Bhangra

May be this will make Britney Spears’ music better:

Britney Spears has turned to Indian bhangra rhythms for her comeback song out later this year. The song features Spears singing and rapping over music and rhythms from rural India and has been remixed by British Asian producer Rishi Rich – himself celebrating a top 20 hit in the UK this month with Dance With You (Nachna Tere Naal). Rich has previously remixed songs for Westlife, Ricky Martin and Craig David.

Bhangra (don’t try to pronounce it; the “r” is not a regular one) is music and dance from Punjab (now divided into Indian and Pakistani parts). It became big in the 1980s with a number of mostly Sikh performancers who modernized the music. Here is some history of Bhangra.

And in recent years it has become quite popular in Britain as well. So it has been mixed with reggae, hip hop and other kinds of music by Punjabi Britishers. In the early days of Bhangra in Britain in the 1980s, I remember the group Alaap.

We also have Bhangra-pop symbolized by Daler Mehndi from India. Here is some sample music of his. Abrar-ul-Haq from Pakistan has also used some Bhangra influence in his music.

You can download lots of Bhangra music here, but as the website points out it should be only to sample the music and “after downloading mp3s, you must delete them from your hardisk within 24 hours.”

There is lots of Bhangra music online. If you want, go ahead and search for it. I am not pointing it out since most of it is pirated.

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14 Comments.

  1. This stuff is going to get played out (by the time Britney Spears is onto it, you are a step away from the discount bin.) I hope hers will not be one of those tracks were they leave a vocal line in that is saying something that is ridiculous and has nothing to do with the English vocal.

    Don’t you think this is the logical next step from the ubiquitous Timbaland’s smash success with sampling Bollywood on all his tracks?

  2. hmm, I wonder just how many times this child will feel the need to “reinvent herself.” Exciting.

  3. i like white chix in saris-i can not like….

  4. Wes: Since I don’t listen to “Timbaland”, I have no idea. South Asian music has been getting used by the mainstream here in recent years. Have you heard Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? I think his musci was in Dead Man Walking.

    yasmine: Well, she needs to sell her music. Whatever that takes I guess.

    razib: Man, you have your geography mixed up. This is Punjab we are talking about. Saris are not the common female dress there.

  5. ok, kameez will do fine. as long as it’s exotic (vietnamese dress is cool too!)

  6. though on second though-i really don’t think britney knows the difference between sari and non-sari…so let’s hope she’s geo-culturally un-savvy.

  7. Zack I bet you listen to timbaland whether you know it or not. He’s a producer, think Missy Elliot’s”get yr freak on” Jay z’s “Big pimpin” and a whole bunch of other hits. for the most part he just samples riffs and beats (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was kind of a different thing, and I wouldn’t call him “mainstream” in the US (but he was in Dead man Walking ,with Eddie Vedder if I’m not mistaken)

  8. razib: Seems like you like saris. My wife loves to wear saris and I must say they look good on her.

    Wes: OK. Thanks for the info on Timbaland.

    Yeah, Nusrat is not really mainstream but his music has been used in a number of different places in the west.

  9. hello abrar
    its me zubia i like your songs + you very much i am your’s one of the biggest fan plz abrar send me your mobile number on my e-mail bc this child like u very much

  10. zubia: This is not abrar’s website, it’s mine.

  11. wot da hel is all dis website about? i’m confused u guys r jokers!!!

  12. is any1 der?

  13. soni_kurri: This is my blog.