Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Big Up Rishi Rich

Rishi Rich's Desi Kulcha Mix makes it on "In the Zone."

(image from

Usually when a Desi artist remixes a song for a mainstream artist, the most he/she can hope for is having the remix appear on the single. The Panjabi Hit Squad have remixed numerous artists (Mariah Carey, Ashanti to name a few), and those remixes are hard to find in America, as they usually only appear on the single that is sold in the UK. Well everyone knew that Rishi Rich was producing a Desi Kulcha Mix for Britney Spear's new album, and attesting to his talent, his remix is appearing on her full length album entitled, "In the Zone." You can see the tracklistings and listen to the remix by clicking here.

I think this is another large step forward for Desi sounds in mainstream America. I know many of you think that this sound is getting played out, sampled out, or just over-hyped. But it isn't just Bhangra anymore. In fact, I think that Desi sounds are coming at American audiences in very different directions. You have people like Panjabi MC and Panjabi Hit Squad who brings UK Bhangra-hop, a mix of Bhangra and hip-hop, Raje Shwari, Mira Veda (via Om Malik), Reshma, and other Desi Females, who are bringing the sultry Hindi-Hop vocals, you have the Nitin Sawhney's, the Cheb i Sabbah's, the Karsh Kale's, and the Talvin Singh's who are making classical Indian sounds accessible for modern ears, the A.R Rahman's who are bringing straight musical genius and scoring to movies and the theatre, and you have the likes of a Rishi Rich who are indi-popping American popular music. Like the motto says "Desi's in All Directions."

Incidentally, an interview/review that I wrote of Cheb i Sabbah's As Far As can be found in this month's Mantram Magazine. Next month's issue will have my article/interview with Rishi Rich. It is free to see it online, you just have to register, but I think everyone should go out and subscribe to the print version of Mantram.


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