DIWALI: Hip hop, classical Indian music fusion group set to entertain in Vancouver

Published: November 8, 2012

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Hip-hop, beat-boxing and a classical Indian sitar seems an unlikely combination.

But the warm wale of the sitar washes over you, building images of India in your mind as it blends into the electronic beats that you can’t help but tap your foot to.

The unique sound is a product of freshly formed musical group, LAPIS, with Mohamed Assani, North Indian classical sitar player and local hip-hop artist, Rup Sidhu. They met while performing at Vancouver Celebrates Diwali last year and created the project in June.

The pair work off each other as Assani sits cross legged on a stage in the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, wearing full Indian dress and strumming the sitar; Sidhu seated beside him, the light from the laptop reflecting off his glasses. The two go back and forth, looking at their instruments and back at each other as they improvise a mesmerizing sound.

“LAPIS is a place where contemporary sounds meet a traditional world,” described Sidhu.

Assani believes this creates a “universal appeal” because his classical Indian music and Sidhu’s urban hip-hop both reach a wide audience.

Mohamed Assani and Rupinder Sidhu (right) form LAPIS. Submitted photo

“Fusing them both we reach a much wider audience,” he said.

But no matter the reach, the music will always remain deeply rooted in their culture.

“Everything we do somehow the music is related to that,” said Assani. “This music is like part of my life.”

“(And) improvisation is a very important part of South Asian music.”

While Assani comes mainly from a classical background, Sidhu is just as rooted in Bhangra as he is hip-hop.

“That’s also a another place where we meet,” said Sidhu. “(And that music has) always been a part of me and a part of my life and a part of my family.”

But for Sidhu, he won’t simply identify as South Asian or Indo-Canadian.

“Both of those are very vague and don’t specify who we are as individuals,” he said. “This is a massive diaspora that is so many different cultures — and even Indo-Canadian, if we start saying that it’s putting this simple brown paste over a light understanding of our identity.”

“I would consider myself Punjabi, definitely.”

And Assani identifies with his Pakistani roots.

While it’s their culture that moves them to perform, they believe it’s that passion that will reach all listeners.

“Whatever stirs you will stir the audience,” said Assani.

LAPIS will be performing at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre for Vancouver Celebrates Diwali on Saturday.

 






Featured

sexual harassment

‘Will you have fun with me?’: Immigration officer sexually harasses female passenger at Delhi airport

HINDUSTAN TIMES An immigration officer at the Delhi airport has been suspended after a female passenger complained that he sexually harassed her by asking obscene…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Two Surrey men in hospital with gunshot wounds after targeted shooting

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Two men are in hospital with gunshot wounds following what appears to be a targeted shooting in Surrey on Thursday night….
Continue Reading »

Indian man attacked by police officer in America

Ex-police officer indicted on federal civil rights charge over alleged beating of Indian grandfather

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A former Alabama police officer is charged with violating the civil rights of an Indian man during a violent…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Two Surrey men in hospital with gunshot wounds after targeted shooting

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Two men are in hospital with gunshot wounds following what appears to be a targeted shooting in Surrey on Thursday night….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

World Cup final

Underarm incident recalled as Australia-New Zealand rivalry rekindles in World Cup final

STEVE MCMORRAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Relations between New Zealand and Australia at a political level have regained their natural cordiality in the…
Continue Reading »

Cricket World Cup

Clarke’s Australians prepare to take on unpopular role in the World Cup final vs New Zealand

JOHN PYE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Win or lose, Michael Clarke and his Australian teammates are probably going to be portrayed as the…
Continue Reading »

India-Australia-weird news

Youth cut his tongue as sacrifice at an Indian temple for nation’s cricket victory

IANS Chennai – In a senseless act, a cricket crazy youth in Tamil Nadu offered the tip of his tongue as a sacrifice at a…
Continue Reading »

Freedom-Section 66A-India

Teenager shoots himself after father bans Facebook chat

IANS Lucknow - A 14-year-old boy shot himself Thursday after his father reprimanded him for chatting too often on social networking site Facebook, police said. The…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Bollywood actor Salman Khan denies he was driving or drunk during 2002 accident

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Friday told a Mumbai court, conducting the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving him, that he…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Amitabh Bachchan: Balki challenges me with never-done-before roles

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai – R. Balakrishnan and Amitabh Bachchan’s much anticipated third outing “Shamitabh” turned out to be a box office disaster, but…
Continue Reading »

Narendra Modi

Sunny Leone: Mistreating women makes you a monster

IANS Mumbai – Actress Sunny Leone, who will do a cameo on TV show “Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan” on Friday, says mistreating and disrespecting women doesn’t…
Continue Reading »