Jingle bells with ghungroos and bhangra: Christmas gets a twist & desi soundtrack | India News – Times of India

 Jingle bells with ghungroos and bhangra: Christmas gets a twist & desi soundtrack | India News - Times of India

When you think of the sound of music, chances are you think of Elvis Presley’s hits like ‘Blue Christmas’, the illusion of ‘Last Christmas’! Or if you like jazz, Ella Fitzgerald’s wonderfully atmospheric ‘Christmas’ (1967). This is followed by Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which, despite being released in 1994, remains on the 2023 Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Leaving a Christmas track is not a tradition in India, but many choirmasters, conductors and composers are composing tunes and four-part harmonies with Indian influences, hoping to create a ‘Fels Navidad’ or ‘Silent Night’. will resonate globally. Beyond renderings of old hymns and popular yuletide carols, their music seeks to celebrate the birth of Christ in new, more relevant and locally specific ways, whether it’s singing old Tamil hymns or incorporating bhangra beats. .
Alfred J. D’Souza, director of Mumbai’s Stop Gaps Cultural Academy, which organizes the ‘Festival of Festive Music’ at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) every December, has composed more than 50 carols, mostly of Christ. Let’s compare. Krishna replaces the sleigh bells with the sound of the bell.
‘Not many people know about the tradition of Christmas music. Punjabis
Alfred JD Souza is also releasing his first book. Indian Carols next year. Due to Desi twist It’s that in a tropical country, one can’t exactly identify white Christmas and sleighs. “Incorporating elements such as RangoliSandalwood, jasmine, marigold and mango leaves are better than taking a traditional Western carol and adding Hindi words to an Indian instrument, he says.
Few people are familiar with the tradition of Christmas music. In Punjabi communities, it is mostly sung. Tappe dialects style of folk songs. “Tape was originally sung by camel riders in Punjab and Sindh to the music of camel bells. The dialects are generally traditional, passed down from generation to generation and elaborated along the way…but in recent times There is also a whole new material coming out,” writes poet and journalist Nirupama Dutt in the anthology ‘Indian Christmas: Essays, Memories, Hymns’, edited by Jerry Pinto and Madhulika Liddell.
A quick search on the internet reveals music videos of ‘Christmas tapes’ featuring flower-clad women celebrating the ‘Lord’s name’ taken from old wedding songs like Baghwich, as well as some Original lyrics too. “My new Christmas song will be released on December 1, and I will be performing it all over Punjab this month,” says Romika Masih, a Jalandhar-based singer who gives Christmas a touch of bhangra. His devotional music has earned him over five million subscribers and invitations to perform live in Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. “Earlier you would have seen women going out to record worship songs. Once I started doing it in 2017,” says Masih, who changed her surname after converting to Christianity in 2011. Many followed him.”
Delhi also has a vibrant singing tradition. Rajnald Vijay Milton was in school in the late 1970s when he heard the hit song ‘Gapuchi Gappuchi Gam Gam’ from the Amitabh Bachchan starrer film ‘Trishul’. With his father already a guitarist and organist in a church in Delhi, Milton and his brother built their own little structure for Christmas called ‘Prabhoji, Prabhoji Swagatam’. Today, as a choir director at the YMCA and the Christ Methodist Church Choir, Milton dares not borrow tunes from Hindi cinema for congregational singing. “It’s considered objectionable within the church. People say they start watching scenes from movies,” says Milton, who has composed more than a hundred original Hindi worship songs and carols.
His first hit was the 2009 Christmas song ‘Khamosh Raatan Ki’. “There is not a single Hindi-speaking church today that does not sing this carol,” says Milton, who has more than seven million subscribers. His children Shaun (27) and Shannon (21) have their own YouTube channel called ‘Yishu Ke Geet’ where they often sing their father’s new Christmas tracks or play quick “Hindi Christian songs in three ragas”. Looks like giving a tutorial. “This year, Milton has released three new Christmas songs. Many singers, aspiring and established, have started making original Christmas videos and songs during the pandemic lockdown.
Chennai-based brothers Joel Samuel, John Sam and John Paul realize how the rich tradition of southern gospel music – from the Cathedrals Quartet to Ernie Haas – and the upbeat pace of country can bring some joy to uncertain times. can be used for Thus, the viral singing trio of The Samuels was born whose upbeat style took the world by storm. “Our specialty is taking old songs and giving them a new twist. One inspiration was ‘Amazing Grace’ sung by The Oak Ridge Boys (an American gospel and vocal quartet),” says Joel, Serampore’s Theological Seminary. Studying in Wing. College (University) in West Bengal. Samuel also harmonizes old Tamil hymns. “We started singing these traditional Tamil songs, which people hardly remembered, in tenor and bass voices. These catchy versions helped us reach a larger audience,” says Joel.
Singer-songwriter Rohan Solomon, best known as the former frontman of alt-rock outfit Cyanide, has a Christmas chartbuster to his credit. His 2021 single ‘It’s Christmas’ made it to the top 5 on the global radio chart. Following its success, Solomon released a video version this month filled with holiday lights, a booming soundtrack and decorations. “It’s almost like a progressive choir. But there are also influences from old Motown records and some Beatles chord progressions,” Solomon says.

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