Diaspora DJs Putting A Unique Spin On Yesteryear’s Indian Music Through Sampling

Diaspora DJs Putting A Unique Spin On Yesteryear’s Indian Music Through Sampling

When we look back on some of our best nights out on the town, we think of those moments when we held our friends and grooved to music that reminded us of a time so nostalgic yet so special. The exhilaration that follows after the DJ drops the hook of a popular song that we grew up listening to or a track that shaped our childhood, the nostalgia associated with it and more is something that’s unexplainable.

These brief yet rousing moments also held space for memories, a forgotten part of your culture or just a place or time that you have moved on from. Keeping these slivers of this nostalgic culture are DJs and artists who are in their own ways trying to archive to repackage the sounds of yore.

Old Bollywood music, the ones that emerged in Bappi Lahiri’s era back in the 80s and 90s was astoundingly original, groovy, and path-breaking. Indian music of that era represented a powerful sense of hope and promise for the amalgamation of cultures, languages and more.

Today, honing in on the legacy left behind by industry giants, Indian diaspora DJs have taken up a mission to proliferate and represent a fragment of not just their own interpretations of their culture but also to amplify these sounds through an intersection of all of this with more contemporary sounds; birthing a distinct genre that has Indian samples at its core.

Hailing from southern California, this producer turned DJ is wildly famous on the West coast for his experiments with yesteryear Bollywood samples. Amongst his latest releases, his flips to the iconic Dola re Dola and Silsila Yeh have gone viral on Tiktok and Instagram. Omar’s refreshing additions to older Bollywood samples include the inclusion of Afrobeats, funk rhythms, and more.

Shuttling between her multiple hometowns in Oslo, London and New Delhi, Suchi Ahuja carries her roots deep into the music she churns out at clubs too. The artist who works a full-time job at a creative agency is seen dishing out the best of jazz, disco, funk, hip-hop and r&b, some of which include iconic flips of old Indian music samples too. An active part of Daytimers (of Boiler Room fame), Suchi was recently seen touring India on her latest Boiler Room escapade.

Aditya Alamuru started his independent electronic music project, Malfnktion, back in 2012. His debut EP Hindustani Rascal sampled some of the lesser-known Indian sounds, samples and voices. Since then, Malfnktion came to be associated with a distinct Indian sound that jumps across genres.

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