Like always, New York’s Red Baraat delivers an explosion of sound. I first heard the six-piece party band’s frenzy of funk, jazz, hip-hip, and Indian bhangra at Bonnaroo in 2012. That always seemed like the perfect setting for them: hot, sweaty, uncontrollable dancing.
It’s a whole new experience listening through headphones, but the new title track off their upcoming album Sound The People — produced by Run The Jewels collaborator Little Shalimar — still carries the same power. The single, which features Heems of Das Racist and Swet Shop Boys, is a politically soaked display of energy. Against a current of knocking drums and the ominous, dissonant hum of horns, his lyrics are striking. Heems is intense as he raps the song’s hook, “Together we sound, together we down, together we frown, forever we brown, sound the people, sound my people.” Look out for his Robin Williams Flubber reference too.
Red Baraat frontman Sunny Jain spoke of the song’s weight:
“Sound The People” is a shout out to the South Asian Diaspora. It’s about the realities of migration and despite religious, regional or nationalistic identities, we as South Asians still share a common thread. This idea of connectedness and being brown is also a metaphor for ALL people:
Heems and I met several years when he was still doing Das Racist. When Red Baraat started working on the new album, there were various ideas I had about South Asian diaspora, migration and Trump’s disconcerting victory, but it hadn’t all been tied together just yet. I shared all this with Heems and also sent him a couple of songs I had composed specifically thinking about his flow. The band was tracking for a few days at Studio G in Brooklyn and I asked Heems to come in and lay down a rap. He turned up in the studio and did his thing and that’s when we all realized, “Holy crap! This is the title track!” He pulled the whole album concept together with those words.
Listen below, and stick around for prior single “Kala Mukhra” featuring Ali Sethi.
06/08 – Flushing, NY @ Flushing Town Hall
06/11 – Camden, NJ @ Sunset Jazz Series at Wiggins Waterfront Park
06/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
06/25 – Mill Valley, CA @ Sweetwater Music Hall
06/26 – Oakland, CA @ The New Parish
06/28 – Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
06/29 – Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
06/30 – Victoria, BC @ TD Victoria International JazzFest | Centennial Square
07/01 – Vancouver, BC @ TD Victoria International JazzFest | David Lam – Park Main Stage
07/25 – Reno, NV @ Artown
07/27 – Denver, CO @ Clyfford Still Museum Summer Series
07/28 – Basalt, CO @ The Temporary
08/04 – Bethlehem, PA @ MusikFest
08/09 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
08/10 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House
08/11 – Greensboro, NC @ Lebauer Park
08/12 – Richmond, VA @ Richmond Jazz Festival
08/13 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
08/16 – Madison, WI @ The Central Park Sessions
08/17 – Detroit, MI @ The Cube at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
08/18 – Indianapolis, IN @ Amphitheater @ Newfields
08/19 – Nashville, TN @ City Winery