Bombay Celebrates Reggae Sound-System Style

the western Indian city synonymous with the Hindi film industry, Bollywood. As the rain pelts, the sea splashes waves along the city’s famous promenades.

On such a rainy evening on July 4, India’s financial capital warmed itself vicariously in the crisp Jamaican sunshine as beats of reggae resonated in the air with India’s most prolific reggae and ska crooners, Delhi Sultanate and Begum X.

It was a trip down memory lane, and as nostalgia and timeless hits were delivered, the duo went old school.

“We wanted to present Jamaican sound-system culture, so we decided to keep everything analogue,” Delhi Sultanate said.

“It was strictly vinyl, playing dubplates and 45s. Begum X and I sang over B-side instrumental versions,” he said.

Music has no language and knows no barriers. Delhi Sultanate and Begum X gave India a taste of Jamaican music – a marriage of jerk sauces with the Tandoori delicacies. The result: beats reaching crescendos for International Reggae Day (IRD) celebrations.

The trans-continental cultural connection between the two countries pulsates with vibrancy, and as one flips through the pages of history, the contemporary similarities are evident.

“The cultural connections between Jamaica and India range from yoga and wellness to reggae and Rasta,” said Andrea Davis, conceptualiser of IRD.

“Reggae music is making inroads into the Indian music scene, and Delhi Sultanate and Begum X are India’s foremost reggae artistes and IRD ambassadors,” Davis said. “It is their passion, and the work they are doing in India is to introduce Jamaican music lifestyle culture, which makes them the perfect emissaries.”

 

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