DJ DeeKay - In The Mix

Sunday, 24 August 2008

"When she pulled up, I was like wooooooow..."

So Raghav has a new single. That's Canadian-born Indian Raghav who featured on Top-10 hits "So Confused" and "It Can't Be Right" and had a string of his own successful singles from his debut album "Storyteller" which was released in 2004. You should be able to remember at least one of these hit singles - if you can then congratulations, you've got a pretty good idea of what the rest sounded like.

Let me qualify that by saying I was and remain a big fan of Raghav. I copped his first album in its week of release, and I bought all his singles, some of which I even got on vinyl early, still making sure to purchase the CDs on the weeks of their official release. I've met him a couple of times, and from the brief conversations that ensued, I believe he's also a humble and friendly guy, and definately not someone who's let the trappings of his relative fame get to his head. In other words, I'm completely committed to supporting Raghav. (I can tell already, this is gonna be another LONG post!)

So you have something to distract you while reading this semi-rant, here's Raghav's new video, featuring Redman. Song's entitled "My Kinda Girl". And once you've hit play, you have to listen to it all! Don't give up as soon as you hear the barking!

Right, so I'll talk about the video and the song later. Before that, a brief diversion. Anyone whose ever had the misfortune of talking shit about Jay Sean in my presence knows about my views on supporting Asian artists who are on the fringes of the mainstream. The Cliff-Notes of it is basically that 90% of the Asians (predominantely males) who "hate" Jay Sean feel that way because he's exactly where they want to be. He's picking up girls they wish they could pick up, making money that they wish they could make and has the lifestyle and job they wish they had. There is no relationship between their vehement hatred of him and his music. We know this because we know what else they listen to. Were Jay Sean black, they wouldn't hate him. Were Jay Sean black and American, he'd probably be their favourite R&B singer. Because he's a British Asian, he's "gay" and "shit". It's fully ridiculous.

Now I understand that hate is inherent in all of us. I get that it makes people feel better about their comparatively shitty lives to hate those who are more successful than they are. Fuck that! Maybe some of these people can't comprehend the fact that an Asian star breaks out into the mainstream on average only once every few years because all around them they see generic crappy Asian MCs and Bhangra artists selling 12 copies of their mixtape on Southall Broadway. It's a rare occassion that artists like Jay Sean or Raghav come along with the potential to make a serious dent in the charts and WE NEED TO SUPPORT THEM! Possibily not in the literal sense - the majority of Asians are doctors, dentists, accountants and lawyers who aren't even remotely affected by an increase in Asian presence in the mainstream. But the same way black artists faced a struggle (which remains to this day) to be accepted in the mainstream, we need to unite and support the odd few who get given an opportunity, in the hope that Asians in the music industry become an accepted and established presence, and not the result of "flash-in-the-pan" trends which come about once every few years when "desi" is the in-thing.

Anyway, rant over. The Raghav single... it's not terrible. It's not great - it sounds like a less impressive version of "Can't Get Enough" , but it's by no means awful. I question the Redman feature but seeing as Raghav has adopted an array of British MCs into his entourage, he can't be accused of not supporting the cause. No doubt Iceberg Slimm will feature on the remix. Not to mention Redman on the track might result in a few extra spins on Choice FM that the song otherwise might not have recieved.

The video is interesting... choong Asian girl is also a master jewel thief... seeeeeeen... Anyway, the song's not that good, but it's out on October 13th, go buy it so that he gets to put out a second single... which i'm sure will be much better. The album is called "Identity" and is out on October 20th, and will probably be very good because his last album was. Sure, it sounded fairly similar, but the levels were still high. And most importantly, if you've read this, it must've taken you at least five minutes... don't let those five minutes be a waste and go out and support Jay Sean, Raghav and any other Asian artists you have the opportunity to. While I'm at it, buy Kano's 140 Grime Street in September... and get Wiley and Chipmunk's albums. Wiley's got songs with Kate Nash and Lily Allen, he needs all the help recouping on that album that he can get.

Fuck me, that was an essay!

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