Join the Rajahs of Reggae revolution
When it comes to Reggae music in India, Bob Marley and Shaggy are two names that continue to grab eyeballs across generations. Of late, Delhi-based Reggae Rajahs have helped broaden horizons. The group is out with a new EP called Beach Party.
Zorawar Shukla, Rahul Ziggy Gairola and Raghav Diggy Dang
The EP includes four songs, and their recent move to Goa has added a rather peppy groove to the album. "While you won’t find local sounds in the EP, our move to Goa reflects in the music as it is a very happy, sunny place. The songs are upbeat and traditional Reggae," says vocalist Zorawar Shukla. This sunny feel of the album has received a positive feedback from the ever-growing number of listeners. "People have loved the fun vibe and the bouncy feel, and we will continue it for our forthcoming album (which they plan to launch by March next year). What a lot of listeners have asked for is collaborations with Indian artistes from different genres and hopefully, we will end up working with Nucleya," he says.
Shukla feels that the bassline and other aspects of Reggae have influenced artistes from different genres around the world, and traditional Indian classical music too, would make a great collaboration with the music. Shukla cites an example, "Look at Major Lazer (Reggae Rajahs opened for their India concert), who are influenced by Reggae and combine it with Electronic Dance Music; they are huge."
Reggae around India
A tour is taking the Rajahs to different cities, and Shukla is happy with the rise in numbers. "We have always performed at Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. This time, we took our music to Kolkata, and we had multiple successful gigs. We visited Chandigarh after two years, and the numbers have increased. We mix Reggae with different genres for new listeners, so that they have something familiar to relate to. This helps bring in a diverse audience," says Shukla. This is also the reason why they have put up the EP as a free download.
Puff, puff, peace
Like many Reggae artistes, Reggae Rajahs also rally up for legalisation of marijuana. "Marijuana has always been a part of the Indian society. In India, if a sadhu is smoking ganja on the road, police won’t stop him. Till ‘80s Bhang was available at government-regulated shops. Only when America started its war against drugs, we decided to ban it as well. Now, that America is back to legalising, I hope we mimic them as usual," chides Shukla. Their song, Pass Me The Lighter, from the EP has found fans across cities. However, being a sensitive subject, Shukla says that they avoid broaching it if they don’t have an audience for it.
To Download, log on to: reggaerajahs.bandcamp.com/releases
Reggae Rajahs have organised, what they are calling, the first Reggae music festival in India.
EP cover of Beach Party
Goa Soundsplash is set to take place in January 2016 in Goa. UK artiste General Levy will be the main act; the group has worked on a custom-made sound system that will do justice to Reggae bass.
Log on to: www.goasunsplash.com