The urban desi music scene is a niche genre that became popular with artists like Jay Sean, Juggy D, Rishi Rich, Kami K, Raja Wilco, Raghav and more. The legends who brought this genre to a worldwide stage have opened the doors for many other artists like Arjun, Mickey Singh, Raxstar and PropheC to expand this platform. However, these big names aren’t the only noteworthy artists we have.
Today, there are many other singers, songwriters, composers, and rappers that are gifted but they haven’t gotten the international recognition worthy of their music.
Check out this list of underrated artists you should know:
TaZzZ is an award-winning British rapper of Pakistani descent. He is a skilled lyricist, composer, and producer. TaZzZ has a deep and rough tonal quality which he juxtapositions against melodious Eastern beats like popular Bollywood tunes. After many years in the industry, he finally released a solo album titled “Epic Dreams.” As a songwriter, he writes about personal topics such has his failures, his love for his hometown in Pakistan and even his mother.
One of my personal favorites is the track “Failure” from TaZzZ’s debut album,“Epic Dreams,” which features Jay Kadn.
Kaly is an Indian-American rapper who is slowly on the rise to international stardom. He is a skilled lyricist with a unique voice. Kaly is a powerful force, his music hits you in the gut as he talks about feelings and topics others avoid. He’s not just about the frill and the fluff, the music real and raw.
Kaly has impressed the likes of A. R. Rahman and they have worked together projects including the soundtrack of “Ok Jaanu.”
3. Navin Kundra
British-Asian artist Navin Kundra is a trained singer with a classically beautiful voice. Unlike many of the more popular artists we see on the urban desi scene, Kundra offers more than just dance numbers you’ll hear at the club. Kundra has even impressed England’s royal family! He is the first British-Asian artist to be invited to perform for the royal family at St. James’ Palace and he even taught Prince Charles how to use the word “Mehbooba,” the title of one of Kundra’s more popular tracks. More recently, Kundra and his song were featured on the BBC show “Doctors” where the characters had a Bollywood style proposal for his lady love.
Canada’s Fateh is a well-known name and an adept rapper. Though you may be familiar with his work on popular tracks like “Body” by Mickey Singh, Fateh’s solo music is just as good. Unlike the more popular artists focusing on the Bollywood or Bhangra aspect of music, Fateh’s tracks center around his rapping talents. He blends his Punjabi and English lyrics seamlessly.
Samica is a young Indian-American singer just starting out her career, but she has the potential for mainstream success with her sultry voice. Samica’s music is a blend of soul, Jazz, pop and R&B; all in one. She even adds a western flair to her Bollywood covers.
Samica learned Indian classical music from her grandmother and in school, she picked up more training through choir. Music has always been her love but this multitasker also has a degree in business. You can catch more of her covers and original music on her SoundCloud.
6. Jernade Miah
British-Bangladeshi Jernade Miah is a young artist who has built a fan base in the United Kingdom but he has set his sights across the pond. The skilled singer and rapper’s latest track released on the LA-based Urban Asian Music label called “All I Need.”
He started off as a student of British-Bangladeshi singer and songwriter Mumzy Stranger. After the rise of Jay Sean and Rishi Rich, the latter built an academy and mentored many young artists as Stranger and H-Dhami who ruled the urban desi music scene in the mid-2000s. Stranger went on to create the “Stranger Family,” which included Miah.
British-Asian artist RKZ is a brilliant artist to follow for more than just his music. He is an advocate for mental health issues, a phenomenal photographer and the classiest fashion-forward artist you’ll ever meet. His music has a hip-hop and R&B; vibe that can appeal to all types of music lovers.
Like many of the other rappers on this list, RKZ is a polished lyricist with the ability to evoke strong feelings through his music. He has a soulful singing voice so he literally does it all. Check out his latest video, “Notes” from his new album “Somewhere in the Afterbeat,” produced by Handbook. RKZ even styled the models in the video.
Check out more on RKZ’s site.
8. Swami Baracus
Swami Baracus aka the Baracuda is another talented rapper with insane lyrical skills who deserves more recognition for his talents. The Baracuda’s talents have won him MC rap battles and numerous awards. He has managed to not only establish himself in the urban desi music scene but also to make a name for himself in the U.K. hip-hop music scene.
He’s one of the few urban desi artists who keep the art of hip-hop true to its form. Have you heard the speed at which the man raps?
It is time for the urban desi music scene to expand and grow, these underrated artists are just a few in a sea of talents attempting to get their voices heard. Each of these artists brings something different to the table and deserve recognition for their work. Some have been in the industry already for 6 or 7 years quietly creating brilliant pieces of work.
Who do you think is an underrated artist in the industry? Who do you think deserves more recognition?