Since first coming together in 2006, Delhi 2 Dublin founding members Tarun Nayar, Sanjay Seran and Ravi Binning have followed a unique path, often incorporatingthe distinct sounds of tabla and dhol into the electronic pulse of warehouse raves. The Vancouver-based electronic ensemble has developed its own decisive genre they refer to as “Subcontinental Pop,” bringing their South Asian influences into the world of Western pop music. And now, with the release of their new single, “Home (Everywhere I Go),” and forthcoming album, We Got This, Delhi 2 Dublin is poised to take their sound from the main stage to mainstream radio.
The new album, We Got This, produced by Toronto hitmaker Gavin Brown (Barenaked Ladies, Metric, Tragically Hip) is slated to be released on Warner Music Canada in early 2019. Gavin worked closely with the band to help them find their inner voice and focus their energies toward crafting the best songs of their career so far. With songs like “My People” and the title track, “We Got This,” they’re speaking to the band members’ experiences as descendants of immigrants in a new world, making these the most personal and meaningful songs since their inception. The first single, “Home (Everywhere I Go)” in particular, paints a powerful picture of an outsider searching for and finding their place in this world.
Each of these songs has an accessibility that transcends the band’s personal experiences and reaches toward a depth of meaning for people of all cultures, backgrounds and ages. For the first time in their career, Delhi 2 Dublin feel as though they’ve been able to articulate everything they’ve experienced and craft a collection of thought provoking and socially-conscious songs, while still remaining pop-accessible and dance-worthy.
Over the past few years, Delhi 2 Dublin has averaged 100 shows a year in places that have ranged from grimy, mid-2000’s LA dispensaries, to the Glastonbury Festival and Burning Man, to even performing as invited guests in the Kingdom of Brunei. Not too shabby for a group that was essentially pulled together last minute for what was intended as a one-off performance at the 2006 Vancouver Celtic Festival. That initial public jam session instantly galvanized the festival attendees into wildly dancing fans of a band that didn’t even technically exist. The surge of performance invitations that followed ensured that the hypothetical band became a reality. Instantly they were part of the fabric of Vancouver’s electronic music scene and California’s Jam Band festival circuit. In 2007 they released a self-titled album which sold out in under ten minutes the first time they brought it to a festival.
As might be expected with a spontaneously generated act, some skilled musicians have rotated in and out over the years. But the three core founding members have always remained and followed their own paths from that fateful first gig. Originally from Montreal, Tarun Nayar studied classical tabla from childhood with a seriousness that would eventually lead him to spend long periods of time studying with mentors in India. While Indian classical music is generally performed in concert halls, Tarun moved to East Vancouver in his early 20s and found his way into its frenzied rave scene and began to envision the tabla’s possibilities in warehouse raves. He co-founded Beats Without Borders, one of the first Canadian West Coast electronic outfits to throw big parties that incorporated various non-Western musical styles and traditions.
Sanjay Seran describes growing up as a ‘brown sheltered suburban kid’ with a ‘what the fuck is quinoa?’ kind of perspective on the world. He was always singing, he recalls, like a ‘human jukebox.’ Encouraged by friends’ reactions, he picked choir as a senior high school elective, and then joined extracurricular Vocal Jazz. At university he found a Bhangra Club and started hitting Vancouver’s massive network of Desi dance parties while binging on Napster’s generous offerings of UK garage infused bhangra. He started his own bhangra act, Signia, that included Ravi Binning, who had spent his entire life filling rooms with the sounds of his traditional Punjabi folk dance and drumming and has brought that experience to the current line-up. For the past four years Delhi 2 Dublin have been touring and recording with violinist Serena Eades. Berklee trained and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Serena deftly blends her classical and folk influences, bringing a new dimension to their sound.
With their new album, We Got This, and for their first time as a band, the members of Delhi 2 Dublin feel as though they’ve been able to reach inside themselves and come together on a collection of songs that they hope will resonate with all people, and even leave them thinking…as they’re dancing and singing along!