South Asian Food and Music

Some snippets from our South Asian cultural and culinary events.

Here is a great playlist for Culture and Cuisine fans.

All of the artists featured on the Indian music playlist are passionate about renewing and expanding upon their musical cultural traditions.  They emphasize the musical traditions which have inspired their passion for music, while at the same collaborating with artists from completely different musical genres, and it works beautifully!

For those who want to learn more about the singers featured on this playlist here are some brief descriptions…

Masti Ki Basti , as seen in the show the Dewarists, an Indian television show about Indian music.  Besides offering an in depth look at two amazing musicians and singers, this show offers  a riveting live performance by two masters of musical innovation who strive to both preserve and renew Indian musical traditions.  Raghu Dixit and Rewben Mashangva–the “King of Naga Folk blues.” 

The next two songs highlight the influence of the Punjabi bhangra style rhythms developed in South Asia and the United Kingdom within South Asian communities. The Dhol Blasters  and the Dhol Foundation are both large  ensemble groups based in England that perform high energy percussion-based pieces that are (according to the Dhol Blasters) “designed to uplift the spirit of Punjabi people, but at the same time share and celebrate the happiness with others.”  You will feel like dancing and celebrating with them as soon as you hear them.

The song, After the Rain, by the Dhol Foundation whips up Celtic sounds with a  Dhol drum ensemble  and creates a piece of music that blends the two styles perfectly from the first drum beat to the last. This well known British based ensemble, founded by Jonny Kalsi, performs in locales as diverse as the Singapore Grand Prix  and the Queen of England’s Diamond Coronation Gala.


It is quite appropriate that the last song–Bari Barsi, of this playlist is by Panjabi MC; because he takes banghra one step further by fusing it with Hip hop. This musically innovative singer and musician is from Coventry England and has worked with various American artists including Jay-Z.  One of his most famous collaborative efforts is the remix of  the well known song Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke).  He also collaborated on the song Chaiyya Chaiyya, originally composed by A.R. Rahman and Gluzar–and made insanely popular in India because of the dancing-on-top-of-the-train-video; and also featured on the soundtrack of the Spike Lee movie Inside Man.


The following are examples of the great musical traditions from Pakistan, as well as the  the fusion style emerging in the South Asian-American and British communities.

 People who listen to this  music often decide  that they want to learn more about the contemporary music scene in Pakistan.  A great place to start developing an appreciation for the music from Pakistan is  with the famous Coke Studio Pakistan recordings produced by Rohail Hyatt, which may be found  on YouTube; and some of the best  known songs by Zeb and Haniya,  and many other artists portrayed on the Coke Studio recordings, represent a great place to begin a one’s musical journey.

Some of these songs may be purchased on Amazon. and CD baby.