Welcome to our first blog post!
Those of you that have been to India will know that a trip to India has the ability to profoundly change you. Stepping out of your 'comfort zone' and travelling to somewhere as exotic (and often chaotic!) as India can make the world, and yourself, seem different. We will get to the transformative spiritual powers of India later in the month, this week we are having a look at Indian Pop Culture.
Our Awesome Competition - 'Awesome India'
Last week we launched the Girlosophy 'Awesome India' Competition, where you and your bestie have a chance to win a trip to India with Girlosophy (worth $12500!) Now the Girlo office is buzzing with excitement over our biggest competition ever... So we decided to dedicate our first month of blog posts to the topic on everyone's lips...AWESOME INDIA!
India and the Art of Connection - Pop Music
Just like in Australia and the US, Pop Music is a major part of young people's lives in India. One of the most amazing aspects of Indian culture is the way in which everything is connected... and Indian pop music is a fabulous example of this. Indian Pop music is unique in sound and is heavily influenced by Indian folk and classical music - interspersed with modern beats. Today's music is very much connected with the past.
Indian Pop Music is very closely related to Bollywood - and so high are the demands on its performers that modern pop stars must be all dancing, all singing and all acting in order to 'make it'. In fact the influence of Bollywood is so massive that it weaves its way into pop music and pop culture, fashion, dance...and even sport! Last year it was not surprising that the top ten songs listed by ‘The Time of India’ are all from Bollywood movies! It is actually more beneficial for Indian Pop Stars to be the singers behind the Bollywood films than to have a solo career not connected to Bollywood.
The current number one song in Hindi is from the Bollywood movie 'Agneepath'.
This movie was released on 26 January (Indian Republic Day). The film broke the highest opening day collections record in history and is a massive success. It will be one of the biggest films of 2012. (Maybe the winners of our 'Amazing India' competition will be able to catch it when they are there!)
Slum Dog Millionaire and the 'Mozart of Madras'
You have probably seen the world wide cinema hit 'Slum Dog Millionaire' and have had the lead song ' Jai Ho' stuck in your head! This is the perfect example of classic Indian music mixed with a modern beat. What you might not know is the man you can see in this clip with the Pussy Cat Dolls is the classical composer A R Rahman. A R Rahman is considered the 'Mozart of Madras' and is very famous in the west for being the composer for the movie Slum Dog Millionaire... But in India he is a big deal!
What we think is really cool is the way that classical music is regarded so highly in India. Can you imagine a young Australian composer like Tim Hansen or Kate Moore (never heard of them? Check them out, they are awesome!) getting the same kind of recognition in Australia?
Girlo Hero: The fabulous Anoushka Shankar
A fabulous Indian sitar player, and we are talking sitar MEGA star here, is Anoushka Shankar. Anoushka is one of the heroes of Indian Classical Music, bringing her sitar playing to the west as well as having legend status in India. Anoushka totally embodies the Girlo spirit and (as well as being extremely talented) and is very much socially aware and an activist for human and animal rights.
Check out her duet with half sister, Norah Jones (it's a small, small, wonderful world!).
India and the X Factor
Yep, just like in Australia and the US, India is also obsessed with X Factor! Earlier in this post we mentioned how big a deal Bollywood is - well it is not surprising that the X Factor winner doesn't get a recording contract...they get to sing a song in a Bollywood film! Here is the winner from the 2011 X Factor competition, Geet Sagar.
So who did we miss? Who are your favourite Indian Pop stars?