Being loved in return

Dehli 2 Dublin’s Punjabi-Irish-electronic fusion mix part of 2019 Invermere MusicFest lineup

Since Delhi 2 Dublin started up 14 years ago Sanjay Seran said he felt “like being a teenage girl waiting for her boyfriend to say ‘I love you’ back” as he kept wishing for his band to make it big.

“The reality is that west-coast ghetto-based funk stuff is awesome, but the whole world does not necessarily relate to that,” he said. “Two summers ago we were in Alaska and we just basically kind of felt that we’d reached a kind of glass ceiling.”

As they considered how to make their Punjabi-Irish-electronic fusion band more relatable and to broaden their appeal from college radio and CBC radio to a mainstream audience, Delhi 2 Dublin decided to give pop a shot. They modified their sound, put more emphasis on their lyrics and switched to singing almost exclusively in English.

“Pop has this kind of negative connotation especially when you come from an electronic world or a like a world where you think you’re cooler than what’s out there. And you’re not because those songs that you hear on the radio get stuck in your head and they’re catchy,” he said.

Although he was initially skeptical of the genre, the band tried one pop song which grew into an album called We Got This and which has been resonating with a wider crowd than the band’s long-time fans and which has landed them on mainstream radio in Vancouver.

“I went to go drop my kid off at daycare this morning and I heard my song on the radio and it was the first time he heard it on the radio and we were both like ‘this is so cool,’” he said. “It’s something you dream about forever.”

That song My People includes Mr. Seran’s aspiration to be loved back, with the lyrics including: “My people, my people, my people, my people, my people are everywhere.”

It turns out that his people really are everywhere. At a recent show in the United States with a “99 per cent older white audience” he suspected were Republican voters, Mr. Seran was taken aback by the crowd’s enthusiasm since they weren’t Delhi 2 Dublin’s usual demographic.

“It was a vibe and it was rad,” he said. “There’s so much love and so much compassion and so many awesome people out there.”

And increasing numbers of them are being drawn to Delhi 2 Dublin’s new more-inclusive sound with English lyrics that allow audiences to sing along.

“We have a message. We’re a very positive band, and we wanna hit as many people as possible and feel this feeling with as many people as possible,” Mr. Seran said.

As far as their upcoming performance at Invermere MusicFest on Saturday, August 17th he said: “You just know it’s going to be great and the vibe is going to be on point.”

Invermere MusicFest will run from August 16th and 17th. Weekend passes are $55 and are available at www.invermeremusicfest.com.

In addition to Delhi 2 Dublin, the other featured bands and performers to love in return are: Garifuna Collective, Danny Michel, Steve Brockley, Marble Canyon, Alex Cuba, Shred Kelly, and Big Little Lions.

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