Canadian rapper-singer Tesher feels a lot of times, artistes of Indian origin either have to completely adapt to the western culture while navigating a career in the West, or stick to all things ‘desi’ to stand out. But, now it is time to ditch it, and go the fusion way.
That’s the path he is treading on, be it his Young Shahrukh mashup or his recent superhit Jalebi Baby, for which he collaborated with American music star Jason Derulo.
“Being a Canadian born with Indian heritage, I wanted to be in a place where I could be driving my car down the street, and I can hear on the radio songs by Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and then my Jalebi Baby. I am not talking about a desi radio station but a main radio station,” says Tesher, who feels the star status of Derulo helped get the song in the mainstream.
Infused with Bhangra moves and Salsa twist, the song is making the right noise in India, and abroad. And Tesher is just glad that he could make a global song while staying authentic, and without offending anybody.
For Tesher, whose real name is Hitesh Sharma, staying true to his connection with India has been a big driving force in his career.
“It feels like any time an Indian origin person was able to make it big in music, they would have to be either here or there. Like, you either have to make one kind of music, like AR Rahman, or go to the other side like Jay Sean. That is also fine but in this new world, I am envisioning to make music which works in both worlds, like Shakira,” admits the 28-year-old, adding, “It’s high time for South Asian artistes to be known as multi-dimensional artistes, not just for making Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil or Telugu. They can also make English music, or put it all together”.
Just like many other musicians, Tesher also aims to draw from his own roots. “It all started as trying to blend two cultures together because it was authentic to me. Now, it has grown to me to put all the cultures together,” he explains.
And he aims to stay true to it. “My Indian identity is so core to who I am that it will always be a part of my music in some small or a big way, depending on the song,” he ends.