At the height of the heat last summer, I wrote my introductory post on the delicious mix of Indian and Caribbean sounds known as Chutney. Since that time, I have enjoyed a lot more Chutney, and I hope to make it an ongoing subject in this blog. This time around, though, I just wanted to post a few more Chutney music or dance covers of Hindi film songs.
I am going to start out with the cover that inspired me to do this post. This is a real gem! Shirvani Sookhai (aka the Sunshine Girl) does a marvelously charming version of a song from one of the best Hindi films of the 1960s.
I decided not to post the originals for all the Hindi film songs that I’m including here (which would actually take a lot of effort, especially for the clips that include multiple songs). But in a couple of cases, I just can’t resist. Here is the classic original, from Teesri Kasam:
The Sunshine Girl is from Trinidad, and most Chutney music that I have found comes from either Trinidad or Guyana. But, of course, the Chutney performers don’t always have to be located in the Caribbean. There are several nice dances on YouTube from the Nrityarupa Dance Group in New York. They perform quite a few dances to Chutney music, but they are also obviously fond of Hindi film songs. Here’s their take on “Bumbro”:
This next video is form another event in New York, benefiting a charity in Guyana, I like this dancer a lot. It’s too bad I can’t identify the dancer right now (because neither does the video), but I will add her name to this post if/when I find out who she is. She dances to snippets of a few Hindi film songs, which may be somewhat Caribbeanized – or at least they are made to seem so via the bass-heavy sound system.
Drupatee (from Trinidad) is one of the major Chutney artists of the past few decades. In this contemporary live performance, she performs a few of her hits. At the beginning, though, she also performs a song made famous by Nazia Hassan. Unfortunately, the video is far from perfect – at one point, it even freezes up for a number of seconds – but it’s still well worth a look and listen.
Kavita Ramkissoon is referred to on several videos as the “Chutney Empress.” But unlike most of her Chutney numbers, this next one is not very Caribbean-sounding at all. On the other hand, I thought it would be great for a post in this blog, because it is an interesting cover of a beautiful classic Hindi film song from 1965.
And this, of course, is another case where I must post the original!
That’s about it for the present post, but there will be more Chutney soon enough. And one day, I might just write a whole post devoted to the Sunshine Girl.