With the recent premiere of Jr Dread’s video for ‘Jarnail Kaur’, it was perfect timing to publish our blog from Nav. We mentioned earlier on our Twitter that its difficult for Asian artists and video producers to satisfy audiences, when they get berated for experimenting and also get negative reactions when music videos include cars, girls and alcohol. Our blogger Nav discusses these issues and trends below!
The Standards and Importance of Bhangra Music Videos
With the recent premiere of Jr Dread’s video for ‘Jarnail Kaur‘, it was perfect timing to publish our blog from Nav. The new video produced by MadTatterFilms has had a mixed reaction, with some in the audience loving the creativity and uniqueness, whilst others were quick to put it down. We mentioned earlier on our Twitter that its difficult for Asian artists and video producers to satisfy audiences, when they get berated for experimenting and also get negative reactions when music videos include cars, girls and alcohol. Our blogger Nav discusses these issues and trends below![divide style=”3″]
If there’s one thing Bhangra music has been known for, it’s been terrible music videos. Most of years gone by were very low-budget, and more often than not, featured some scantily clad girl dancing (or attempting to) around a bar, or a rented sports car, or the singer’s chacha’s living room. The producer/singer would then also be attempting to dance, either with a couple of bottles in hand, or a couple of semi naked girls, around another rented sports car. Insert a couple of cheap strobe lighting camera effects and that was pretty much your average video. It was all very one-dimensional and had about as much in common with bhangra as refrigerators have with cars. Practically nothing.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/NavMusicVideoArticle.jpg” width=”600″ height=”400″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
More recently though, these trends have started to change. We’re seeing more professional dance groups in bhangra videos now, with some even being shot in India. The traditional elements of bhangra are coming back. Most videos now hold relevance to the music. Gupsy Aujla and Saini Surinder’s ‘Bhangra’ is a prime example of this. Some have even gone one step further to showcase a more historical backdrop, taking our industry further. Given the fact that people have always loved bhangra music, and always will love it, how much does the video really matter?
On one hand, one might say that the video exists simply to be able to market the song, so it can be viewed on outlets such as Brit Asia TV or on YouTube, and as a result, allow it to be released as a single. So in a word: marketing. Another might argue that whether a song has a good video, a bad video, or no video at all, it still won’t take anything away from a quality song, that people will listen to regardless. This certainly holds true if we remember one of the main appeals of bhangra music (to me anyway), the energy of the sound and the ability it has to make dance floors go crazy. A video is unrelated to those things.
Consider the flip side however, some like music videos for their entertainment value, and like to associate visuals to a particular song. Some videos may even give life to a song and amaze just as much as a good piece of music production. Check out Tigerstyle’s ‘Ik Banere’ below to see what I’m on about. Which dominate’s? Tigerstyle’s ever evolving production? Or Inkquisitive’s unbelievable artwork?
As mentioned earlier, some videos provide a platform to educate younger audiences about our culture and history, albeit they are reflections of the lyrical content of the respective song. The most striking example of this in recent times was Tru-Skool and Pavitar Singh Pasla’s ‘Beant Satwant Da Badla’, which deals with the 1984 attacks on the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple). Jazzy B and the late Kuldeep Manak’s ‘Sucha’ also tells the legendary story of Sucha Singh Soorma, a tale that even on a personal level I didn’t know of until the video was released. Such videos are of obvious benefit, to educate and teach younger generations. It works because it’s via a medium that most young people are comfortable with consuming.
What is your opinion of both old and modern bhangra music videos? Should it be used more often as a platform to help younger generations embrace our culture and history? Is this something music and video producers should be conscious of? How often do you even watch bhangra music videos? Leave your comments below as I’d love to hear your opinions!