Igniting Brown Pride: Why the New Swet Shop Boys LP ‘Cashmere’ is the Most Important Hip-Hop Album of the Year
In the beginning, there was Bend It Like Beckham. Gurinder Chadha’s 2002 sleeper hit was, and still remains, one of the essential contributions to urban brown culture. In Jess, the lead character portrayed by Punjabi-British actress Parminder Nagra, I felt like I’d found an accurate portrayal of my South Asian life. Granted, it felt a bit weird – me being a middle-class Punjabi chubby 10-year old boy from Delhi finding solace in the struggles of a Hounslow-based girl who, like me, liked David Beckham, and who, like me, wanted something different from the mundane, stereotypical brown life so many of my peers seemed condemned to. Bend It Like Beckham was also my first introduction to racism – in a pivotal scene, a white girl calls Jess ‘Paki’ – a derogatory racial slur commonly used against people of South Asian origin in Britain.
Image credit: Neha Dixit
Donn Bhatt just put out his third album, ‘Connected’, on 28 September. Two weeks later, any nervousness on his part seems to have been allayed by an outpouring of love for it on social media. “I’m surprised at how many folks have been sharing it, talking about it and writing in to let me know what they think”, he says, in a tone completely beside the brooding drawl we hear on the album. In any case, there’s no room left for anxiety. …
That Sanaya Ardeshir has been hard at work over the last year, is known to anyone who may have followed her music even in the slightest. The direction her two-step, future garage-y music is taking, the different rooms she plays out to, and the quality of her collaborators are all indicative of Ardeshir slowly, but most definitely breaking out of a self-imposed shell.
Image credit: Ronish Shreshta
Over the last two decades, Nepal has experienced political upheaval, civil unrest and devastation. From the outset of the civil war – christened the People’s War – by the Communist Party of Nepal in February 1996 to the catastrophic earthquake in April 2015, the erstwhile Hindu kingdom has witnessed a period of setbacks. Yet, the Nepalese people continue to survive, and in some cases, thrive. With a young, vibrant and ambitious population (88% of the population is under the age of 60), Nepal is seeking to chart a course that will leave a significant mark on the world – with hip-hop playing a pivotal role. …
Earlier this year we were proud to announce the launch of a new residency initiative: BMR. Over the course of 2016 – BMR will host 3 South Asian artists in Berlin for 2 months and see a Berlin based artist take part in a bespoke residency program in South Asia.
DJ Nephra – image credit: #SundayPlayground
Although there aren’t many female DJs in Hyderabad, the ones that do exist draw a good crowd.
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new initiative – SLAP (SoundLab Asia Pacific) Residency. A program brought to you in partnership with Modern Sky Festival Helsinki, Detour Asia, the Dusun and Border Movement (see below for more info about the partners). SLAP aims to encourage an ongoing intercultural dialogue by promoting creative exchange amoung music scenes from Asia Pacific and Europe.
“Music appeals to a beautifully primal place within human beings and enables us to have synchronised collective experiences that transcend the mundane. To me the greatest message in music is that it is the antithesis of social issues. It should unite us. And, I think this has been a very important role of music for a long time,” says Colombo-based Givanke Goonetilleke whose endeavours with constructing metaphorical sonic terrains have surpassed all conventional norms with respect to experimental music.
I’m in an auto rickshaw — a tuk-tuk in local parlance — and we’re taking a U-turn opposite the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo – 1. The person driving the tuk-tuk is an affable middle-aged man, upon recognising I’m Indian, he gets excited and insists on talking to me only in Hindi, familiar as he is with Indian and Pakistani culture. …
We are thrilled to announce that Iranian musician and composer Ghazaleh E will be the third artist to participate in the bespoke Berlin based residency program.