years, we have been watching as Bhangra & Bollywood slowly, yet steadily, has been making its way into mainstream eyes. First there were Bollywood movies such as Marigold, which starred Hollywood actress, Ali Carter. Then there was the international hit, Slumdog Millionaire, which put actor Anil Kapoor, directly in the eyes of Hollywood producers. But the one thing which has really caught the attention of everyone has been the influence of Bollywood music for mainstream America and internationally, as well.

Just a few days ago, Dj Scoop tweeted, “Evolutions of Bollywood Rmx’s we use 2 take hiphop/house beats & lay desi trks on top, now we take bollywood beats & lay hiphop/dance trks over it just take @Jaydabhi mashup over 1K dl’d and 5K listen w/in 24hrs.”

Jay Dabhi has been one of the most sought after South Asian DJs in the US. As a DJ, he has always strived to go mainstream, while meshing in South Asian side on the turntables and on the radio. During one of this most recent shows on New York City’s 92.3 FM, he dropped his latest International Love remix. The song was originally done by Pitbull featuring Chris Brown. But instead of taking a Hip-Hop beat and adding Bollywood vocals, he did the complete opposite. Dabhi took the beat to RDB’s most classic track, Sadi Gali, which was recently featured in the Bollywood movie, Tanu Weds Manu, and added the acapella vocals to International Love & played it on the radio.

The minute this song was dropped on one of New York City’s biggest radio stations, Twitter went wild with Tweets like, “@RDBTV goes mainstream with @JayDabhi’s #InternationalLove remix by @Pitbull,” or “OMG! Did I just hear @RDBTV’s #SadiGali on American radio?!”

So what was Jay Dabhi’s reasoning behind picking Sadi Gali as the track of the hour? I spoke to him and he stated, “When I first heard International Love, I envisioned it having music from different parts of the world underneath the lyrics. I originally was going to mix portions of it with Indian, Latin and Middle Eastern music, to give each verse/chorus its own international flavor. When I was testing out different Bhangra songs, Sadi Gali fit perfectly with it in terms of musical key. It was a perfect match!”Dabhi went onto state:

Once I started laying down Sadi Gali with Int’l Love, I chose to keep it all Sadi Gali and introduce the original vocals toward the end of the track to serve as the songs bridge section. [The track] works perfectly; it’s one of the most well known and loved Bhangra songs ever made (my personal favorite of the genre); and the idea of International Love with a great danceable “international” melody and lyrics is a no brainer. I play this at any party and it works, no matter the audience.
We also caught up with Manj of RDB who stated to us, “When Dabhi dropped the remix, our Twitter went on fire. People were talking about how dope the mix was & that RDB was on mainstream radio. Hands down, Dabhi has done one of the best mixes to Sadi Gali. He’s a beast on the turntables and we’re glad with what he’s done.”

This is only the first step. But with the popularity that Dabhi’s International Love remix has had on the radio, it won’t be too long until we hear another Bollywood-influenced remix on the radio.

Click below to listen to Dabhi’s International Love remix and download it as well!

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International Love – Pitbull feat. Chris Brown & RDB (Jay Dabhi Bhangra Mix) by Threerecords

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As you can tell, Bollywood “filmi” music has made an impact across the world for more than 30 years. Here are the stats:

** In 1978, technopop pioneers Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto of the Yellow Magic Orchestra produced an electronic album Cochin Moon based on an experimental fusion between electronic music and Bollywood-inspired Indian music. [1]

** Devo’s 1988 hit song “Disco Dancer” was inspired by the song “I am a Disco Dancer” from the Bollywood film Disco Dancer (1982), composed by Bappi Lahari. [1]

** The 2002 song Addictive, sung by Truth Hurts and produced by DJ Quik & Dr. Dre, was lifted from Lata Mangeshkar’s Thoda Resham Lagta Hai from [the film] Jyoti (1981). [1]

** The Black Eyed Peas’ Grammy Award winning 2005 song Don’t Phunk with My Heart, was inspired by two 1970s Bollywood songs, Ye Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwana from Don (1978) and Ae Nujawan Hai Sub from Apradh (1972). Both songs were originally composed by Kalyanji Anandji, sung by Asha Bhosle. [1]

Of course, let us not forget how British-born artist, Punjabi MC, made an international splash with his Bhangra track, Mundian To Bach Ke, which featured award-winning rapper Jay-Z. And of course, there was Snoop Dogg who made his Bollywood debut with Singh is King and Ludacris with the song Shera Di Kaum. To be quite honest, the list can do on forever to be quite honest. Even with songs featuring Snoop Dogg and Ludacris, radio stations in the US never really picked them up. Was it because they were scared to what their listeners would think?

The one pressing question we had in mind was as to why it has taken so long for Bollywood/Indian music to make it tomainstream radio. We discussed this with Dabhi as well and he stated:

It will make mainstream radio once South Asians are seen as a viable force. South Asians need to be vocal, more interactive, and involved in the greater community. Hit up your radio stations, get on Twitter, Facebook, get interactive with media. Im djing on the biggest radio market in the USA with a potential reach of 16 million listeners. When I played my Sadi Gali/International Love mix on NY’s 92.3 NOW FM, the stations Twitter and texts blew up. Thats great. That shows the station our big community is out there tuned in. Bollywood music’s sounds can make it to the mainstream as long as it caters to the mainstream community as a whole. Do I think a song sang fully in Hindi will get played on commercial pop radio? Nope. If its mixed how Pitbull does with Spanish and English then sure, but that’ll happen once record labels and radio stations see the South Asian community as a large involved group. We’re getting there. We’re more visible now and we’ll only grow more.