Tag: hip hop

Part 2: Kanwar’s (Sikh Knowledge) coming out story

21Jan

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Part 1: Kanwar (Sikh Knowledge) talks about his self mutilation and suicidal tendencies

I could do a mini-series of interviews with Kanwar (Sikh Knowledge) he just has so many ideas and well rounded thoughts. He’s one of those artists, where you can give him any topic, he will have something to say and there’s a profound message behind his thoughts. For the past two days, I’ve had some of his tracks on replay and I feel the way he uses particular words could best describe the darker days of his childhood. Where his innocence was robbed from him at a very young age, his coming out and coming to terms with his sexuality. I’m very grateful he took the time to tell a complete stranger, a journalist, for that matter, his story. If you didn’t know much about Sikh Knowledge before this interview, you’ll walk away knowing the true definition of a warrior –  Kanwar Anit Singh Saini

Petz: I’m very impressed how you stepped out on stage and mention how you were proud, gay Sikh man at Non Stop Bhangra (Monthly Bhangra party in San Francisco, California) did people approach you after your set?

Kanwar: Surprisingly no. I was hanging out after the performance, I saw a few people pointing and whispering around me. A few people came up just to say, what’s up! One dude addressed it, but he was more connected to me by the fact he was from Montreal. No one really seemed to care. I felt it was necessary to mention it because most of the shows, I do are festivals and rallies with a political tinge to it. And this was a Non Stop Bhangra show, something I’ve never done before! I felt the need to mention it, although some of my music is danceable, there’s a message behind it. It sort of just came out to the audience. I just think everyone wanted to dance and to have a good time.

Petz: As a child, when did you start feeling different from the other children?

Kanwar: Right off the bat! I was somewhat of a “bubble boy” which means I always had some sort of allergy from being away from home too long, I was always creative, I was attached to my sisters, I was so different in that respect. Intellectually, I always did things differently compared to the other kids. I was always beat boxing on my way to school. In terms of my sexuality, on a certain level I always knew, but like I said, the sexual abuse confused things for me. As soon as we hit 8, 9, 10, we have a Meta awareness of ourselves, maybe even earlier then that. When the abuse started, my Meta awareness of myself, I explained these feelings being a result of the abuse, when later in life I realized it wasn’t a result of being sexually abused at all. I was confused with the reasons why I felt this way, but indelibly, found out there’s no reasons why, that’s just the way it is. It took my own self-awareness to separate the abuse from who I am. I was introduced to sex way too early, let’s just put it that way.

Petz: Do you get annoyed when people tie sexual abuse to homosexuality?

Kanwar: Oh totally! I’m not going to lie; my family did that when I first came out. They did out of fear, my sister approached me a couple of times and tried to make me realize it was because of the abuse. I realized they were just saying that because they needed a reason because they’re not me, so they just didn’t understand it. After awhile, they just accepted it for what it was. They saw beyond the sexual abuse. It really aggravates me when people assume you’re gay because you were abused. Sexual abuse itself is a monster, especially when it’s an old person and young person. I remember reading statistically, a couple of years back, how attention is attention, and a child who might have homosexual inclination might give off these susceptible signals to predators. The numbers of those being sexually abuse, who are gay, are just higher because of those reasons, not because of the abuse itself. Of course that’s just a statistic and even statistics can be way off. From me, it kind of resonates, like I said I was a bubble boy and very sensitive. I think when my abuse started, the root of it was basically attention, I loved the fact attention was being showered on me. Abuse isn’t always physically pain, a lot of it is being too young to know that the pleasure you’re feeling is completely fucking you up. That was completely inappropriate and not meant for me to experienced or showered on me in any way, shape or form. It really disturbs me when people compound my sexuality to the sexual abuse. Or abusers and homosexuality, abusers exist in many areas; there are heterosexual abusers as well, so it’s very different. If someone finds out your gay, they may never want to leave their kid with you again. It makes it difficult to adopt a child. It aggravates me for sure.

