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Ami Dang // RAIN // SXSW 3/14/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Ami Dang // RAIN // SXSW 3/14/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

For every artist we decided to catch at SXSW, we decided to review each performance with our own version of “Five Ws and One H” answering the questions: 1) Who are they, 2) What kind of music do they play, 3) When did they play, 4) Where are they from, 5) Why did we decide to catch them play and 6), How was their performance.


WHO: Ami Dang.

WHAT: World music rooted in the Sikh tradition a/k/a “Bollywave”.

WHEN: At RAIN on 3/14/2017.

WHERE: Baltimore, Maryland and New Delhi, India.

WHY: Because I dig the sitar and because she used to be a back-up singer for Grimes who has also co-signed some of her older recordings.

HOW: The venue was a little “off the beaten path” for me, but since it was a nice day, and my feet weren’t killing me yet, I decided to take a nice mile and a half walk to the venue where Ami Dang was scheduled to perform.

It was a really early set time, so I wasn’t surprised to find myself as one of only a handful of people in the room to watch the performance. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure the other people in the room were organizers of the day’s musical offerings … but that didn’t stop Ami Dang from giving me a solid, confident performance.

I dig the sitar, and while she may not be as skilled as a Ravi Shankar, she admirably handled the ancient instrument, as her band filled out the sonics with a varied assortment of electronic and cultural rhythms and melodies. Though she mostly sang in a foreign language (which I’m going to assume was Hindi*), I could understand why an artist like Grimes would be keen on working with and supporting her. It’s music for the adventurous and those with who aren’t beholden to tradition. It’s music that pushes the boundaries of musical possibilities … kinda like what Grimes does.

Follow Ami Dang on Facebook and Twitter.

* Per the artist, she sings in Punjabi, Urdu and English.


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