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This past Friday, I decided to head down to Muzik in Toronto to see the TIFF kickoff party to the movie Breakaway.
With so many artists lined up to perform, and rumours of an appearance by Drake, it was something I wanted to see firsthand. I had to admit, this was the first time a show had garnered so much attention. Marketing was on point, as virtually everyone in the city knew about this gig, which is a feat in itself, as so many shows here fail merely due to a lack of any solid promotion outside of facebook.
I usually always head into these kinds of things with lowered expectations. As we all know, Toronto hasn’t fared well when it comes to big Bhangra bashes (just ask Panjabi Hit Squad, Tigerstyle, Malkit Singh, Juggy D, Jassi Sidhu, Rishi Rich, Sukshinder Shinda, Stereo Nation, Zeus, and many more.)
Slated to perform were RDB, Josh, H Dhami, Veronica, Jassi Sidhu and Bohemia. Appearances were also to be made by the cast of the movie, Russell Peters, as well as Ludacris and Akshay Kumar. In between all of that, DJ Kamran, Baba Kahn, Starting From Scratch, and DJ KSR would be spinning the wheels of steel. With tickets starting at $40, and a venue large enough to hold 3,000 people, this show was going to be big.
And so it begins.
I’ll spare you the elongated play-by-play, as it really was quite an uneventful night considering the billing.
Each performer “performed” (I can also write “sang” if you catch my drift) two songs maximum from the Breakaway soundtrack.
Ludacris was nowhere to be seen (he was in VIP) and the same can be said of Akshay Kumar (who also happened to be celebrating his birthday that night)
Interestingly enough, Akshay Kumar was present and visible on stage during the free event thrown at Chinguacousy Park this past Sunday, alongside the very same performers.
So while I was dancing away to the music provided by the various Deejays that night (which was probably the only saving grace to the entire evening) I came to the following realisation.
Artists mimed their way through their songs like puppets, but at the end of the day, we the people, who pay good money to see them, are the puppets, as we jump at the opportunity to watch them live with any chance we get.
Could it just be the Artists twisted way of getting back at us? We download their songs for free. They get paid for attending. We pay to see them perform. We still end up listening to the same CD we downloaded for free, but now in person.
And the beat goes on.
When I first watched the Nindy Kaur/RDB video, I was trying to comprehend what was actually taking place right before my eyes.
This scene in particular intrigued me:
Then it all became clear, as I uncovered the following tidbit of info;
While on the set of the video, Nindy and Manj were looking at the accompanying letter that came with the boxes that were being unpacked:
How embarrassing, having to be caught on camera while this was all taking place.
So last week, twitter was abuzz with the whole Jay Sean/Wiley beef.
If you care, you can read about it
And listen to the Radio Interview
Now I don’t condone any of the behaviour demonstrated by any of the parties involved. But, my investigative nature peaked when I saw the following tweet:
This led me to further look into the Punjabi Rockstars career, and try and decipher:
Is it his dance moves?
Is it because he knows Bradley from S Club 7?
Is it because he was in a Bollywood film?
It must be the cornrows right?
Is it because he’s released one album in seven years and living off that hype with performances all across the world? (I think we’re getting warmer)
Is it because he had Jin from the Ruff Ryders camp on his song?
I know, it has to be the Adidas Track Suits.
No, it’s definitely got to be the tongue piercing.
Alright I admit, this investigative journalism degree I have started to show people was printed from Google Images. It may be best if go back to the drawing board.
Note: Before people want to start a “measuring contest” I am fully aware of what Jagwinder Dhaliwal has really accomplished. If you aren’t up to speed, read his Wikipedia page.
Juggy D 2: Punjabi Rockstar is out soon.
Happy New Year Bhangraw familam!
May it be better in every way than 2010.
Catch up on a few videos below….
Tein Beats know how to make a catchy beat.