Petz: What happen to your abuser?

Kanwar: It’s fucked up, nothing happen. I blew the whistle on the abuse that I was experiencing and perpetuating. I’ll be honest about that; I was kid and abusing others as well. At some point, at the age of 16 or 17, I sat my whole family down and I told them everything. I blew the whistle on everything. My immediate family knows who the abuser is, my father knows who the abuser is and I know who the abuser is. The abuser knows who the abuser is and he knows that others know too. What’s funny is that, my abuser has never come to me to try to seek forgiveness. I haven’t made my peace with that person, but I made my peace with who I am. And who I am in relation to this abuse, especially it being known to my family. That’s huge and that’s really enough for me. This person, it’s funny, our parents generation has a weird way dealing with these issues, which we might consider very strange. It’s not that they don’t choose to talk about these things, but in fact for them breaking relations off with somebody is a very bad thing. Especially if the reason is something like this, they might not actually understand. In this instance, my abuser was my dad’s nephew. For my dad to break off the connection with that family, my dad just probably doesn’t understand, how he can do that and doesn’t know what to say. Which is sad, it’s not something I would do with my kid, but we have to understand they come from a different time and place. Just look at Monsoon Wedding, I would love it, if that was my life. If my father figure protected me in that way, that’s just not reality for a lot of people, it wasn’t a reality for me. I’m not living a fairy tale either, but thing is I can be loud about it, piss people off in the process and that’s fantastic to me.

Petz: When you were a kid, did you try to date girls just to fit in?

Kanwar: (laughs) I did, I had a girlfriend in grade 2. As I got older, I remember I tried to be intimate once or twice, not even just to fit in, but more just to prove to myself that I wasn’t gay. This was before shit hit the fan, I was really young, but I never tried to date girls just to fit in. I think I asked somebody out once, it lasted a night. (laughs). That was the end of that.

Petz: As you mention before, it is a long and difficult road out for a lot of folks out there in the Desi community to come to terms with their sexuality. And how you came out, it’s definitely different from other coming stories, because you blew the whistle on the abuse you endured as a child. From that point to your family developing a sense of acceptance to who you are, what happen in between? What made them come to terms with your sexuality?

Kanwar: I don’t think it’s acceptance for some people, I think if you are going to be a family member to Kanwar Anit Singh Saini, you are just going to have to deal with the fact I’m not going to care what you say. I’m lucky my family stuck around, I basically said, fuck you, I’m going to be who I want to be. Let’s just say my dad, this isn’t the ideal situation for his son. If you have a kid, think about it logically, you want your kid to succeed in “life” and you want your kid to have every opportunity to succeed. The reality is that includes not being gay, that’s a minority, if you are rallying for the maximum success for your off spring, obviously you are going to opt for them to be normative. So in terms for accepting, I think for somebody like my dad, he even says it himself, as long as my education is locked down then he just doesn’t care. I don’t think I could use the word acceptance with him. He tolerates who I am. For my sisters, on the other hand, who grew up in the western world, who know these terms, they accepted me. It’s a non-issue with them. My nieces are down with me, they are super proud of me. One of my nieces told me I was cooler because of who I am. (laughs) If I can take a handful of Punjabi kids and desensitize from this hetero normative macho crap that goes on in modern, pop, bhangra, movies and shit then I win. Between that point and now, my sisters are great, my dad is ok with it, but he comes from a different time and place. I can’t really blame him for that.

Petz: There are some people out there, in the Sikh community, who are still struggling coming to terms with their sexuality. They feel like they can’t be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender, because it makes them a “bad” Sikh. What are some ways you overcame your guilt or is that still a work in progress?

