In honor of Hip-Hop emerging in India and other South Asian regions in the past decade including the diaspora, Rukus Avenue Music Group have released a collection of South Asian Hip-Hop music in a compilation album titled The Rise across all global music platforms.
The album will feature 25 mastered tracks by 35+ South Asian artists, musicians, and tastemakers from all over the world including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and more. In addition, tracks on the album are in various languages including English, Hindi, Punjabi, and more.
Some of the notable South Asian artists on the album include Anik Khan (New York), Bohemia (India), Raxstar (UK), and DJ Upsidedown (Los Angeles) — alongside Adi, RMS, Raool, Pav, Shivxm, Gopal, Hasham, Feni Fina, D‑Boy, Sef, Des‑C, Dee MC, Kaly Slay, Naman, Kahani, Navamber, YSF, Rajan, Dada Flow, LackHoney, DopeAmin, Sukh Raj, Happy Singh, ACHARYA, Vichaar, Dhanji, Siyaahi, Wild Wild Women, Vy, Ahmer, RAK, SOS, Prxphecy and more.
The Rise is Executive Produced by Anchal Chand, President of Rukus Avenue, alongside Co-Executive Producer Dan ‘D‑Boy’ Naqvi and Shailen Desai.
We speak to D‑Boy about the need for this project and the process behind putting it together.
Tell us a bit about ‘The Rise’ and the significance in putting the compilation together?
The purpose of the collection, in my opinion, is to not only give new artists who have South Asian roots an opportunity but also for established artists to come together on one single platform to represent good music. For this collection, we wanted to call it ‘The Rise’ minus any additional cultural references within the title because we want people to search for this collection purely on the basis of looking for good music.
How did you select the artists/tracks you wanted to put on there, besides them representing South-Asian Hip-Hop, was there any particular theme?
I was fortunate enough to speak to many up-and-coming artists, and having a show with Rukus Avenue radio (The Beatcircle show) also helped with the connectivity. Shailen from the Rukus team was also very aware of all the new music out there, and we all spent a lot of time listening to new music.
It’s from the podcast/radio platform that I got to meet many new artists trying to gain attention. So, in many ways, the collection is also a great example of what platforms can do for artists that need that support and celebrate South Asian hip hop. There are so many artists out there right now who celebrate not only their roots but also music from their own countries, fused with other forms of music from around the world.
As a well-known producer/artist in the scene yourself, how have you seen it evolve throughout the years? Do you feel artists are embracing their own roots more?
Most of the artists featured in this project celebrate their South Asian roots and due to the accessibility of various platforms, artists can find different ways of building their own audiences. And through that artists are also finding their own way of representing their roots through content.
The idea of a compilation reminds me of the mixtape CDs I used to purchase back in the day. One of the best things about those CDs was the unreleased tracks that used to be on there. Have you got any exclusive material on ‘The Rise’, or maybe tracks people may not have heard?
I feel the aim of the entire collection was to bring together artists from all around the world who may have already released music. In the future we may focus on unreleased music, but the majority of ‘The Rise’ is based on released music but giving the content another home within a more collaborative space.
Super happy to see your track ‘Need A Hero’ on there! 10 years on, how important was that track to your career, and the scene in general.
‘Need a Hero’ for me, didn’t have an obvious element of Hip Hop within it. Still, the beat was inspired by Black music, therefore included elements of hip hop and R&B. The eight-bar rap featured an artist called Truth who was actually working in the states at the time, so to have South Asian artist working within America was a big deal back then. So the team at Rukus Avenue felt it was very appropriate to add my track to the collection, and I feel it sits quite well amongst all the other hip-hop-inspired tracks.
When can we expect Volume 2, and is there a way artists can get involved?
We’re looking forward to curating volume two very soon. Artists can follow @rukusavenue and drop them a DM, or they can hit me up anytime at @dboyzmusic. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for volume two. However, make sure you guys go out there and support volume one: The Rise; A collection of South Asian Hip Hop.