You can classify the first wave of “Asian Cool” as BAI (Before Apache Indian) and AAI (After Apache Indian). Here’s a Throwback Thursday look at the man who pioneered the bhangra-muffin craze of the early 90s.
Story by Rumnique Nannar
While we don’t always talk about marriage here on Jugni Style, we love any song that endearingly pokes fun at the tradition. Apache Indian fused bhangra, dancehall, and reggae to create his unique ‘bhangramuffin’ sound in his classic song, “Arranged Marriage.”
The summer track was one of the first songs off of his album, No Reservations, which featured “Chok There,” “Movie over India,” and “Don Raja.” All landed on the UK Singles Chart during 1992-1993 and were huge internationally in Canada and the USA as well.
“Arranged Marriage” is in a league of its own. Apache approaches the double bind of navigating family pressure and having a secret lover on the side with wit and bravado. The last verse, “About me arrange marriage me have a problem/When is the right time to tell me gal friend!” is a catchy twist that gives the song that extra edge from just being a party tune to a cultural critique. Apache set the precedent for the 90s, when bhangramuffin style flourished under his command.
While we scoured the internet for the original cheesy video, replete with Apache’s buzzed fade hairstyle, 90s baggy fashion, and the representative ‘soni kurri” girls, we found Apache Indian’s stellar rendition of the song on CBC’s Q with Jian Gomeshi, where he chats about his pioneer status, and the meaning behind the song. Watch the video below.
It is a shame that there’s not more of this genre around, since it’s an addictive mesh of sounds from the tumbhis and dhols to the reggae bass riffs. Alas, we can still play one of Apache’s old albums for that much-needed throwback!