The one and only Don Raja, Apache Indian, is back in business and ready to get Boom Shack-A-Laking with his brand of fusion Bhangramuffin and hip hop in his big comeback album Home Run. t2 gets grooving...
Tell us about Home Run...
My new album has a nice mix of five new and six old songs. There are a lot of collaboration pieces in it. The first song Gabroo, is with a Punjabi artiste called Miss Pooja and the video for the song will be aired shortly. I have also shot the video for the second song Nachle featuring Money K (an artiste from Netherlands). Basically, the first five songs are all new originals, all in quintessential Apache Indian-style.
Why did you decide to include old numbers in a comeback album?
I thought re-acquainting new listeners with some of my previous work would be a great idea. My new fans would have been too young to buy those tracks when they originally came out.
I picked a few of my most favourite collaborations like No Problem, which was the first time I worked with A.R. Rahman. I loved that song, and had to add it to the album. Also, Yeh ladka most people dont even know I worked on it with Asha Bhosle because it was on her album Rahul & I. The others include works with Malkit Singh (Independent Girl) and even Shaggy (Chok There) though I deliberately left out the obvious hits like Boom Shak-A-Lak and Arranged Marriage, because most people already know those tunes.
Are you planning to go on tour with the album?
Yes I am. I am touring all through the new year and I will also be here in India throughout next year for the promotions. In fact, I practically have been in a different city every day over the last couple of weeks. I have been to Pune, I am going to Punjab, Delhi and other places. So yes, you are going to be seeing a lot of Apache Indian!
You have been constantly touring with the likes of Sean Paul and recording with artistes like Shaggy, UB40, Asha Bhosle and A.R. Rahman. Then why have you kept a low profile in India?
Music is about hitting the right note and having the right release at the right time. Also, my style of music (reggae, hip hop and RnB) is back in the groove. Thanks to the Internet, music other than Bollywood is happening! Now international artistes like Akon and Snoop Dogg are collaborating and people are enjoying their songs. That is my kind of genre.
Being one of the pioneers of fusion music in India, whats your take on it now?
It is great to see so much fusion happening. Music truly has no barriers today Akon can sing in Hindi (Chammak challo), which can then be remixed.
But my music is not just about fusion. It represents who I am, where I come from my Punjabi roots, my pop, my hip hop and reggae roots. It is there not just because you are trying to fuse music, it is because you are trying to tell people where you are in life, who you are. It reflects your lifestyle.
What about shifting to India?
I cant shift to India unless something concrete is happening, and now that things are finally taking shape, I am slowly trying to fulfil that dream. But it will take time. I grew up in the UK, so it is going to be a slow move. This is my seventh trip to India this year, trying to find out where to buy a place, how to release the album.... It has been frantic running back and forth
I guess that is also why my album is called Home Run
I am running home!
How did it feel to get the Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Asian Music Awards this year?
It felt great. Some people say that you get the Lifetime Achievement Award when you end your career, but I am just beginning!
Whats next for Apache?
Well, I am talking to some people about doing a Bollywood movie on Apache Indians life. See, people are looking to make international movies like Bend It Like Beckham or Slumdog Millionaire. This too is a story a story of an Indian settled in the UK, tasting international success, but going through the ups and downs of life. So there is a story there. Look out for that!