Kanwar: I guess a few words on Sikhism, my name is Sikh Knowledge as an artist, and I got this name from a Black Jewish friend of mine. I didn’t give myself this name, because I was Sikh; my black Jewish friend had a double entendre and just gave me this name years ago. So people often approach me and think I know a lot about Sikhism. I do know a thing or two, this is the number one argument, and people say it’s against Sikhism because they assume it to be hypersexual. From what I understand, within the frameworks of Sikhi, to move away from worldly attachments, which includes sexuality is basically the goal in life. It’s not the sexual preference, it’s sexuality in general, and that people should be moving away from – under that framework.  Even heterosexuals are anti-Sikhi, the difference is preference and it’s not the amount of desire one has for the act. In terms of Sikhi, I just say its sexuality; people should be moving away from, if that’s your argument. Another argument that often comes up – it’s unnatural. To love another human being, is that unnatural? I don’t think so. We have to look into these arguments, when someone says it’s unnatural, what they are referring to is anal sex. They are referring penetrating in the asshole. What you have to realize, this isn’t the end all and be all of what it means to be gay. The goal isn’t anal sex. That’s very wrong, because people have sexual preferences, it doesn’t mean they all fall into this “anal sex” category. There are many gay people out there, who don’t have penetrating sex; they just need the companionship of the same sex. What about lesbians who don’t have penises to penetrate each other, the underline assumption – gay people are just running around looking to penetrate something else or be penetrated. Which is so stupid, foolish and it’s a big misconception. It’s so King James, because King James wrote the bible and that shit went all over the world, and then everyone wrote laws against homosexual at some point in history. Sikhism was founded on inclusive principals. So when some people use it to exclude anybody, not even gay people, just anybody – I resent the hell out of that. Right then and there, they are being preachy. I find that to be the antisepsis of the faith.

Petz: Do you think the younger Punjabi community lacks knowledge and acceptance towards the LGBT Punjabis out there?

Kanwar: Hell yeah! I told you Punjabi Sikh culture is hetero normative and too macho for it’s own good. If I had a function in arts, other than music, it would be desensitizing these idiots to what it means to be a human being. Which is basically what I am. Are they ignorant to it? Yessssss! Sooooo ignorant to it. Think about it, when do we often get exposed to different types of people? University. What happens in University? People group themselves into cliques; there will be a Punjabi clique, a Hindu clique, and a Gujarati clique – people stick to their own cliques. It’s familiar; it’s a homely feeling, it’s funny HA HA. What ends up happening to their detriment, they become less cultured as people. This isn’t an absolute truth, even in the Diaspora, people can grow up not ignorant and just knowing their own, not experiencing the world for what it is. They need to come to terms with this fact that gay people come from this world. 10% of people in this world are gay, I don’t care what culture you’re from, I don’t care what President Ahmadinejad says, how gay people don’t exist in Iran, of course there’s gay people in Iran. Trust me, they do exist. It’s foolish.

Petz: What would you like to do to bring awareness to the community?

Kanwar: Be me, just like every one else should be themselves.  I will just be me, if that can bring awareness, I’m not one to go wave my flag in anyone’s face. I don’t want someone to wave their flag in my face. I will just be there, be me and do the stuff I’m supposed to do. I love producing, I love making music, I love my other career – I love all these things. Just by being me, if I can desensitize these people – fantastic! I’m not at the point yet, where I will march anywhere and infringe or push it in people’s faces. That’s up to them to accept me, one day I might be treating them in the hospital or their kid in the hospital – who will have the last laugh? I’m still a human being, people just need to accept for what is what.

Petz: I love your music, especially the track you did with Humble the Poet, Singh with Me. How will you take your sexuality and compose it into a rhyme?

Kanwar: I talk to Humble about this often, about how I can incorporate this part of myself into lyrics, without being so overt about it. If I had an album, I would probably address in a song or two. When your rhyming, basically hip-hop tracks aren’t about anything at all. Humble the Poet, is one of the emcees I know who can stay on topic; he can have a lot of rhymes on one topic. If I were to incorporate it, I would incorporate it, the way I corporate my views on Israel/Palestine. In other songs, where I just rhyme for the sake of rhyming, I can still incorporate my views in on metaphor. In our song “Slick Slick” I say something like, spark the night, with no reason like Israel. Right then, I’m bashing Israel for whatever my beliefs are, but I just said it in a simply assembly or rhyme. I do actually have a rhyme on Humble the Poet’s last album, on this song “Middle Ring Pinky” I end up saying something like, Knowledge the boggy, iconoclastically breaking fag perception. I’ll incorporate it in my rhymes, like I’m a regular hetero emcee.

