Shontelle, Feyago & Sarkar Muzik/ Asha – Help India, Good Karma
With India going through terrible times because of Covid, here’s a collaboration that calls for help. Kolkata folk-rap artiste Feyago teams up with Barbadian singer Shontelle and Detroit-based Indian rapper Sarkar Muzik.
Shontelle is best known for the hits Impossible and T-Shirt. Here, she sings about “waiting for Asha”, with Feyago rapping, “How do you cope when you run out of oxygen, how do you vote when you run out of confidence?”
The lyrics hit the nail on the head, as Sarkar Muzik sees things from the diaspora perspective. The production by Joesjoint is smooth, and this song touches a chord.
Rating: 9/ 10
Reick ft. Jimmy Burney/ Good Love, Self-Released
Latino-pop artistes like Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Shakira have had a strong following in India. Thus, it’s always a good idea to tap the genre.
For the second time, Mumbai DJ-producer Reick teams up with Grammy-nominated Jimmy Burney. The result is the summer song Good Love, which has a nice melody, sprightly guitars and vibrant dance shots.
The lyrics make references to tequila, Ibiza and ‘fuego’ (Spanish for fire or something cool). They talk of looking into a lover’s eyes and dancing the night away. Get the vibe?
Rating: 7/ 10
Jay Rana & Skopos ft Mayank/ Taste Me, Paradigm Records
Delhi-based producers Jay Rana and Skopos team up with singer Mayank Mittal on Taste Me, a song from the EP Magic And Pasta. It’s a lo-fi, jazz-inflected number with a cool sound.
A highlight is the video is directed by Apram Lamba and starring Saanya Khattar and Nikhil Kapoor. About two people meeting in a pub, it should click with the younger generation despite its predictable theme.
Mayank’s singing is stylish and a brilliant saxophone solo adds class. Lines like “Lay your bedroom eyes on me” indicate the song’s mood.
Rating: 8/ 10
Nishad Patki/ Tujhsa Hai Nahi, Self-Released
This is a neat throwback to the Indipop-rock days of the earlier 2000s, when we had guitar-driven power ballads in Hindi. Nishad Patki also shows a Fuzon influence, which automatically translates into a U2 hangover.
Tujhsa Hai Nahi is a likeable track with smooth guitars and smart tempo changes. The lines “Tujhsa hai nahi koi is jahaan mein, tere bin katati nahin ab tanha raatein” are something people can relate to.
Nishad has a pleasant voice and the guitar parts are fabulous. The only hitch is that we’ve heard this kind of song often before.
Rating: 7/ 10
KS Abhishek/ Deejal Gaadi, Self-Released
Last year, producer KS Abhishek had released The Naani Song, a fun track blending a traditional folk tune with electronic sounds. He uses a similar formula and singer on Deejal Gaadi, but talks about a diesel car this time.
The vocals are credited to Naani and Sukanya Chattopadhyay. The lines “Chala ve deejal gaadi ho sajanwa” sum up what the song is all about.
While Deejal Gaadi is an attempt to add humour and lightness in these troubled times, The Naani Song had a catchier hook. This one sort of rambles on after a point.
Rating: 6/ 10
Nidhi Rawat/ Tu Kahe, Self-Released
A few months after releasing her first original song Kabhi Kabhi, Nidhi Rawat comes up with Tu Kahe. This one too has been produced by Larry Hogan.
After a shaky start, the song picks up in tempo. The plus points are the singalong hook, the clear guitar lines, and the lyrics that look back at a break-up with a sense of sarcasm.
Still, there’s something mechanical about the rendition. Maybe the song needed to breathe more. It’s a good attempt but good have been a shade more expressive.
Rating: 7/ 10