Desi Sub Culture performs immigrant bass music. Their South Asian fusion sound mixes Punjabi folk songs with global beats.
The name Desi Sub Culture is an homage to the Asian Underground in 1990s UK. It is also related to the fact that they are “Desi’s doing stuff off the beaten path” as Sanjay Seran, the vocalist of the band, states.
Seran, electronics/tabla player Tarun Nayar and the dhol/dholak player Ravi Binning have known each other for over 13 years. Sanjay, born and raised in Richmond, is proud to lead the band on its presentation at the Richmond World Festival, on August 31st.
“All three of us were born in Canada to families that emigrated here in the 1970s. We grew up in immigrant households. The biggest challenge growing up and into my early adult life was identity. Trying to find out how we fit in, not only in society but also in our own heads,” says Seran.
While Binning was born in Montreal, Nayar was born in Richmond like Seran. The Canadian trio have known each over for over a decade. They decided to form Desi Sub Culture as a side project from their other band, Delhi 2 Dublin. Seran, Binning and Nayar are currently touring North America. The group will be taking a small break from Delhi 2 Dublin to perform at the Richmond World Festival and other two events in Canada.
Owning their roots
Seran, Binning and Nayar have just visited the American Midwest on tour. As the band is fairly outspoken about immigration, they believe in creating a new narrative and representing more stories that are not frequently told.
“What is happening in the world is definitely affecting us personally. It influences everything we do and feel, including everything we are creating,” says Seran.
Understanding their roots was a big part of their breakthrough as artists. Nowadays, the Canadian trio prides itself on how they are able to celebrate their backgrounds as part of who they are and as a part of their craft.
“Getting over the embarrassment of being different was a huge challenge. I’m so happy to be past that point in my life. Being a Punjabi is so awesome. I want the world to see how awesome my culture is. It is very important for me to be able to showcase that,” Seran says proudly.
Growing up between worlds inspired Desi Sub Culture to search for a unique sound, which reflected their own experience as the second generation of immigrants.
“The word immigrant alone generally has a negative connotation. Being from an immigrant family is rarely considered cool, that’s why we need a new narrative because it actually is cool,” Seran explains.
Electronic Dance Music
The EDM movement is continuing to grow all over the globe. Desi Sub Culture decided to take on a worldwide trend and incorporate folk songs, trap beats and tabla rhythms to build their own take on EDM.
“I can imagine more integration with technology and develop this to become much more of a sensory experience as well as it continuing to be a sweaty dance release,” says Seran. “It is cool that we can really be experimental with this project. As it is more of an art piece for the three of us rather than the traditional band that we are trying to get off the ground so that we can hit the road and tour.”
Seran believes their own take resonates a lifetime of experience as kids of immigrants. Connecting people through bass is their motto.
“We are creating the people’s music. The people will relate to our sound. It will speak to them,” he says.
While the trio is only two years old, Seran, Binning and Nayar hold big plans for the band in addition to the September tour.
“We are set to start releasing some singles in the near future followed by an EP,” says Seran.
For more information, visit www.desisubculture.com.