Petz: This has been a wonderful interview; I believe people out there will feel truly inspired by your story. We are truly blessed to have you open up the way you did. I’m truly blown away by you. Thank you once again Kanwar.

Kanwar: Don’t mention it. It was great, thank you for letting me speak my mind.

Kanwar (Sikh Knowledge) talks about his self-mutilation and suicidal tendencies

20Jan

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This has to be one of the most candid interviews I’ve ever done. Kanwar Anit Singh Saini also known as Sikh Knowledge, underground producer and artist, let me into his world where he spoke openly about being gay, his suicidal/self-mutilation tendencies and sexual abuse. As much as some choose to ignore these important issues that plague our community behind close doors, it’s important we talk about sexual abuse especially. I would like to thank Kanwar for speaking openly about these issues, let’s all continue to talk about them and not turn a blind eye on these matters.

Petz: How has suicide affected your life?

Kanwar: I think suicide plays a role in a lot of gay people’s lives, especially through the coming out process. I know a lot of gay people who have contemplated it, when they were coming out, especially at younger ages. The first generation as well, who are from North America, but whose families are immigrants. It’s difficult because it’s a compromise, everything you have, which is essentially your family. The first generations aren’t as established, as the North American general heritage counterparts. It’s impacted my life only for the better; obviously I’m still here today. I did contemplate the thought of suicide; I did have to seek professional help when I was younger, for these thoughts and tendencies. I did exhibit self-mutilated behavior at one point; I would burn my hand. Unfortunately suicide amongst young gay people is very high, especially among minorities. It impacted me for the better because I went the opposite direction, I went ultra positive with myself. I gave myself the emotional resources I needed to succeed in whatever I wanted to do.

Petz: How old were when you had the suicidal thoughts?

Kanwar: 18. It lasted 18 to 20. And 20, I formally got help; I took a pro-active role in my own coming out and living life.

Petz: When you came out, did anyone directly or indirectly tell you “Oh you should kill yourself!” “You are better off dead!” “You’re worthless!” “How can you call yourself a Sikh, when you’re gay?”

Kanwar: No, no one really said that, I’m lucky; I have three amazing older sisters that protect me from a lot of negative attitudes. If anyone said that, I didn’t hear it.

Petz: What took place, when you finally reached out and got help?

Kanwar: It was scary; my case wasn’t as severe as a lot of people. I was still a relatively stable person; I had some sort of control over myself. I felt humiliated and embarrassed, it’s a different type of humiliation; it’s a humiliation at your own hand. Until you realize that it’s necessary, and there’s no need to be humiliated – it’s just a reality. You tend to grow proud of what you’ve conquered. It helps you find a way to get past it, I took a very pro-active role in my life, and I attended a sexual assault group for men. The reason why I attended a sexual assault group for men was because a lot of my suicidal thoughts stemmed from the sexual abuse I endured. A lot of this stuff, I want to address through music, you’ll hear it. I was sexually abused as a child for many years, during that time I also participated in sexual abuse and it was all within the family. I find this happens a lot within the community, I would say within the Punjabi community, first generation and so forth. There’s a lot of confusion to what sexual abuse is, what pederasty is – an older and younger person type of relationship. Some people think sexual abuse and pederasty are the same thing, but I feel there’s fine lines between the two. I was a part of the latter – the sexual abuse. This all bubbled up inside me, in my late teens and early 20s. The humiliation and embarrassment came from that aspect, I just had to look at it in the face and deal with it.

