DISCLAIMER: The people in this article have taken the concept of popularising sub-continent culture to a whole new level. In a nutshell, they are victorious away-gamers!
Music is truly universal. The way it connects cultures and norms are quite simply unique. This write-up covers the stories of individuals who have beaten all odds en route to a domain of stardom alongside blending home culture with away culture, taming ‘away’ to a taste of disparate home.
In the order.
1. JAY SEAN:
Born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, Jay Sean is a UK based singer, songwriter, rapper and a beatboxer. His story is the epitome of inspiration to any Indian child. A not so severe observation of the current education trend would show the extent to which our society is marginalised towards the professions of Medicine and Engineering.
Get ready for the surprise of your lives. Jay Sean was a straight A student in his GCSEs and finished his A Levels with an A grade in Biology and B Grade in Mathematics and Chemistry! Surprising, isn’t it? Wait till you read it.
His amazing grades enrolled him a seat for Medicine in the Bart and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry! Consequently, Sean dropped out in 2003 to pursue a career in music. Now you’re bamboozled.
At the end of the day, Jay Sean’s records are exceptional for a british-punjabi Medicine dropout turned Musician. Let me enlighten you, his track “Down” was the first South Asian origin and UK Urban Artist’s to top the Billboard Hot 100 ever! ‘Nuff said!
Everything has its vintage. So does inspirational stories of sub-continent origin artists! Jokes apart, Kamahl is the stage name of Kandaiyya Kamaleshwaran, an Australia based musician.
Born in 1934 to Tamil Hindu parents (of Lankan descent), He grew up in Kuala Lampur. However, it was in 1954 when he hit Adelaide for higher education did he get the exposure to mainstream performing music.
In 1966, he was the finalist at the Sydney Eisteddfod. By 1975, Kamahl was into consistently producing music and had his single, “The Elephant Song” hit the Dutch Top 40.
Eventually in 1982 he had received a command from the Queen to perform at the Commonwealth Games!
Recently in 2008, Kamahl was reported to have went on a tour in the USA with the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra. In a notorious controversy of 2009, he accused the Australian TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday of having treated him in a way that smacked of racism, during his past guest appearances. His feelings were revealed to the Australian public shortly after Harry Connick, Jr. complained of a “black faces” skit for the show’s “Red Faces” segment.
Blaaze wasn’t Blaaze by birth. Well, he was Lakshmi Narasimha Vijaya Rajagopala Sheshadri Sharma Rajesh Raman by birth. That change, though!
Blaaze is a Chennai born rapper, who grew up in Zambia and did his higher education from the US and the UK.
Ever since he was a chotta bachcha, Blaaze always kept it smooth. At 9, his prime hobby was breakdancing in the sets that His architect Dad would build. Later, his breakthrough appeared when he performed for the then Zambian President Chiluba, at an age of 16.
5 months later he brought out Zambis’a first ever music video “Advice 4 Livin’”.
Currently, Blaaze is involved a lot with the music sector of Indian film industry. Closely working with AR Rahman, Blaaze has contributed to super-duper hits in languages such as Hindi, Tamil and independently, in Malayalam.
His most notable work is “Time for Gandhi” released in September 2011, which is India’s first protest album. It was released under the label of EMI VIRGIN Music.
4. HARD KAUR:
The world’s first Indian origin female rapper. As simple as that. Hard Kaur requires no fancy intro!
Originally named Taran Kaur Dhillon, she is a Britain based hiphop singer, rapper as well as a playback singer and actress in Bollywood. Born and raised initially in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, she moved to the UK when her mother remarried a British citizen.
Take this into consideration. You’ve been a resident of Kanpur your whole life. When you’re 12, you transform residence to the UK. How magical would it be if you ended up in a rapper career by 16? Hard Kaur’s is indeed a magical story, as such.
Her discography includes albums “Supawoman” and “P.L.A.Y. = Party Loud All Year”, and her work in “Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani”. Hard Kaur is currently under the label of Sony Music and has also been nominated for “Best Urban Act” and “Best Female Act” in the UK Asian Awards, resulting in her winning the latter.
She has recently funked up the common Indian’s playlists with her singles “Karle Tu Voting” and “Goal Mar Goal Mar” that played a significant role in shaping public awareness towards issues such as Elections and the FIFA World Cup, respectively.
Such inspirations, Much optimism. WOW.
Later that day, my neighbours knocked at our door. My parents were informed of how I’m a more annoying and wannabe version of some Yo Yo Bunny Singh.
I was just spitting a rap practice at my rooftop, okay?
Picture Credits- Google images
By S. Shahid Abdul Majeed
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.