As The Leaf Label prepares for the release of Sarathy Korwar‘s impending third album Kalak, a new mesmerizing single from the London based, American born and Indian bred percussionist, producer and composer is now streaming. Titled ‘Remember To Look Out For The Signs’, it follows previously released singles ‘Remember Begum Rokheya’ and ‘Utopia Is A Colonial Project’. “’Remember To Look Out For The Signs’ is currently my favourite song on the album,” Korwar said of the track. “Hypnotic and polyrhythmic drum grooves that epitomise the cyclicality of KALAK. It’s a warning call, a reminder that change happens incrementally and if we don’t pay attention, it might be too late.”
The single is offered with a visualiser filmed by Korwar and Fabrice Bourgelle. Watch it now.
Sarathy Korwar is set to release his much-anticipated new album Kalak in November and back in August he had already shared the phenomenal and fiery lead single ‘Utopia Is A Colonial Project’. Now the the percussionist, producer and composer has released a second track from the album titled ‘Remember Begum Rokheya’. Kalak celebrates South Asian music and literature, and the new single sees Korward honouring the life of Bengali feminist writer Begum Rokheya and highlighting the importance and impact that marginalised voices from the past and the present can have on the future. Korward comments:
“When speaking about futurism, one of the fundamental questions is – who gets to speculate? Who gets to tell their story or vision of the future? Begum Rokheya is an example of someone with a radically different worldview and someone who we would generally not hear from. In her 1905 book Sultana’s Dream, she tells the story of reversed purdah, where peace-loving women overpower aggressive men to live in harmony with nature.”
“The song is based on a simple, call and response melody, paying homage to its folk music origins. The group vocals are performed by friends and family, to reflect the song’s emphasis on community.”
Listen to ‘Remember Begum Rokheya’ below and be sure to grab Kalak when it drops on November 11th through The Leaf Label.
There’s a new album on the way from London based, American born and Indian bred percussionist, producer and composer Sarathy Korwar, following 2019’s powerful and politically charged More Arriving. Entitled Kalak, the album is described as “an Indo-futurist manifesto” as Korwar explains:
“The discourse around futurism is often deeply rooted in Eurocentric ideas of the world. Much like Afro-futurism, Indo-futurism is moving the focus to the global south. In South Asia, culturally, we envisage our relationship to the future and the past in ideas of cyclicality. For example, karma as a concept. Time doesn’t have to flow in a line but can be understood to flow in a circle.
In music, there’s an inherent hierarchy when you talk about left to right and top to bottom. I started thinking about a rhythmic notation system that was circular. These patterns started forming over time, and the more I thought about that, and the kind of symbolism that they began to have, I realised that this would be the core of the record.”
Recorded at Real World studios with New York electronic musician, DJ and producer Photay on production duties, Kalak is set for release on November 11th through The Leaf Label. Ahead of it, Korwar has shared the phenomenal and fiery lead single ‘Utopia Is A Colonial Project’. Speaking about the track, Korwar comments:
“Utopia can be seen as a diagram for colonisation,” Korwar says. “Ideas of utopia are intrinsically linked to the mindset of settler colonialism. It comes from seeing the natural world as an inanimate resource rather than a living, sentient being. We need to be anti-utopian, and anti-dystopian. We need to be able to imagine futures drastically different to the kind of ‘utopias’ that are being sold by right-wing populist politicians in South Asia and beyond.”
‘Utopia Is A Colonial Project’ is offered with a video directed, shot and edited by Elliott Gonzo and starring award-winning choreographer/dancer Botis Seva. Watch it below.
Percussionist, producer and composer Sarathy Korwar has shared a video for ‘Coolie’, a track lifted from his recently released second album More Arriving. The track features Indian reggae/dancehall artist Delhi Sultanate and Delhi-based Punjabi rapper Prabh Deep. Speaking about the track, Korwar explained it “is based on the history of indentured Indian labourers (know as coolies) being used to replace African slaves on sugar plantations after slavery was abolished,” adding that “many rich multi-national companies like Tata and EIC made huge sums of money through this trade of people and labour.”
Following the fervent first single ‘Mumbay’, percussionist, producer and composer Sarathy Korwar has let loose ‘Bol’, a new cut from his upcoming second album More Arriving. The single features London based poet Zia Ahmed and Carnatic vocalist Aditya Prakash and comes with a video directed by David Higgs. “The video asks what it takes to integrate into British society and be considered British,” explained Korwar. “Juxtaposed on lyrics that describe the everyday racist stereotyping of South Asians, it’s an ironic look at what it means to be brown in the UK today.” Watch it below.
London based, American born and Indian bred percussionist, producer and composer Sarathy Korwar is set to release his second album this summer. Entitled More Arriving, the album was recorded in India and the UK over the course of two and a half years and saw Korwar enlist a cast of South Asian artists, including rappers MC Mawali, Prabh Deep and Delhi Sultanate, and spoken word artists Zia Ahmed and Deepak Unnikrishnan. More Arriving, as the press release describes, is “an honest reflection of Korwar’s experience of being an Indian in a divided Britain.” He explains:
“This is a modern brown record. The kind of record that a contemporary Indian living in the UK for the past 10 years would make. This is what Indian music sounds like to me right now, and that means incorporating multiple brown voices. If anyone has a problem with that, they should be questioning what they think Indian music should be.”
Korwar also explained the title of the record:
“More Arriving comes from the scaremongering around Brexit. It’s a tongue-in-cheek play on the fact that there are more people coming and you’ll have to deal with it!
I want the idea of brown pride to come through. My voice is one amongst a thousand, but this record is a snapshot of something much greater than myself. It’s the chance to send a message.”
More Arriving will see the light of day on July 26th through The Leaf Label but we can already hear what he´ll be throwing at us with the fervent first single ‘Mumbay’, featuring Mumbai rapper MC Mawali and merging psychedelia, jazz and hip-hop. It comes with a video directed by Harshbir Singh Phull. Take a look now.