Tag: Punjabi Rappers

15 Coolest Desi Music Artists from California

21Mar

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15. Panjabi Architect

From: Los Angeles

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Although he’s not an architect by profession, he sure can build towering music tracks. Panjabi Architect has the ability to “engineer” eerie and soulful beats together which makes for a relaxing listen. Our favorite track is “Bol Fakira Bol” which incorporates Gurdas Mann’s powerful words. “I think imagination to conceive and create is “architecture” and each beat should be carefully placed, chopped, blended and synchronized to perfection” he says. Well guess what Mr. Architect? You’ve done an amazing job with living up to your name!

14. Baagi

From: Los Angeles

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Baagi is a rapper who can express himself freely in Punjabi. His music and lyrics have an important purpose, in fact, he has touched upon farmer suicides, droughts in India and even the 1984 massacre in Punjab. Baagi is not afraid to rap with intention to spread further awareness about these issues. Our favorite Baagi track includes “Pagaari Sahmbal” which is dedicated to “the bushy bearded, bald headed and everyone in between” says Baagi!

13. Bol Punjab De

From: The Bay Area

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Bol Punjab De started off as simple party DJs in 1998 and morphed into quite talented music producers. With hundreds of performances under their belt, at venues across the nation and worldwide, they have rocked dance floors with smooth mixing and great MC skills. Their hit single “Gera Like a G6” took the Bhangra music industry by storm when they gave “Like a G6” originally sung by Far East Movement a Bhangra makeover.  Their name says it all and they definitely define the sounds of Punjab (with a little urban flair, when necessary!).

12. Doc Bladez

From: Los Angeles

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Bladez has been one of the earliest South Asian adaptors of Turtablism, which even won him awards in the 90’s! If you’ve been lucky enough to see this guy in action, you probably understand what other “tricks” he has up his sleeve. He is one of the few DJs that can rock a party with body tricks while playing mixes of Hip-Hop, Punjabi, and his recent favorite – Dubstep, and Drum n Bass. He has the ability to fuse classic Punjabi folk music and give it a new generation kick-in-the-ass! Check out his 30 minute non-stop mix of of “Desi Dubstep Journey” which we can’t get enough of!

11. Shar S.

From: Central Valley

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Not only can he sing, rap and produce music but he can direct, shoot and edit video flawlessly!  Shar S is a musician and visual artist all in one and pours his creativity out into all his media. His hit single “Akhiyan” produced by RBS Productions has been an all-time favorite for the hopeless romantic. His bad-boy looks and out-of-the-box music videos make the perfect formula for a very creative and successful artist!

10. Hargo Boparai

From: The Bay Area

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If there’s one music producer to put California on the map, it’s Hargo Boparai! His recent album titled “Bhangrafornia” really gave the world a flavor what a talented music producer from the Golden state can really do. With collaborations with Master Salim, Surinder Shinda, Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti and more, Hargo has genuinely showcased true Punjabi roots through his music. Check out his recent music video “Tere Vargi”  shot all over Northern Cali!

9. Hoodini

From: Los Angeles

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Formally known as Jagmeet Singh, Hoodini is a simple kid living outside the city of Angeles, but his talent is far from simple. Hoodini is the epitome of California hip-hop with a voice that flows flawlessly. “King”, his partner in crime, adds the perfect amount of indie flavor with his guitar skills when they perform live together. Watch them in action in our favorite track “Breakfast

 

8. Kanwar Gill

From: Los Angeles

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He’s the famous “Son of a Sardar” and original pioneer of Punjabi rap. Kanwar started his music career with the hip-hop Desi group Karmacy back in the 90’s and has been releasing powerful Punjabi rap lyrics ever since. Kanwar has the ability to rap in Punjabi and English in the same song! The way his words flow, never fail to give us chills down our spine! Just last year, Kanwar teamed up with singer Ladla Punjabi and produced a heart-warming track called “Teer” that really touched the lives of many Sikhs around the world, take a listen!

 

7. Haji Springer

From: The Bay Area

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This guy is like the Mac Dre of the South Asian hip-hop world! With his unique (and at times) explicit lyrics, Haji doesn’t fail to impress with his overall gaudy music and rapping style. He went from a solo gig to a music group called 3 AM and produced the hit single “Bass Hits Hard” which was a chart topper in mainstream American radio stations all over the nation! He’s definitely the poster child of South Asian hip-hop from the Bay Area.

6. Sammy Chand

From: Los Angeles

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Rukus Avenue, one of the first South Asian record label company’s in the U.S. was founded by Sammy Chand in 1996. He really understood the need to produce and manage legit South Asian talent in California and made it happen!  Sammy is a true pioneer when it comes to putting an official stamp on South Asian music. He’s signed plenty of artists along the way and still had time to produce various types of music for his own label. Let’s thank Mr. Sammy Chand for paving the way for California South Asian music artists!

 

5. Raginder Momi

From: The Bay Area

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Ahh, Raginder is a breath of fresh air. He’s not your average music artist, in fact he doesn’t even sing! Raginder is also known as “Violinder” because of his impeccable violin skills. Raginder’s specialty includes producing music covers of well know hip-hop, pop, bhangra and hindi songs with his violin skills. He’s been playing the instrument since the age of 9 and his music is proof of his remarkable talent! Our favorite cover includes Punjabi MC’s “Mirza” take a listen!

4. Mira Veda

From: San Francisco

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Mira taught herself to write music and soon enough, she had enough music to release her own album. Mira is one of the few South Asian female artists hailing out of California. Her connections with the Recording Academy have given her plenty of mainstream existence. Mira is an artist who mostly sings in English but, is never afraid of recording some music in her mother tongue. Thanks for representing the females Mira, we adore you!

3. Pree Mayall

From: Sacramento

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He’s got the look, but don’t mistake him for a UK lad – he’s been born and raised in California! Pree is a Punjabi recording artist who is constantly putting out great Urban Desi music. Teaming up with his DJ/music producing friends is not only fun, but it helps his songs become smash hits, especially in the UK! His latest music video and track “Aaja Aaja” gives you a perfect example of his slick style and dashing good looks!

 

2. Mixman Shawn

From: The Bay Area

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Music has been pumping through his veins since the tender age of 5! Shawn started off his career with The Outfit Entertainment in the early 2000’s and soon after branched out into producing, singing and rapping for his own label- The Diamond Lane. Not only does he have the ability to produce and vocalize his music, he can write riveting lyrics to surely send someone goose bumps. Take a look at his true poetic and artistic side in our favorite music video of his – “Toofan” featuring another Bay Area music artist, Jesse.

 

1. Mandeep Sethi

From: Los Angeles and San Francisco

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Mandeep believes that his microphone is his channel for change and spreading awareness, in other words, social advocacy through music. Sethi has grown up around the influence of hip-hop and its basic fundamentals which he puts to good use. Social consciousness and cultural awareness act as pillars for Sethi’s music and lyrics which surely inspires a complete generation. Sethi enjoys traveling the world, stimulating others consciously while while sowing the seeds of true hip-hop. He has earned the number 1 spot on our list because of his influence to the South Asian hip-hop movement in the Western countries and in most of South Asia.

Think we missed someone? E-mail us at urbandesiradio@gmail.com and let us know!

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