As a kid in high school, I always stood out. Brothers would blast Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (of whom I am a fan of-I grew up on Dre when he was part of the World Class Wrecking Cru in the 80s), but I was blasting Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz. As I got older, I refused to limit myself to hip-hop and club music. Music being a universal language, there is/was/and always will be an infusion of some sorts between various art forms from various cultures. If anyone listened to and of Miles Davis’ or John McLaughlin’s music from the early 70s (before my time, I know), they’ve successfully managed to fuse in Indian music into jazz-rock fusion of which Hendrix and Santana had a part in during the late 60s.
All this being said, a friend of mine whom I’ve lost contact with in recent months has gradually turned me on to this kinda music. She is fluent in two Hindi tongues and last I heard, is studying her third language. Although it didn’t happen right away, it was a gradual process that I got into it. She would tell me in vivid and clear detail about the culture, the music, the movies on YouTube, the food, etc, you get the idea. And in time, as my work schedule had changed, I wound up with a day shift after years of this yo-yo afternoon/midday fluctuation and I was befriended by several gentlemen who hail form India from various states in the country. In time I got to know them, and next thing I know the Bollywood concert had just came out, and I got to hear Parthiv Gohil for the first time, and he was tearin’ it up at the Music Hall in Detroit.
Next thing I know one of my coworkers had introduced me to the music of Ra One-esp. featuring another international musician-this one from Africa, Akon. I was so awestruck by these two international powerhouses, I downloaded a few songs from the Ra One soundtrack. I play ’em when I’m at the gym.