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.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.