It’s not very often one finds a fusion of Indian and Pakistani artists from Canada delivering the title track to a Bolly-Holly film production. And, a track titled ‘Chaddi Waale Yaar’ at that, literally meaning ‘Bum Chums’.
Meet Josh, the Montreal based Asian fusion band who are making waves with their music which showcases modern and traditional Bhangra beats but (in their own words) ‘strongly influenced by hip hop and pop music’. In London recently for their first ever appearance at the O2 London Mela 2011, and after a long stint away from the London ‘scene’, Josh wooed the crowds with tracks ranging from their much loved ‘Mahi Ve’ to the upcoming title track for the Akshay Kumar production ‘Breakaway – Speedy Singhs’. Josh comprises Rup (Rupinder Magon) and Q (Qurram Hussain), who tell us that whilst being recognised as political ambassadors, at the end of the day, they are 2 desi guys who just love ‘being desi’.
Josh brings together the rawness of Pakistani music and combines it with conventional Bhangra whilst polishing their tunes with a very modern hip hop style. Music lovers are presented with songs that conform to neither stereotype yet provide something for every genre’s lover to cherish. And herein lies Josh’s ability to steal the show by tapering their style of presentation quite artistically to match the crowd’s ‘type’ and mood; a feat not many performers achieve.
Recently they performed at the highly acclaimed Pakistani version of Coke Studio, after having worked with the likes of Nelly Furtado and Bhangra idol Sukhbir. “We were just so excited to be part of Coke Studio!” commented Q, when asked about their experience there. “We were the only international artists that have performed there in four seasons....being the only non Pakistani on that show, it was a really unique experience for me”, remarked Rup.
Josh has released four critically commended albums and made their film debut with an Indo Canadian production, Breakaway-Speedy Singhs, released on 24th September 2011. Speedy Singhs, directed by Robert Lieberman is a Canadian/Punjabi drama film and features Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Camilla Belle, and Anupam Kher. Rup portrays the character of Jassi Singh, an ice hockey player. “Acting is one thing, but when you’re acting with Rob Lowe and Akshay Kumar and Russell Peters, it’s a little bit of an intimidating experience” commented Rup.
We are increasingly seeing new musical collaborations between the East and the West resulting in an interesting genre of cultural hybrids. This is great news for us NRIs as we get to experience music which incorporates our Asian roots but also encompasses a wide range of the modern music styles we are now accustomed to.
You can connect with Josh on www.planetjosh.com
Photo credit: ians.in