SimplyBhangra.com's Jusi Sahota looks over 2014's most underrated Bhangra songs and compiles his Top 13! A must read for Bhangra fans!
13. Manj Musik & Sardool Sikandar – Mitran Nu Maar Giya
Having dramatically left RDB earlier this year, Manj released "The Album" as a free download his under the new banner entitled "Manj Musik".
Described as a "Modern take on a well-known classic"; Manj made this track purely for bhangra fans who love the desi vibe. It's a good song, but lacks the cutting edge factor. I appreciate this song purely because it's an entirely reproduced version of the original and done very well. Under-rated in my opinion!
12. Manak-E - Paranda
The track Paranda, vocalled by Manak-E and produced by Dreamteam, was released in December 2014 but was sadly overshadowed with releases by Dark MC, Sukshinder Shinda and Imran Khan within the same week; with rarely any hype or promotion for this single.
Dreamteam, consisting of Ramji Gulati and Gopi, are no strangers to the Punjabi music industry as they produced 8 tracks for Manak-E's album "Show Time" in 2010 which included the hit tracks "Dhoor", "Jehri Kuri" and "Love Letter".
The song itself has a fantastic hook line and includes good harmonium, electric banjo and mandolin compositions. It includes other credentials you would expect to hear in a bhangra song with percussion, chords, bassline, drums and synths and has a good upbeat tempo and hookline with the ingredients to become a popular club song. However, due to it being released very late on in the year, it has not been provided with the same support as other singles in the past few months. Under-rated to say the least.
11. Deep Grewal – Nakhra 2014
The debut release by Deep Grewal entitled: "Nakhra 2014" was produced by production outfit Cloud 9 Music and was released in September 2014. Nakhra 2014 had the fundamentals to become a popular song in 2014 with a strong vocal, simple beat and percussion, infectious mandolin and vaja pieces as well as a catchy hook line.
Dubbed as a "summer anthem" by Cloud 9, it failed to live up to that title as the song had a very simple beat and BPM and lacked the final product to become an "anthem". It did however contain the ingredients to become a popular bhangra team song, with the song containing fun lyrics and enough "remix ability" for bhangra teams worldwide. A under-rated bhangra song this year, but hopefully not a forgotten one!
10. Preet Harpal, Hard Kaur & Tigerstyle – Att Goriye
The track Att Goriye, vocalled by Preet Harpal featuring Hard Kaur and produced by production outfit Tigerstyle was released in October 2014. This epic slow jam included soulful Punjabi vocals, soft strings assisted with a simple hip hop beat for Hard Kaur to rap on.
The track Att Goriye was overshadowed by the release of Jazzy B's Mitran De Boot, which featured Dr Zeus and Kaur B. The general hype for that particular single was so big, that many bhangra fans, including myself, were unaware of this single at the time. In my opinion, Att Goriye was a single that was so completely different to any slow jam that bhangra has witnessed in 2014. A particular remix by Canada's Joe Mann was a remix that stood out the most for me. A faster BPM, added bass and modified drum pattern, made the song more listenable. A hugely under-rated song.
9. DJ Intense & Jup Gill – Haan Karde
Coming from compilation album entitled "The Album" from super group IMM, Vancouver's DJ Intense once again collaborated with Jup Gill for this epic collaboration. Having already collaborated for the upbeat bhangra track hailed as the "surrey anthem" entitled "Launian Pendhian", they collaborated once again to bring Haan Karde. This album was the stepping stone for DJ Intense as he later went onto collaborate with Diljit Dosanjh, Mika Singh, Avtar Rai and introduce Gary Sandhu, a fresh vocalist signed to the Intense Music Group in 2014.
Moving onto the track, Haan Karde was a song produced by DJ Intense and vocalled by Jup Gill with rap by Sonny Brown. Shying away from the traditional desi, bhangra vibe; they have completely switched up the song and provided us with a track that is sure to get listeners hooked. With a catchy hook line and rap, it is sure worth waiting to the end of the album to listen to this one specific song.
And if that wasn't enough, DJ Intense ended 2014 with two singles one of which was a remix of Haan Karde with a desi twist. The song included all desi essentials such as percussion, mandolin and tumbi pieces as well as incorporating a strong R&B beat. An under-rated song to say the least.
8. Happy Bains and Simon Nandhra – Vang
Coming from the album "Against All Odds", Happy Bains collaborated with Simon Nandhra for this track. Having produced most of the tracks for this album, most of the tracks of the album were generally unoriginal and boring in comparison to regular UK bhangra albums. However, only one song stood out for me in this album and that song was Vang, after it was given a music video.
The song itself is soft and mellow with a nice easy listening tempo with a reminder of a 90's B21 track. It isn't very catchy and wasn't likeable when first listening to it but soon grew on me. A under-rated song for sure.
7. Resham Singh Anmol – Nagni 2
The follow up to his hit track "Nagni", Resham Singh Anmol teams up with Bhinda Aujla once again for Nagni 2, a track that released in December 2014.