(Petz) It’s rare for me to become speechless during an interview, normally I have my questions lined up, I have them memorized and I’m ready to have them answered. But after what he shared with me, a flood of emotions took over; I was truly in awed by Kanwar’s honesty and bravery. Sexual abuse for example tends to get swept under the carpet. Kanwar broke the silence, not just for himself, but for others who are going through the same suffering he went through as a child.

After I thanked him, Kanwar continues…

Kanwar: It’s not a problem, I don’t care whose pointing fingers at me, and I have the greatest family in the world. My sisters are truly amazing. The embarrassment in the community, none of that shit matters to me. Or what people are going to say about my family, I lost my mom when I was 16. I know she’s looking down at me, she knows I’m trying to help other people. There’s no sense in communal embarrassment or whatever people might fear. If I can be a voice in this community or any community for that matter, just by being me as an artist and what I’ve been through – so be it. I will take that bullet, I’m 29 now, I’ll do it and I’ll be loud about this. These are pervasive problems that no one addresses.

Petz: When you look at your mutilation scars, what comes to your mind?

Kanwar: My scars haven’t healed in fact they remain on my hand. I have areas of thin skin on my hand, which often flares up in eczema because of the burnt tissue. Even my two sisters don’t even know about this, I used to burn my hand with hot water. The group I attended when I was younger, I used to tell them the pain made me feel alive because I was so disconnected from myself. I created this reality for myself, to help myself cope with a lot of the pain inside. The pain on the outside of my body would help unify the pain within and it felt great. When I look at the patches of thin skin, it’s a constant reminder to just take care of myself. I need to take care of myself physically and emotionally. If I don’t take care of myself physically, these scars are just going to flare up again. If I don’t take care of myself emotionally, that was the root the cause; it’s a case of metaphysics becoming physics. I don’t doubt when my soul is trying to tell me something, I try to listen to it because I have scars on my hands. At one point of my life, I created a reality for myself; I was that strong in my mind – totally false. I just need to stay grounded and rooted. After what I’ve been through, I’ve taken better care of myself.

Petz: For the people who are thinking about killing themselves, what would you like to say to them?

Kanwar: It’s not fair for us to say it gets better. When I had these thoughts and feelings, you are literally physically, chemically in your brain; a different person. At this point, whatever you are going through, someone has it a lot worse. Imagine your threshold and imagine it way beyond what you think it is right now. You can get past whatever it is; I would encourage the readers to seek professional help too. It’s ok to talk to someone and to be in a professional setting with a group of people who are going through similar thoughts and tendencies. It doesn’t make you any less of a person; it will help pull yourself back from committing suicide.

Part 2: Kanwar talks about being gay, coming out and the abuse he went through as a child.

Hip Hop artist Mandeep Sethi releases 3rd album Poor Peoples Planet

17Jan

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In a follow-up album to last year’s The World’s Gone Mad, Los Angeles born and Bay area based Sikh hip hop artist Mandeep Sethi comes out strong with a gypsy influenced concept album Poor Peoples Planet officially available for download on iTunes THIS FRIDAY, January 21st, 2010. Produced by X9 of Xitanos Matematikos, Poor Peoples Planet samples heavily on quotes and concepts of the spiritual speaker Jiddu Krishnamurthi whose words can be heard weaved throughout the album.

The Poor Peoples Planet official album release party is THIS THURSDAY, January 20th, 2011 at the Rockit Room in San Francisco.  The party, officially named “A Night of Conscious Hiphop,” is co-hosted by Ras Ceylon and will have live performances by Mandeep Sethi, Ras Ceylon, Unity and Sinista-Z.

At only 22 years old, Sethi has already developed a strong base of followers having appeared on stage with artists such as Ziggy Marley, Murs, Dead Prez and RZA of the WuTang Clan. A member of Afrika Bambataa’s Zulu Nation as well as a member of the hip hop crew Xitanos Matematikos (Mathematical Gyspies), for Sethi the microphone represents a catalyst of change rhyming with lyrics of social consciousness and cultural awareness. Sethi has taken hip hop to his Indian roots, collaborating with local artists like Delhi Sultanate of BASSFoundation (Delhi) and Reggae Rajahs (Delhi) as well as co-founding alongside BBoy Heera the India based B-boy/creative collective Slumgods.

