Asian Underground Information

Asian Underground is a term associated with various British Asian musicians who blend elements of western underground dance music and the traditional Asian music of their home countries in South Asia. The first well-known mention was the compilation album Anokha - Soundz of the Asian Underground released in 1997 and masterminded by Talvin Singh & Sweety Kapoor. It is not a strict musical genre per se, since the specific sounds can vary wildly . Most of these artists are the children or grandchildren of immigrants and have grown up in Western culture, but still have a strong Asian background through their families.

In the 1990s, Asian Underground was considered hip and broke through to the mainstream, with artists such as Apache Indian and Cornershop frequently entering the UK charts, with the latter topping the charts with "Brimful of Asha" in 1998. The genre and other forms of South Asian music began to influence Europe's pop mainstream as acts like Björk, Bananarama, Erasure, and Siouxsie and the Banshees all released singles or remixes featuring South Asian instrumentation. Subsequently, Talvin Singh won a Mercury Music Prize for his album OK in 1999.

Asian Underground music initially had only little influence on popular Indian music on the sub-continent, where it is usually filed under world music. While several Asian underground artists such as Apache Indian and Bally Sagoo gained fame in India, it was only after Panjabi MC's international hit "Mundian To Bach Ke" that British-Asian underground music could compete with domestic Indian artists like Shankar Mahadevan and Remo Fernandes. It was followed by the globally successful Rishi Rich Project, consisting of producer Rishi Rich and artists Jay Sean, Juggy D and Veronica Mehta. They were one of the first groups to fuse Bhangra music with contemporary R&B and found tremendous success in India after their songs were featured in mainstream Bollywood soundtracks such as Boom, Kya Kool Hai Hum and Hum Tum. Since then, Asian underground music has exterted some influence on mainstream Indian pop music.

Wikipedia, Asian Underground, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Underground (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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