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Speakeasy: Apache Indian
In the early nineties, British vocalist of Indian origin Steven Kapoor a.k.a. Apache Indian mixed Bhangra and Dancehall reggae to come up with a unique sound through which he scored seven top 40 UK national hits, collaborated with Shaggy and Maxi Priest and had everybody from Birmingham to Bhatinda singing Chok There. His hit song Boomshackalak was featured on the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie Dumb and Dumber.

Apache started off 2007 by releasing a record and announcing that he wants to move to India as UK is growing increasingly racist. Titled Sadhu ~ The Movement, the album is Apache’s ninth studio effort. The ‘Don Rajah’ speaks about roots, reggae and racism.

On his new album…
It’s a typical Apache Indian album with a mix of Hindi, Punjabi, reggae and hip-hop featuring various guest artists. Alisha Chinai and Sunidhi Chauhan are on the album and reggae artist Peter Spence also makes an appearance. My last album was called Time to Change and I want to keep the same theme but this time around the title is intriguing.

Let’s get some attention. If you are very serious, people switch off. The songs are peppy but the message is serious. Let me get your attention first and make you dance and then we will touch upon some serious issues.

On the issues that he is bothered about…
We are talking about religion, culture and what is happening around the world. We are talking about moving back to our country of origin. I belong to the first generation of British-Asians and we are talking about the racism that we face. These are our experiences. Racism is a huge thing in the UK. Forget about Shilpa Shetty and that show. I’m not interested in that kind of stuff. They just used the issue to get ratings.

Now, everyone is carrying on with their lives. Why was such a show not stopped and what favour has it done to a seven-year-old who will now use the word ‘Paki’ without knowing what it means? This is institutionalising racism. We have some amazing white people who are disgusted with what is happening. In the past five years, more Asians have been put in prison in the UK than before.

You can read the rest of our feature Speakeasy: Apache Indian in the March 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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