Released on the VIP Records album “Bhangra Duets”, the brothers pair up female vocalist, Poonam (thankfully not Miss Pooja) with the vocals of Romesh Chohan. Add to that, Twin Beats ability to make an infectiously upbeat..ummm, beat, and you get “Hatt Jaah”.
Buy the song from iTunes.
(*Technically, the one song that you should buy right now that is not by Panjabi MC.)
Due to the lack of real notable UK Bhangra releases over the Summer, I went a little AWOL. So let’s have a quick video party and do a little catchup,
Balle Balle (look below)
I don’t know how it happened, but two iPhone Tumbi Apps released virtually at the same time from two separate artists in the Bhangra industry.
First there was the Tumbi Nut, created and sold by The Sound Pipe Records.
You may have seen it in action in the Nach Bhabiye video.
Soon after the release of Tumbi Nut, came the release of iTumbi, created by and associated with Panjabi MC.
I don’t have an iPhone, so I can’t give you first hand knowledge as to what I would think is the best App, although I tried the “Dhol Nut” App and I couldn’t get the hang of it.
But scope the following, and I think you will be sold on one App versus the other.
Well as they say, “The champ is here.”
I’m sold. Even though it’s free.
(%&$# me! PMC is too sick)
It’s been a few months now, but the BBC have announced the proposal of bringing the axe down on some BBC Radio initiatives in order to save money. One of those initiatives under scrutiny is the BBC Asian Network. In case you’re not familiar with the BBC Asian Network, scroll down to the sidebar and see that it is the only Radio Show that I link to. Why? Because it is completely funded by the people of the UK, as well as it is the only show I go to, in order to discover new music first. Specifically, it’s Bobby Friction who leads the charge when it comes to championing new artists, and presenting us the sound of not only Asian Britain, but the world.
I’m not going to play the race card, but If you’re familiar with UK politics, you can say that it is a Conservative government led charge. In fact, the new government is stirring up a number of emotions.
I’m also, not supporting this case just to help save some jobs. The future of the presenters of the Asian Network have enough qualifications, and other ventures going for them, that they will safely land on their feet.
I’m doing this strictly for what the closure of the station would do for the future of Asian music.
The BBC Asian Network is one of – if not – the strongest platform for Asian artists to establish themselves in the world. The station is known across the world. Can you say that about any other Asian station?
Bobby Friction said it himself recently, when he said that by playing new unestablished artists on his show, he is letting them get their foot in the door to the industry. It helps them collaborate with other artists, and even find management.
Had it not been for the Asian Network, we may not have heard of such artists like Bohemia, Shizzio, JK, and Raghav just to name a few. We definitely would not have had the first Asian Download Chart Show.
Sure, there are other radio stations out there catering to South Asians. But they lack professionalism, and they sure as heck don’t help starving artists.
What do I mean by that?
The Performing Rights Society, is a royalty collection society. As a broadcaster, the BBC Asian Network pays artists that are registered with the PRS, to get paid every time their song is played.
If registered with the PRS, one play on the Asian Network is worth about £15. I was talking to an artist recently, and he has made “a few grand from one of his songs, a lot of which came from Asian Network.”
Other stations that complain about the Asian Network budget, do not take into account that the Asian Network pays PRS.
These same stations that are hitting out on the Asian Network, also aren’t paying PRS, and are matter-of-factly, breaking the law.
I’m not saying there aren’t any flaws in the Asian Network, but closing down this platform is not the answer.
In the meantime, there are things that we the public can do.
The main thing is to send in your emails to the BBC stating your opinion/displeasure/disgust at the proposed closing.
Tigerstyle, recently released a song with Shizzio about the closure, and if you check out the video description, Tigerstyle have laid out a a template for anyone to copy and email.
There is also the official facebook group dedicated to the cause, which will keep you posted on all the happenings surrounding the issue, of which 27.000+ people are already a member of.
And finally, let your voice be heard in Central London and Birmingham this Saturday, May 22, with the first ever Bhangra Flashmob to save the Asian Network.
