WITH the party season being upon us, it is the perfect time to reflect on the power-packed dance anthems that were released in 2023.
Eastern Eye requested DJ Shai Guy from one of the UK’s leading club night promoters, Bombay Funkadelic, to select the most upbeat songs from this year ahead of their New Year’s Eve party in London.
He said: “At Bombay Funkadelic, we play predominantly Bollywood, with some bhangra, south Indian and British Asian beats. Here’s a throwback to the songs that really made an impact on our dance floors through 2023. It’s been a great year for music.”
Besharam Rang (Pathaan): An awesome Afro-beats-influenced track with a truly international feel about it. The year began with a ridiculous political movement to enforce a ban on the music video. Thank God, it wasn’t. The other track from the film, Jhoome Jo Pathaan, is also a total banger.
What Jhumka (Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani): Arijit Singh at his pop-tastic best on a unique cover version of a classic Bollywood tune. We personally prefer Heart Throb from the film, but the drop on this always outed true Bollywood fans from the pretenders.
Desperado (Raghav, Tesher): Jalebi Baby producer Tesher followed up his 2022 monster smash with this Raghav collaboration. Sampling the classic Chura Liya, this went viral on Tiktok, drawing fans to the floor like moths to a flame.
Jalsa 2.0 (Mission Raniganj): This year was guilty of regurgitating dance classics, but they thankfully didn’t always crucify the spirit of the original. Here’s a prime example, along with Main Khiladi and Main Nikhla Gaddi Leke, from other films.
Obsessed (Riar Saab): Trained as a Punjabi folk singer, Riar Saab fused his talents with hip hop to create a genius fusion that always gets our crowds bouncing.
Tere Pyar Mein (Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar): While the song Show Me The Thumka undoubtedly has the stronger Bollywood vibe, this one has a smooth 1980s electro-house beat. It’s hard to choose, which is the better of the two.
Kaavaalaa (Jailer): Capturing a similar spirit to last year’s Oo Antava Mava, this Tamil smash hit never fails to set the floor on fire. We refrain from playing the Hindi remake, even if more people might understand it. It just sounds wrong.
True Stories (AP Dhillon): If AP Dhillon isn’t requested at least once, we worry we’re in the wrong universe. Meaningful lyrics and a banging beat of electronica.
Players (Badshah, Karan Aujla): Badshah, Karan Aujla and Honey Singh are names that get shouted our way. This track is a perfect example of why these guys need to collaborate a lot more.
Hum Aaye Hain (Ganapath): This top track was salvaged from a film that became a box-office disaster. Its melodious vocals and infectious riff are guaranteed to get your hips rocking. A slice of cheeky fun.
Chaleya (Jawan): The song Zinda Banda is the one that gets everyone dancing until they sweat, but the smooth, soulful sound of Chaleya is the perfect antidote to the major energy that dominates our nights. Both Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao on full form.
Chedhkhaniyan (Shehzada): Feel-good tropical house vibes that fills the room with positivity whenever we play it. There isn’t a head not nodding along.
Vibe (F1rstman): This one’s an underrated banger from the Dutch Pakistani rapper. Beats, melody, raps, riffs – the entire production is genius and deserves more love.
Guddi Riddim (DJ Snake, Wade): The year has seen a massive increase in non-Asian music producers and DJs sampling desi beats and giving them a western twist, whether that has been the tech house wizardry of Wade, or the rap/house remix of Gur Nal Ishq Mitha in Desi Trill by DJ Lyan and British popstar Chipmunk.
9:45 (Prabh): A sexy hook lends a sensual vibe to this gem from a growing group of Canadian Punjabi rappers. Major Drake feels from this one.
DJ Shai Guy will be performing live at the Bombay Funkadelic New Year’s Eve Party at Alaska Waterloo in London on December 31. More info at Nyenaach.eventbrite.co.uk www.bombayfunkadelic.com (@BombayFunkadelic), www.djshaiguy.co.uk (@DJShaiGuy)