'Mastané' Is A Short Film Exploring Diasporic Identity Through The Lens Of Music

Mastané is a documentary film that explores the lives and music of two South Asian diasporic artists, Raaginder and Asad Khan. It delves into their personal journeys, showcasing how their upbringings in Thailand and Pakistan, respectively, and eventual immigration to North America, deeply influenced their creative pursuits.

The film sheds light on how music served as a inner sactum for both Raaginder and Asad Khan during their childhood and budding careers. Their shared passion for music, fueled by their cultural background and artistic influences, ultimately led to the formation of their collaborative project, 'Mastané'.

The documentary explores Raaginder's introduction to music at the age of 13, when he received a violin as a gift. We see the significant influence of his teacher, Sisir Kana Dhar Chowdhury, a violinist who is known as one of the first women violinists in India. She introduced the viola to the Hindustani music sphere and brought about a style of incorporating an extra fifth melody string and sympathetic strings. Years of rigorous training under her tutelage honed Raaginder's skills and instilled in him a deep appreciation for Indian classical music.

Similarly, Asad Khan's story highlights the challenges he faced as a young Pakistani immigrant growing up in Canada, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11. The film portrays how he found solace and self-expression in music, specifically DJing and producing tracks that blended elements of Bollywood, Sufi, and Punjabi music with contemporary bass, moombahton, and trap beats.

Mastané: Raaginder & Asad Khan illuminates the common thread that binds the two artists – their experiences as part of the South Asian diaspora. Their shared struggles and triumphs growing up in a new cultural landscape fostered a deep understanding and connection, which eventually laid the foundation for their musical collaboration.

The film features interviews with filmmakers Ramneet Baidwan and Sanvir Singh Chana, who collaborated with Raaginder and Asad Khan during their Arrival Tour in New York City. The exclusive footage captures the duo reminiscing about their past experiences and their aspirations for the future of Mastané.

Mastané: Raaginder & Asad Khan is not your typical biographical documentary. The documentary is produced by Dialogues of Diaspora, a production company dedicated to showcasing the multifaceted brilliance of South Asian culture.

Mastané: Raaginder & Asad Khan is available for viewing on the Dialogues of Diaspora YouTube channel.