Mixtape #114

Exhibiting a fluid mastery of the dhol, talented and acclaimed Indian-American composer and drummer Sunny Jain is involved in a range of diverse musical projects that dip into the soundtracks of Bollywood classics and spaghetti westerns, jazz, Indian folk, hip-hop, surf rock and many other genres. Brought up in New York as the child of Punjabi immigrants, his music is rooted in Indian traditions and culture. A renowned and unique performer, with numerous accolades under his belt, Jain is best known as the founder and bandleader of 8-piece Bhangra party band Red Baraat. He released his phenomenal album Wild Wild East last February, a personal record that brings to the table his skills and unique palette of influences and identities, celebrating immigrant and diaspora experiences. We’re ecstatic that he put together this amazing genre-spanning mix for us.

“Here’s a short mix of songs that I’ve grown up, have influenced me and that I still love to this day. Coltrane to Squarepusher, Zakir Hussain to Rush and a Bollywood classic from 1951, plus more.”

  1. Zakir Hussain – Making Music [ECM Records]
  2. Rush – Losing It [Mercury]
  3. Fishbone – Freddie’s Dead [Columbia]
  4. Miles Davis – Ah-Leu-Cha [Columbia]
  5. John McLaughlin – Mother Tongues [JMT Productions]
  6. Primus – Tommy the Cat [Interscope]
  7. Talvin Singh – Butterfly [Island Records]
  8. Mukesh – Awaara Hoon [Odeon]
  9. Radiohead – Knives Out [Parlophone / Capitol Records]
  10. Squarepusher – Beep Street [Warp]
  11. Nitin Sawhney – River Pulse (Rain Mix) [Outcaste Records / PIAS]
  12. Genesis – The Lady Lies [Charisma / Atlantic]
  13. John Coltrane – Resolution [Impulse!]

Listen to Sunny Jain’s new single ‘Red, Brown, Black (Feat. Haseeb)’

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Following the mighty first single, ‘Immigrant Warrior’, and the title track, Sunny Jain is teasing again his upcoming album, Wild Wild East. The brilliant and acclaimed Indian-American composer and dhol player has shared a third single called ‘Red, Brown, Black’, which features LA-based rapper Haseeb. Jain explains how this collaboration happened:

“A good friend and NYC Basement Bhangra pioneer, DJ Rekha, mentioned Haseeb to me over 2 years ago. I started checking his tracks out and I think what drew me to him was – here’s a South Asian Muslim-American in LA talking about things that I can immediately relate to. I hit him up and he was immediately down to collab on a track. We went back and forth on the subject matter I wanted to address in the song and he did that and more. Red, Brown, Black addresses the concept of this album head on, playing with the words Indian, Cowboy, Native, Sheriff.”

Listen to ‘Red, Brown, Black’ below and grab the album when it’s out on February 21st through Smithsonian Folkways.

In other related news, and in support of the upcoming Wild Wild East, Sunny Jain has announced a string of shows in the US. Take a look at all his stops in his website.

Sunny Jain shares video for title track ‘Wild Wild East’, album out next month

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Talented and acclaimed Indian-American composer and dhol player Sunny Jain, also known as the founder and bandleader of Red Baraat, has announced the release of a new album. Entitled Wild Wild East and set for release on February 21st through Smithsonian Folkways, it marks his first solo album in a decade and will also be his first for the label. The album incorporates influences aplenty as the press release describes, “from the scores of Bollywood classics to Spaghetti Westerns, Indian folk to jazz improvisation, and South Asian languages to English prose to express the immigrant experience as one navigates the terrain of what it means to be “American.””

Following the mighty first single, ‘Immigrant Warrior’, Jain has now shared the title track, a song about migration, as he explains:

“A story that everyone has in their family, whether it be 100 years old or in recent times. This song is about my lineage from Osian, Rajasthan to Sialkot, Punjab to the 1947 partition of India, and then the eventual move to America. The courageousness of all immigrants to leave their family and home in search of opportunity in a foreign land is a wild and bold move. One that truly embodies the romanticized ideas the cowboy has always professed to be.”

‘Wild Wild East’ comes with an accompanying video directed by Adeel Ahmed and filmed in Manhattan, Queens, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Watch it below and listen to ‘Immigrant Warrior’ straight after.