AMERICAN newcomer Ranjah teamed up with established British talent Raxstar for recently released debut song Nakhre.
The top tune has several musical influences and that was also apparent when Eastern Eye got the singer to select 10 songs he loves. Before choosing, he said: “This is a hard question to answer, as I love all types of music, ranging from old school bhangra and the spectrum of Punjabi music to tropical house, reggaeton, dancehall, Afrobeats, r’n’b, garage, hip hop, classic Hindi songs and ghazals. So, it’s hard to choose, but here goes, in no specific order.”
Jind Mahi by Malkit Singh: Performed by an absolute legend! This song connects me culturally and emotionally back to my roots in Punjab. The lyrics are steeped in tradition, and the beat has a blend of dhol with non-traditional instruments, which makes this a masterpiece.
Hold On, We’re Going Home by Drake: A major musical influence in my life, as he is for many other artists. Drake admirably hits that beautiful Venn diagram that covers hip hop, r’n’b, pop, and sometimes world music. I plan on doing a Punjabi version of this soon at my sister’s wedding in May.
Independent Girl by Apache Indian & Malkit Singh: This song by two legends remains a favourite to this day. Apache is a pioneer who radically changed the perception of what a south Asian artist was supposed to be. He’s one of my first and strongest musical influences, and combined with Malkit, smashes this track out of the park.
Yaar Tera Lit by Mickey Singh: Have to represent with another US artist on this list. This became an anthem at every house party in our local area when it first came out. Definitely a good one to get you hyped up! Mickey is a talented singer and I’m always looking forward to what he’s putting out.
Lahore by Guru Randhawa: Ask any Punjabi, whether Indian or Pakistani origin, and they’ve probably listened to this track. Always a party favourite! My nani ma (grandmother) passed away recently, and I know she enjoyed this song, as her whole family was from Lahore pre-Partition.
7 Days by Craig David: A nostalgic track! When this came out back in the day, it perfectly captured the free-spirited flirtation that happened between someone and their crush. I associate this track with late night chats on MSN/AOL messenger and some secret walks in the park with my romantic interest at the time.
Insane by AP Dhillon, Gurinder Gill & Shinda Kahlon: Something I can keep on repeat, it’s addictive. For me, it’s the combo of lyrics, right amount of moodiness and elements of trap/hip hop. I vibe with that. AP Dhillon is another regular on my playlist.
Dance With You by Rishi Rich, Jay Sean & Juggy D: Absolute banger when it
first came out. I remember this powerhouse team of artists and seeing them live in New York. I still play this regularly. On a side note, an honourable mention to Rishi Rich’s Pure Garage (1 & 2) albums, which were a huge musical influence. Absolute vibes.
Don’t You Know by I-Sasha: I lived in the Caribbean for two years on the island of St. Kitts. Really got into dancehall, soca music at that time. This is such a feel-good track you can play any time of the day or night.
Nakhre by Ranjah Ft. Raxstar: I want to create music I love listening to and makes others feel good when they listen. I’m proud of my debut track Nakhre and enjoy bumping it in my car and AirPods. I’ve gotten some great feedback from inside and outside the desi community, which I really appreciate. Check it out on YouTube or any major streaming platform if you haven’t already and give your boy a follow on Instagram: @ranjahmusic