Poor Peoples Planet was inspired by the gypsy hip hop teachings of Xitanos Matematikos (Mathematical Gypsies) and the idea of worldwide wandering gypsies originating from Punjab in the 11th dynasty. Imagined as a concept album, Poor Peoples Planet musically links the relationship between gypsy music, Punjabi music, and hip hop culture. These influences can be heard in every song on the album, from the haunting “I’m free” mantra laced song Cagebird to the head nodding Krishnamurthi sampled tribute to Punjab on  Ragamvirtuoso.

“We are a people that have been forced out of our land, forced away from our culture, and forced away from our language,” says Sethi.  “By nature we are gypsies wandering these plains trying to reconnect with our culture and reclaim what was once ours.”

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Top 15 Desi Artists of the Decade

31Dec

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This list is like no other, something that can only come out once in a decade. These artists shaped the 2000’s with their talent and dedication to the scene. Urban Desi Radio proudly presents the Top 15 Desi Artists of the decade!

15. Atif Aslam
Years Active: 2002- Present
Genres: Hindi, Urdu, Romantic and Rock

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Aslam, a Pakistan native, had been widely recognized in the Bollywood scene and has given several hits such as Woh Lamhe, Tere Bin, Kuch Is Tarah, Tera Hoone Laaga Hoon and more. He’s known for his powerful vocal belting technique and ladies… the way he romances in his songs, doesn’t it just make you melt?Bollywood music would be tasteless without him.

14. DJ Sanj
Years Active: 2002- Present
Genres: Bhangra, Punjabi and Hip-Hop

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Before DJ Sanj there had  been no artist coming out of the US or Canada with legit Desi tunes and remixes. Sanj  was one of the first Desi artists to represent North America.  He took mainstream loops with Punjabi vocals and made some musical magic.  C’mon admit it, I know you’re still bumping his mixes!

13. Amrinder Gill
Years Active: 2000- Present
Genres: Punjabi, Bhangra, Romance, Hindi Pop

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He has one of the most passionate voices in Punjabi music. Guys, if you really want your girl to melt- play one of Arminder Gill’s romantic ballads. Arminder has impressed us with the diversity of music genres incorporated in his songs including: folk-rooted tracks to up-tempo dance tunes for the bhangra lovers, hey… he’s even had a couple rock songs!  A Punjabi artist who experienments with every type of music genre has earned the 13th place on our list!

12. Satinder Sartaj
Years Active: 2003-Present
Genres: Sufi, Folk, Punjabi

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Okay fine, he’s an artist most of our parents/grandparents listen to but, they have been raving about this man for a reason. His lyrical poetry revels the glory of mysticism. In fact, his poems have inspired many around the world. Sartaj has taken his sufiana music career to another level by dressing and writing like Warris Shah, a man who gave a new direction to Punjabi literature. Looks like Sartaj may be on same path, looking to change the world.

11. Lehmber Hussainpuri
Years Active: 2001-Present
Genres: Punjabi and Bhangra

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It’s a talented voice you can’t fail to recognize. Lehmber first appeared on the bhangra scene in collaboration with Dr. Zeus on the album Unda the Influence. Lehmber’s voice became a hit with both traditional and modern bhangra fans. We can’t forget his most notable tracks: Ah Ni Kuriye, Das Ja, Saadi Gali, Seetiyan and the worldwide smash hit Desi Rock. Hit after hit Lehmber stays in the spotlight!

10. MC Metz and Trix
Years Active: 2000-Present
Genres: Urban Desi

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These two MCs became the hottest duo to hit the Urban Desi music scene in the UK. After teaming up with big names like Surinder Rattan, RDB, Mac G and others they quickly gained status as the ‘Red man & Method Man’ of the Desi music scene. With hits like Tappe,Ambarsariya,Aja Mahi and more, this duo proved they wont back down from what they do best, rap and MC!

