Dreams come true

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It’s Bollywood mixed with rap for three young Sydney musicians

Back in the day, when Salman Khan’s triceps used to match the rest of his body more proportionately, he gatecrashed into the dreams of thousands of women with his 1998 hit ‘O O Jaane Jaana’. Meaty and bare-bodied with dreamy, docile eyes, the charismatic star has been seen by some nine million people in this number on YouTube as of July, 2015.

So, what do you tell three passionate and aspiring musicians when they make a remix of such a hugely popular song?

You congratulate them on their daring feat and keep your fingers crossed for them.

However, ‘The Girl of My Dreams’ video by Stash Motion’s (an Australian company specialising in music video direction) DJ Sayem, featuring Karan Luthra (aka Bluntz) and Aches Khan, is not entirely a remix of the original song. It only uses the chorus from the original song, interspersed with Sayem and Bluntz’s own lines of rap and rhyme and fresh vocals from Aches (who in the opinion of yours truly, has a better voice than Kamaal Khan who sang the popular number).

A remix is a fusion of the old with the new. For Sayem and Bluntz, who want to stay close to their roots as well as appeal to the mainstream urban youth, a hybrid video suitably helps their cause. While it connects with young people who identify with the oomph and attitude of the musicians, Ahsan aka King Kurry’s effortless popping, Flavia Narayan’s babe quotient, Mystik Bollywood’s peppy moves and Raheel Sharma’s cinematography, together manage to rekindle the curiosity for an old song before it is finally forgotten.

‘The Girl of My Dreams’ opens with an electronic funk intro as the chorus from the original song croons in. The video also taps into a large slice of versatile talent through collaborations with these independent artists. It takes a peppy turn with alternate rapping in English and Hindi, catering to both the Australian and Indian identities in a hybrid set-up.

Seated in a noisy café in Sydney’s CBD with Sayem and Karan, I am told that for independent artists, Sydney, or for that matter the world, is not an easy place. There are bills to be paid and mouths to be fed. But that doesn’t hold them back from staying true to their passion for music. So after their gruelling nine-to-five jobs, they diligently get back to their basic need, that is, creating music. They write, self-teach, improvise, conceptualise, record and edit. Most importantly, they do not give up.

As a team, they “feed off” one another. Sayem is the brains behind the video and is quite the visionary as he wistfully says, “Everybody has a different timing in life for finding their true calling”. Karan, who has a diploma in audio technology from the Australian Institute of Music, brings to the table his technical expertise and love for rapping which spans 17 years of personal and professional experiences.

Their goal is to make music and not just seek fame, and some day hit the charts. “We have invested a lot in our work and now we are putting it out there. If there are returns, money or fame, it will be a bonus.”

But right now all they care about is making good music for their fans and receiving honest constructive feedback from their critics. Driven as they are, I will not be surprised if I hear their music blazing out of a pub on a Friday night with heads happily bopping along!