Foreign artists crave the Indian tadka in their music videos, and our talent wants a dose of international spice and global reach. This has set the stage for partnerships aplenty. Over the last month, as many as four collaborations have been announced between music stars from India and the West.
Haryanvi rapper Fazilpuria announced a party number with American rapper Pitbull. “I’m excited to work with Pitbull. I’ll meet him in December. We’ll shoot the music video in March-April next year. We’re working on the lyrics and need to finalise locations,” he told HT City. Pitbull earlier collaborated with Bollywood actor-singer Priyanka Chopra for her international single, Exotic.
Earlier this week, it was announced that American singer Akon — who sang the song Chammak Challo for actor Shah Rukh Khan’s film Ra.One — has been roped in to sing for an upcoming film.
And just a while back, we heard that American model Kylie Jenner will feature in Punjabi singer-composer Manj aka Manjeet Ral’s music single, Supermodel. “A project like this is important because it gives a push to the kind of songs we want to make rather than making music that Bollywood wants (of us). It lets one set a trend and create a niche instead of following the herd,” says Manj.
Rapper Raftaar agrees, and says development is all about recognition. “The music scene in India is getting better by the day. But our work is still not big on global charts like The Billboards. If we work with the artists who are already on it, we get noticed by their fan base,” he adds.
While we can only wait for the magic these mergers will create, some have happened already and struck the right chord. We’re talking about Bollywood’s music composer duo Vishal-Shekhar’s single, Beliya, featuring the British boyband, The Vamps. Released last month, it has received one lakh hits already. “It was a great experience. The Vamps are awesome musicians and collaborating with them was fun,” says Shekhar Ravjiani.
Previous big international collaborations
1) Sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar worked with The Beatles’ guitarist, George Harrison. Their album, Collaborations, released as part of a four-disc compilation in 2010.
2) Maestro AR Rahman teamed with Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones), Joss Stone, David A Stewart (Eurythmics) and Damien Marley, forming a supergroup that released an album, Superheavy, in 2010 with 12 songs.