For more details on the flashmob, go here.
Save the music!
Capping the series of year end posts, let’s deal with the best songs of 2009.
There were a lot of albums released this year, and every album released, should have at least one “it” song. This list I have compiled is not based on sales, or anyone else chatting in my ear. The only thing in my ear was the music itself. People’s taste in music is subjective – but you guys should take me as an authority on this subject anyways (joke) – So the way I chose these songs, is based on what got the most airplay in my mp3 player.
Number 10 – PBN featuring Miss Pooja “Aashiq”
If there is one thing that the UK Bhangra industry in 2009 may be known for, it’s the rise in fame of Miss Pooja. Seems like everyone loves her. Everyone except me. But she still made the list – with PBN’s production skills of course – due to the fact this one song had a huge effect on the dance floors across the world.
Number 9 – Northern Lights featuring Ashok Gill “Nakreh”
This was an awesome debut song, and video for Northern Lights. I’ve talked enough about how good this album is, so enjoy the video.
Number 8 – Twin Beats featuring Jaswinder Daghamia “Twins Tappe”
I still can’t get enough of this track, the dhol intro is just too sick.
Number 7 – Jus Ritz featuring Raj Kaul and RKZ “Nehio Nibhani”
You may be surprised with this selection, but like I said in the intro, this track got crazy airplay from me. I was impressed with Ritz’ first track “Tere Na Te Glassy,” but when this track came out, it was like “whoa!” RKZ and Raj Kaul smashed it, and the video is a positive piece of work as well.
Number 6 – DJ Dips featuring Ashok Gill “Ek Gera”
Look at that, the vocals of Ashok Gill make the list twice. This track by DJ Dips did not get the video treatment. Quite surprising since it’s the best song on the album.
Number 5 – JK “Pat Liyah”
JK and Tru-Skool have made a killer combination, and although we’re still waiting on a full album release, this song held me over just well. I was mad at whoever made the decision to slowly release just singles after singles, but now I’ve changed my mind. These days, variety is the spice of life, and listening to one artist for ten songs straight get’s a little boring.
Number 4 – Dark MC featuring Jaswinder Daghamia “Chori Chori Takna”
This track is a monster, Dark MC gave us some great tracks a few years ago on “It’s Getting Dark in Here,” and although this album I feel, was a letdown, the one track you would find yourself continuously rocking out to is “Chori Chori Takna” with vocals provided by Jaswinder Daghamia.
If you haven’t heard it, by all means go and search for it. I can’t post the video due to the lovely games MovieBox like to play.
Number 3 – Taj-E featuring Bee2 “B.I.G.”
In my opinion this is the biggest UK Bhangra dance floor track. Not many people recognise it as much as “Aashiq” on these ends still, but trust me when I say, I listened to this song almost as much as….
Number 2 – Swami “Sugarless”
Since the inception of Bhangraw.com, I’ve raved on and on about Swami. So why stop now? Even when I talk to people about Swami, they look at me as if I’m preaching about someone (I must admit, at times it sounds like I am.) This track continued in the footsteps of where they left off with the tracks on “Equalise” except, this was 100% all Swami right down to the lyrics.
Number 1 – Imran Khan “Amplifier”
I hate to admit it, but I ended up listening to this track more than anything towards the latter part of this year. Yikes! Any get together for any type of party, and it was this track that brought the masses together in a drunken stupor, trying to act out all the lyrics “On kara A/C!!!” Of course, if it wasn’t for the production of Eren E (who I think Imran Khan should take a bullet for if that should ever happen) on this track, it wouldn’t be as massive as it turned out to be. With the solid production, came that darn infectiously memorisable chorus “Nai woofer heh tu meri…meri, meh tera amplifier…FIRE!” And if that isn’t proof enough, the video has over 2.6 million views!
Go ahead, judge, criticise, mock. But these ten songs will go down for me as the biggest of 2009.