Photo Credit: Beat & Boom
When I was 19 years old, I listened to all the Hinglish UK pop music my older brother introduced me to. It included: Rishi Rich, Jay Sean and Raghav. Back then, I didn’t know anybody outside of my family circle who knew who these singers were. Imagine my delight then when my editor at MTV Desi invited me to a video shoot with Raghav, the Canadian-born singer who took the desi world by storm back in 2004 with the release of the UK desi chart-topper Storyteller, featuring the catchy “Angel Eyes.” Then he disappeared for a bit, only to release Identity in 2009 – but only in India. Now he’s back with The Phoenix and a new single, “So Much.”
The first time I heard about Raghav’s comeback was when a friend texted me from a Phillies game to tell me that the singer was performing there. I went on a complete Raghav memory trip, listening to his albums on repeat for days. Unlike Jay Sean, Raghav’s appeal for me lies not in his looks or dancing, but in his original Hindi songs. But that’s my personal preference. Can’t say I love all his songs, but the teen I was is crossing her fingers for Raghav’s success. Dude can sing. Continue reading
Sunny Ali (L) with The Kid (R). Photo Credit: Jonathan Applebaum
The first time I met Hassan Ali Malik of Sunny Ali & The Kid was on Halloween when I attended a crazy house party in West Philadelphia with my friend Ali that started on the top floor and spilled out onto the rooftop. Dressed in a Pakistani topi (hat) with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee around his neck, Hassan looked like the bastard child of Aladdin and Flavor Flav. (He was actually going for Bollywood star wins Oscar.) At that time I didn’t know it, but I was looking for Hassan. My friend and fellow Sepia Mutineer, Tanzila Ahmed
, had been after me to get an interview with Philadelphia-based band POPO
, comprised of three Pakistani-American brothers – Zeb, Hassan and Shoaib. A few days after Halloween, I sent out a Twitter appeal after a month of trying to get in touch with the band via email. My friend Ali immediately contacted me. “You already know POPO,” he said. “You met Hassan on Halloween.” It’s a small, small Philadelphia. Thankfully, Hassan, who’d just left POPO to start his own gig, agreed to an interview
and soon after, put me in touch with his musical partner, The Kid, who also wrote on the side as Pork Adventurer
. (You following me?) Now, almost a year later, I’m happy to report that Sunny Ali & The Kid is still going strong. Check out this video interview to learn more about the duo and their music.
And, for all you Philadelphians, listen to these two rancheros play live Saturday night at Tritone!