Video report by Anita Boomgaarden & Markus Hautmann.

Video report by Anita Boomgaarden & Markus Hautmann.

Reggae Rajahs - Mixtape Vol. 1 (2009)

Reggae Rajahs - Mixtape Vol. 2 (feat. Mr Williamz)
Reggae music got its start in Jamaica, but it has spread to many countries across the world since Bob Marley became an international superstar in the '70s. One of the countries where the reggae scene is evolving and thus the interest in reggae music is notably growing, is India. This thanks to Reggae Rajahs (meaning Reggae Kings), India's first reggae sound system from New Dehli.

Reggae Rajahs, comprising Diggy Dang (Raghav Dang), Mr. Herbalist (Zorawar Shukla) and DJ MoCity (Iraq's first soundboy Mohammed S. Abood), are reggae entertainers and promoters. Coming together for their love of reggae music in early 2009, the Rajahs started playing a mix of roots reggae, lovers rock, ska and dancehall music at venues across New Delhi. By the summer of 2010, with a firm fan base established in their hometown, the Rajahs invaded major cities across the country - Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai - as well as tourist destinations such as Goa and Manali.

The Reggae Rajahs have also been mainstays at the Holi Cow Festival (Delhi) for the past 2 years and last year (2010) were the only non-electronic act to be invited to play at the Sunburn Festival in Goa. They performed at the Escape Festival alongside many of India's top rock bands in Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand and recently hosted their own stage at NH7 Weekender 2011 called the Pepsi Dubstation. In Summer 2011, Reggae Rajahs were crowned India's first champion reggae sound (by defeating BASSFoundation in a very tightly contested Sound Clash). It didn't last long before they were invited to do international performances which brought them to Peru, Panama and New York City.

In India Reggae Rajahs have performed with upcoming local artists such as BASSFoundation and The Ska Vengers and have also hosted other established international performers such as Mr. Williamz, Apache Indian, Soom T, Mungo's Hi Fi (Scotland) , Blessed Love (Germany) Graeme Hamilton (UB40), Subatomic Sound (USA) and Heartical Sound (France).

With Mr. Williamz and Mungo's Hi Fi they did a five cities tour throughout India, doing seven shows in ten days in Bombay, Bangalore, Poona, Goa, and New Dehli. In an interview with Angus Taylor, Mr Williamz describes the Indian reggae scene as follows: "The vibes in the parties is very nice. It's a different vibes. What I noticed in the parties was you had older people and younger people all mixed. I'd see a lady in a sari there with her husband dancing. It was a different look for me from my point of view on the stage. Women in saris and big man all enjoying the reggae vibe. Just enjoying the culture. You don't see that kind of vibe in London. And there are rhythms being made out there. I met an mc named Delhi Sultanate. He opened the show for us in Delhi. A good mc with good music and good message."

Reggae Rajahs host a weekly Thursday reggae session called Simmer Down, where people can dance, relax, and listen to Roots Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady, Dub and early Dancehall. Furthermore they will be screening reggae documentaries and live stage performances, raising awareness about issues in the Caribbean, celebrating landmark reggae events, creating theme nights and inviting guest selectors and live musicians to come jam with them. Without any doubt reggae music is on the rise in India.

Big up to Reggaeville for sharing the video reports with us.