Jhalaak get into a whole new groove with the help of Ruby Singh in their exotic and hypnotic single and video Main Naraye Mastana — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
The first cut from the forthcoming album Ruby Singh presents Jhalaak, Main Naraye Mastana embodies their striking pan-cultural sound: A Sufi hip-hop hybrid that reaches back to the mystic poetry and devotional music of the 13th century — and pulls them into the present with global bass sounds, EDM production and rap verses featuring reinterpreted ancient lyrics.
Like countless groundbreaking collaborations, it began with a meeting of minds. Under the constellations of the 2014 summer sky, Jhalaak’s internationally celebrated members Chugge Khan, Salim Khan and Khete Khan — 19th-generation Rajasthani musicians from the Manganiyar tradition who are steeped in the elation and ecstasy of Sufi music and poetry — found a kindred spirit in Canadian-born Desi hip-hop artist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Ruby Singh.
“We met six years ago at the Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver,” Singh says. “The group of Indian musicians are all brothers from the same family. They are from the same city where my ancestors migrated from 300 years ago, so there is a good chance that our ancestors were hanging out, which is pretty cool.”
The crew’s current collaborators are no less creative, colourful and celebrated. To expand the spectrum of Jhalaak, Juno and Emmy-nominated producer and DJ Adham Shaikh also contributes to their hypnotic and explosive chemistry. And the graceful dancer in the Main Naraye Mastana video — shot in the group’s ancestral home of Rajasthan, India — is none other than Raki Khalbelia, one of the most celebrated dancers in Kalbelia folk dance.