A Sibling Trio From LA Giving The Indian Dhol A Cultural Revival

A Sibling Trio From LA Giving The Indian Dhol A Cultural Revival

When it comes to the music scene in India as well as its diasporic community, experimentation has always been an integral part of it, whether it was the disco era of the 80s or the Bhangra reggae that defined the late 90s and early 2000s. With new generations of musicians making forays into the music industry, many are going back to their traditional roots and picking up instruments that are a part of their culture, giving them their own unique contemporary twist.

One such trio, is Dholnation, a sibling dhol team all the way from Los Angeles. Dholnation is made up of two brothers and one sister, Jag, Jess and Malinder Tooray, who started out from their living room and garage and are now entertaining big crowds all across the world. Specializing in playing the Dhol (North Indian Drum), over the years they’ve diversified their skills to be able to produce their own music and deejay.

Having grown up in a family, with a strong inclination towards music, the sibling trio truly imbibed rhythm. Their father’s side of the family was heavily involved in music and that carried over to the three siblings. In an interview with Voyage LA, the trio reminisced about their dad’s love for music, saying, “Our dad would buy every type of Indian instrument you can think of. You would think we would have a full band by now, but to no surprise, all three of us wanted to play the Dhol.”

Growing up in LA, the trio was at a confluence of cultures, exposed to and listening to different genres of music. Right from the 90s Hip-Hop to R&B to Latin to House. These multi-genres now fuse seamlessly as they adapt the Dhol into any genre.

With Malinder being the first to show interest in playing the dhol and shortly after being joined by Jess who began to show some interest, they started their journey as Dholnation, a name given to them by their late father. In a couple of years, Jag joined the party and now the trio has been playing for over a decade. They have performed at all the LA venues you can think of, right from the Staples Center to the Kodak Theatre to the LA Coliseum and the Hollywood Bowl among others.

Dholanation: A Sibling Dhol Trio From Los Angeles
Dholanation: A Sibling Dhol Trio From Los Angeles
Image Courtesy: Shivani Reddy for Voyage LA

With high-energy sets that are sure to get any room on their feet, they play a mix of dhol and DJ sets. The best of pop both from the English music industry and the Punjabi music industry is set to the rhythms of their dhol, making everyone want to jump on the dance floor. At the forefront of a cultural revival, Dholnation has brought the humble but energized dhol back into the limelight and how!

Follow Dholnation here.

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