9. Swami
Years Active: 2000- Present
Genres: Pop, Alternative, Hip-Hop, Bhangra and Rock

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The world hasn’t seen a band like this yet. Tell me where can you get a partially Desi band who keep their traditional sense yet, break the barriers of typical pop music. Do you remember the phrase ‘Desi Rock’? Well, that phrase originated by Swami music! Their album Desi Rock was voted a BBC Radio 1 favorite which then, launched their career into orbit. They have been producing fresh-desi-neofunk beats ever since. UDR loves raw music and artists, thus placing them for #9 on our list.

8.  Dr. Zeus
Years Active: 2001-Present
Genres: Bhangra, Punjabi and Urban Desi

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You’ve probably danced to all his hit singles: Gwandian Da Dhol, Kangna, Ah Ni Kuriye, Sat Sri Akal, Assi Haan Punjabi and more. If Lehmber is singing over a sick beat, it’s probably Zeus and in the background making some music magic. Zeus has the ability to take traditional Punjabi lyrics and music and merge them into something so hip and modern. Zeus is a talented producers, I’m sure you all can’t wait for what he has coming up next!

7. Raghav
Years Active: 2003- Present
Genres- Pop, Hindi Pop

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His voice sounds like it’s coming out of some old raagi’s mouth but, the funny thing is he’s a young guy with a enourmous voice. He hails out of Canada, was vocally trained in Los Angles and now resides in the UK- this proves that Raghav is surely all over the map and verfies his worldwide fame. With over 1.3 million records sold worldwide, Raghav has raised the bar for Desi-pop artists.

6.Miss Pooja
Years Active: 2006-Present
Genres: Bhangra and Punjabi

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She’s known as “The Duet Queen.” If you happen to come across someone blasting bhangra music, most likely it’s a duet sung by Miss Pooja. She’s produces hit after hit and you know you can’t get enough of her flirty and fun duets. It’s a relief to see female artists putting in much time and effort to reach the top! Girl Power!

5. Juggy D
Years Active: 2004- Present
Genres: Punjabi, Bhangra, Urban Desi

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Thanks to Rishi Rich, Juggy D made his debut alongside Jay Sean. Juggy D has been the face of the UK Bhangra  scene ever since he broke through in 2004. Not only has he collaborated with his fellow peers but, has worked with big names like Madonna, Ricky Martin and Craig David. Let’s not forget his guest apperrences in a couple Bollywood films, this guy was a hit and will continue to be!

4.  Imran Khan
Years Active:
Genre: Punjabi and Urban Desi

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We started warming up to him after his hit single, ‘Ni Nachleh’ and since then, we can’t stop bumping his beats! Although he has only had one album, Imran Khan has taken the Desi music scene by storm. His album Untouchable came out in 2009 with his catchy tune ‘Amplifier’ which, has been playing in every corner of the world, with youngsters and adults alike! Imran Khan has put Holland on the map!

3. Bohemia
Years Active: 2002-Present
Genre: Punjabi, Urdu and Desi Hip-Hop

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Critically  acclaimed as the ‘pioneer of Desi hip-hop’, Bohemia has set a standard for artists rapping in Punjabi and Urdu. After 3 hit albums: Vich Pardesan De, Pesa Nasha Pyar and The Rap Star, Bohemia has made his mark in the Desi music industry even, and even in Bollywood! Bohemia will continue to wow us with his rhymes and urban flavor.

2. RDB
Years Active: 2001-Present
Genre: Punjabi, Bhangra and Urban Desi

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This list wouldn’t be complete without the most popular bhangra brothers on the scene. Ever since they step foot onto the plate, they’ve always brought a new sound with them and created their own type of genre of music. Teaming up with big names like Akshay Kumar, Snoop Dogg and others has definitely put them on our top three.

