"Think Bruce Lee mashed up with Amitabh Bachchan. One of the most innovative new tracks of 2004." - DJ Adil Ray, discussing r-H's song, "Tim Sum Vindaloo," on BBC Asian Network's "The Adil Ray Show"
Growing up in Singapore, Rajesh Hardwani (a.k.a. r-H) fed himself musically on everything from funk and soul, to blues and hip-hop. This wide variety of influences would later play a vital role in his work as a musician, though he eventually expanded his creative palette even further to include electronica, big beat, drum and bass, jazz, and much more. It's no surprise that some people find it difficult to classify his style. However, what may come as a surprise is how easily r-H takes these countless influences and meshes them together into a remarkably cohesive and wildly infectious sound that is all his own.
r-H got his start as a DJ back in the 80s, but soon discovered that he preferred the microphone to the turntables. He began writing his own rap songs, and after a mandatory stint of military service, he began working on his debut rap album, Ethnic Jam, in 1994. The album was released two years later, and stood out from the crowd because of the way the raps were fused with Indian percussion.
Ethnic Jam was largely a one-man show, with r-H writing, composing, producing, designing, and marketing the album himself. "It was one of my most trying moments," says r-H, "but I loved every minute of it." At this point in his career, r-H was still searching for his musical voice, and the hard work he put into his debut helped him find it. Instead of completing his first rap album and being inspired to begin work on another, r-H completed his first rap album and decided to take a different path, one that led toward working as a producer and remixer.
These days, r-H uses handheld digital recorders to collect sound samples, and digital audio workstations to edit and fine-tune them. When he is satisfied, he blends the resulting sounds with Asian instrumentation and weaves a theme of hip-hop, jazz, funk, big beat, or drum and bass through the entire piece. An avid traveler, r-H takes his digital gear with him wherever he goes in order to record any sights and sounds that may become part of or inspiration for future creations. This helps explain the remarkable diversity of r-H's music, which includes elements of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Malaysian, and Arabian cultures.
With his debut electronica album, Black Asia Volume 1, r-H has taken one big step toward reaching the goals he has set for himself, which include remixing for established artists worldwide and making a living through his music. Using an astounding variety of instrumentation, r-H aims to show you how Thai, Japanese, and Indian grooves and chants sound when layered over break beat and drum and bass. Thanks to the performance and production expertise he has accumulated over the years, the album is more polished and accessible than his previous works, which is a good thing, because this is music that truly needs to be heard.
"'Excited' would be an understatement." This is how r-H responds when asked how he feels about Black Asia Volume 1. "I believe this is the true, all-around Asian electronic music album, and I can't wait for the industry to have a listen."
And he isn't going to just sit back and wait to be noticed. In addition to promoting Black Asia Volume 1, r-H is already hard at work on Black Asia Volume 2. He is also remixing for the R.I.P. Family, a rap and hip-hop crew out of Jacksonville, Florida, and Vandal, a rap and hip-hop artist from Toronto, Canada. r-H also recently had his track "Tim Sum Vindaloo" featured on the Asian Underground compilation, Asian Beat Bazaar, released by Virgin Records UK.
In the future, r-H hopes to become involved with more remixing collaborations with other artists, and he plans to produce a sound library of Asian sounds and effects. But his aspirations in regard to the Asian culture do not stop there. "I want to see Asian artists and musical instruments receive recognition and success worldwide. I realize that Asian musicians tend to be followers and not leaders. That is, they'd sing in their mother-tongue, but to UK garage, American hip-hop, or blues. You never find it the other way around, and you can't blame them. It's a business at the end of the day, and the demand and supply factor plays a huge part. I incorporate 'Asianism' in my tracks, and I hope to show the world that Asian music and instruments can play a major role in music production, regardless of genre."
Obviously, r-H is an artist who has set a high bar for himself, but he is also an artist who seems capable of going above and beyond that to which he currently aspires.
Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2005 - Republished with Permission