A founding member of New Delhi-based group Reggae Rajahs, he currently hosts the Mumbai 2 Kingston show on Rukus Avenue Radio. Eastern Eye got the multi-talented star to select 10 songs he loves.
Chura Liya by Bally Sagoo Ft Reema Das Gupta & Cheshire Cat: This masterful reworking of a classic on a reggae instrumental represents the UK melting pot in the early 1990s. The sounds of India and the Caribbean combined in perfect harmony. Bally Sagoo had a slew of reggae and dub tracks early in his career, which many may not be aware of today.
Criss & Shine by Delhi Sultanate: A song from India’s leading reggae and dancehall MC, and founder of Bass Foundation Roots Sound System. This song appears to be a party track, but upon closer listening, it reveals Delhi Sultanate’s lyrical ability and revolutionary inclination.
Pass Me The Lighter by Reggae Rajahs: One of the most playful and easy-going songs they have written is an ode to Mary Jane. Inspired by Don Carlos’ Laser Beam and Freddie McGregor’s Bobby Babylon, this one is played on 420 across the world.
Samjha Kya by King Jassim: Starting off as a member of hip hop collective, Low Rhyderz, Jassim is a singer who infuses elements of reggae, dub, dancehall and traditional folk to forge his own sound. Samjha Kya is a conscious reggae song with a captivating melody and a catchy chorus.
Rasta Macha by Dr, Sakthi & Kavin: A collaboration between two Tamil singers, Dr Sakthi who is based in Kuala Lumpur, and Kavin who resides in California. The two singers trade flows back and forth flawlessly. This tune will definitely have you grooving to the beat.
Love Unites Us by Synchroshakti: This song is all about positivity. Love and unity are some of the core tenants of reggae music and Synchroshakti gets it just right with this uplifting tune.
Kathmandu by Cultivation & Arrival Sound: An anthem for Kathmandu. Nepal’s foremost reggae singer, Cultivation brings the fire with some Nepali lyrics and the song also features tight production from Arrival Sound System from the UK.
Modi, A Message to You by The Ska Vengers: This song by the Delhi-based band pays tribute to Indian revolutionary Udham Singh. With Delhi Sultanate’s commanding vocals leading the charge, the lyrics follow the 21 years of Udham Singh’s life following the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre in 1919, leading up to the assassination of Michael O’Dwyer and his execution in Pentonville Prison shortly after.
Arranged Marriage by Apache Indian: Apache Indian has had India listening to reggae and the Caribbean listening to India since 1992. Arranged Marriage showcased the true pioneer at his witty best. This song was featured on his No Reservations album, which featured some of Jamaica’s top talent, including Frankie Paul and Sly & Robbie.
The Mango Song by General Zooz: Trinidad and India in a combination, this one is a mango anthem. It is a tribute to India’s favourite fruit on a soca instrumental. While the references are desi, the sound is distinctly Caribbean. This is guaranteed to get both your nani and your niece singing – good clean fun.