1. Jay Sean
Years Active: 2003- Present
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop

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The first ever Desi to sign with one of the biggest records labels in the world. You can’t beat that, can you? Not only has this guy been a favorite with the Desi folks but, now he has made a name for himself in mainstream music. After being signed with Cash Money records, this guy has been flying high on the clouds of fame! If your rubbing  shoulders with Lil Wayne, Birdman and others alike, your doing something right. That’s why Mr. Kamaljit Jhooti has earned our #1 spot.

Break Your Back

31Aug

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I think Jay Sean has to keep a close eye on who he keeps company with, to me, this is another song that got out a little too soon. I’m not going to pass judgment on it, I’m sure it needs a couple of more trips to the studio before we hear the complete version. Do you think some artist let these things happen on purpose? Then they complain “my music gets leaked too soon” and then they are still the talk of the bloggers (including myself). Whose the real genius here? It’s like celebrities and their sex tapes, the same story “some maid” or “some burglar” got a hold of the sex tape. Or is the celebrity the real culprit?

Those DJ shoutouts are annoying, but you won’t see this video on youtube (it was on there – but got muted). I think Jay Sean’s folks are like the “big brother” of youtube, the “burglar” has gotten smart and just put it on of facebook.

Jay Sean’s new album “Freeze Time” will be out November 2nd

“Hold On” by Ash

14Aug

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Local Bay Area artist, Ash, has a new song out “Hold on”…. the video is directed by former host of Desi Nights Radio, on KLOK 1170am,  Shaneil Deo. Check out the video below..

Bikram, Pree and DJ Flawless out and about

1Aug

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A singer, a dholi and a DJ out loose in Chitown… Inner Vibes TV gives UDR an exclusive look behind the scenes of Bikram Singh, Pree Mayall and DJ Flawless gearing up for their show… Bikram takes a second to drop Pree’s new single “Sari Raath” featuring DJ Flawlees… check out this video…

UDR Artist of the Week: Dark MC

31Jul

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The artist of the week is Dark MC, I had the pleasure of interviewing him about five months ago. His album Incisive feat. Angel, stayed on top of the SimplyBhangra charts for many weeks. “Chori Chori Takna” and “Dasi Ni Dasi” were my favorites. Dark MC is currently touring around the UK, he’s working on his new album, that will be dropping soon on MovieBox Records. I have to say he has a unique lyrical style when it comes to his songs, I think that’s what grabs the attention of his fans.

“’I’m a storyteller I lay down my experiences and my observations of life love and the like. My rhymes are dark and distinct I suppose you could say that I view life through ebony-coloured spectacles.” says Dark MC.

http://www.myspace.com/darkmconline

Behind the scenes with Jay Sean’s 2012

28Jul

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“2012” will be out on iTunes on August 3rd and the video will be debuting on MTV August 8th! Nicki Minaj is featured on the track. The bootlegged version was hijacked and put on youtube. It was quickly taken down and replaced with an instrumental track. The song made it’s radio debut on the Panjabi Hit Squad show,  with Rav and Dee, on the BBC Asian Network. It’s been making its way on the airwaves here in the states…check out the behind the scene videos of 2012…

Jay Sean – “2012” (MAKING OF) PART I from By Any Means T.V. on Vimeo.

Jay Sean – “2012” (MAKING OF) PART II from By Any Means T.V. on Vimeo.

Cash Money recording artist Jay Sean in the studio working on his new single “2012” produced by OFM.

Directed: Aristotle
Produced by: By Any Means
Editor: Footnote Media Group
2nd Camera: Troy Leach

Aisee Taisee by X33 aka Mandeep Sethi

28Jul

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Local Bay Area artist, Mandeep Sethi, does it again with another groundbreaking music video! I love the imagery in the video and the way Mandeep tells a story through his rhymes. His new album “Fragmented Completion” will be dropping in late 2010. This video was directed by Manmeet Singh (slumgods)

You can buy a “New Delhi State of Mind” shirt… other clothing wear will be available soon!

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