Drop And Give Me Bhangra …trustworthy reviews of new music releases in the bhangra world.

New on the bhangra block, Nav Sidhu released a single this week produced by Tigerstyle titled ‘Kalli Kitey Takre’. Will this young singer go on to be a chip off the old block and appease the critical bhangra population as his father Nirmal Sidhu did?

Trained by his father whilst undertaking MA studies in Music, Nav Sidhu seems fully equipped with the knowledge needed to succeed in the bhangra industry. His previous releases have also included a party song in feature film ‘Pure Punjabi’ and so he looks set to hit the big screen in the coming years too. But with this release he will be hoping to reach out to the audience and really mark his arrival.

The song translates pretty simply to a guy wanting to meet a girl when she is on her own. Straight away, this songs audience is mostly limited to the younger generation who will better relate to it. The lyrics prove to be the main let down of this single as they are generic and basic, yet the chorus of the track is catchy as is the tune of the song overall. It can seem as if the singers voice and choice of song are not entirely made for each other. Nav Sidhu’s voice is decent and shows a lot of potential; it’s unfair to compare him to his father, but even so he does show up as a little weak. It’s clear to say that experience will make his voice more prominent as he progresses.

The main reason for this songs credibility is its production. Having Tigerstyle produce this track has brought the song to a much higher level. The quality of the recording of the instruments is high, showing off the classic sarangi, mandolin and short bursts of flute. The crisp melody is somewhat similar to other songs so as far as originality goes it’s not the first kind of this track, but the production does make this song more likeable and an easy listen. Musically, Tigerstyle have chosen to implement more of a folk and softer approach than their other recent releases which infuse hip-hop and modern forms of sampling, which is definitely good to hear from them.

Nav Sidhu’s career has only just begun and although he hasn’t made the biggest impact with his first impression, he has great potential as a singer. Acting-wise he has already been offered lead roles in a few Punjabi movies, so we may be seeing him more often on our screens than our iPods.

Nav sidhu looks great on camera, even though his dancing skills are quite lacking. The backing bhangra dancers do a good job and compliment the singer in his studio shots which show him looking right at home with the camera. However, the concept of the video is rather distasteful with the singer meeting a girl in the pub and going on to join her in a bedroom at the end with a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. Subtle.
Tigerstyle are made up on Scottish brothers Raj and Pops. They are both trained in classical tabla, gurmat sangeet and many other Punjabi folk instruments. They began their musical journey at a young age when performing at their local Gurdwara. In 1997, they set-up as DJs and formed the ‘desi bomb-squad sound system’ aiming to bring bhangra to Scotland where the scene was far behind England. The duo have been brought up with a folk background and are influenced by Punjabi music dating back to the 1970’s, inspired by the likes of Kuldip Manak and Surinder Shinda. However, they also like to delve into hip hop, drum n bass and r’n’b which is reflected in the broad pool of music they produce. Tigerstyle first came on to the UK music scene in 2000 with the album ‘The Rising’ – one of the first albums to have 10 songs rather than just 6. It became a great hit and featured the mammoth track ‘nachna ondha nei’.
This weeks blast from the past is a song I find myself singing at almost every ladies-sangeet. ‘Mein Gajar Wargi’ is a great duet from the famous pairing of Mohammad Sadiq and Bibi Ranjit Kaur. As far as boliyan go, this is a classic! Sadiq, is a Punjabi folk singer who has also acted in various Punjabi films and also dabbled in politics, winning an election seat in 2012 as a Congress party candidate in India. He has sung with many female singers yet his duets with Ranjit Kaur are the most popular. They recorded and sang live together for nearly 40 years as one of the famous singing couples of the 1970’s. This cleverly written song has the most interesting lyrics and shows the couple off at their best.