Having released Nagni in October 2013 and accumulating almost one million views on YouTube, Resham Singh Anmol returned with this follow up single. The song itself is more dance worthy song compared to his first single and is likely to become a song that will become popular with bhangra teams. A under-rated song but will hopefully not go unnoticed.
6. Jags Klimax & Kaka Bhaniawala – Moorni Bankhe
Multi award winning DJ and international artist Jags Klimax made his long awaited comeback in 2014 with his new album entitled: "Electric". The long-awaited album has been teased by Jags Klimax as far as 2008, when he first played his tracks: "Moorni" and "Make It Clap" on the BBC Asian Network. Unfortunately for Jags, the tracks were leaked onto the internet as well as a unmixed and unmastered version of "Nach Sade Naal".
This track is vocalled by the Late. Kaka Bhaniawala and is by far the best song on the album. In comparison to the leaked version, I very much appreciate that version. This version features this very annoying synth piece on the chorus which takes away the focus from the percussion, drum beat and bass. It's catchy and includes some very well produced composition pieces and hasn't gone unnoticed with bhangra fans. However, it is under-rated in the fact that a lot of bhangra fans appreciate the lead singles "Make It Clap" and "Hanji" more than any tracks on the album.
5. Mehi & Northern Lights – Pyar Diyan Gallan (Remix)
Classically trained Mehi teams up with Northern Lights to bring a beautifully sung romantic slow jam. Mehi and Northern Lights are no strangers to each other after they collaborated with each other for "Do Some Bhangra" in August 2012 which was Mehi's debut single having being signed to record label "Organised Rhyme" which features a host of talented individuals.
Moving onto the track, the original song produced by Shakti was given the "Northern Lights treatment" with a fitting and superbly produced reggae beat on the chorus to give the song a more dynamic feel. A lot of radio stations picked up on this song to play on air, but was still a song that hasn't been rated highly this year. A massively under-rated song, seeing as many people are unaware of this official remix.
4. Roshan Prince – Dil Di Rani
Punjabi vocalist Roshan Prince returns once again with this fantastic folk infused dance track, coming from the PTC Star Night Album. PTC Star Night is a show in which well known bhangra singers have the opportunity to perform unreleased and exclusive singles. In 2014, artists such as Preet Harpal, Mangi Mahal, Ammy Virk, Ranjit Bawa and many more performed at this event.
This is a under-rated track purely because it is unknown to many fans of authentic Punjabi music. It sadly doesn't help that it is not available to download on iTunes within the UK, however there are genuine MP3'S available online. Very under-rated as well as recent single "Back to Bhangra" which featured music production by Sachin Ahuja.
3. Epic Bhangra & Gurkawal Sidhu – Kashni Ji Akh
Coming out of New York, Gurkawal Sidhu releases his second single featuring the incredible Epic Bhangra. A song that was penned by Gurkawal Sidhu, he shows his versatility by collaborating with Epic Bhangra, who had huge success in 2014 with tracks such as "Bullet", "Mukhada" and "Duawan".
The song itself has a good combination and arrangement of traditional Indian percussion assisted by incredible sarangi and harmonium music pieces that will have listeners hooked on the song instantly! A truly incredibly produced song as expected by Epic Bhangra; but however wasn't promoted well enough online that wasn't brought to the attention of bhangra fans. A truly under-rated bhangra song this year BUT Epic Bhangra and Gurkawal Sidhu's next collaboration in 2015 will surely catch the eye of bhangra fans worldwide.
2. Sunny Brown – Ik Gal
Hailing from Toronto, Culture Shock Trio released an array of new singles this year. Sunny Brown, Lomaticc and Baba Kahn released three new singles in 2014. Holiday – an upbeat dance number featuring Culture Shock Trio's signature sound. Arguing – a heart wrenching R&B track that highlights the destruction of love between two people. And finally Ik Gal, vocalled solely by the talented and smooth Sunny Brown for this Punjabi dubstep track.
Moving onto this incredible track, the infectious saxphone riff at the start of the track sets the tone for the rest of the track leading up to an incredible dubstep drop. One remix that takes the track to a different dimension is one by Vancouver's DJ RsM. With the added dhol, bass, tumbi and dhad; he brings the track in a whole new light. The increased BPM allows the track to become more dance worthy. An incredibly fresh track from anything we have heard in the bhangra industry in 2014 to freshen things up and shake dancefloors worldwide. An incredibly under-rated song!
1. Harjit Harman - Mela
After the astounding success of the single "Jatti", Harjit Harman went onto release yet another dance-floor hit. Coming from the album "Punjabi Folk Collaboration 1", which featured artists such as Ravinder Grewal, Miss Pooja and more. This particular song was the hidden gem inside the album. Having skipped most of the album, this one track caught my eye and instantly sent me into a mood to dance.
Moving onto the track, it is everything you expect to hear from Harjit Harman. Classic folk, Punjabi music mixed with authentic R&B beats. It's upbeat, catchy and incredibly under-rated. An incredible song, that will simply have dance-floors rocking.
Written by Jusi Sahota