Going back to the roots


Apache Indian is making a comeback after almost 25 years with his original love, reggae.

Born to Punjabi parents and raised in Birmingham, Steven Kapur, better known as Apache Indian, says that his first tryst with the genre of reggae came when his Jamaican nanny sang songs to him. With the music reverberating in his ears, Apache explains that it made him want to pursue music. Soon, he too took to reggae.

The 49-year-old singer and songwriter shot to fame in the ’90s by fusing Punjabi, Jamaican and English music cultures and delivering some pop hits such as Arranged Marriage, Chok There, and more.

After delivering a series of hits in what was a glorious decade of pop and indie music, Apache has burst back on the scene with a new album, that’s not just completely dedicated to reggae, but also hopes to show the true colours of the genre.

Talking about his upcoming album In Ja, Apache explains that he wanted to get to the fore, the genuineness of reggae. “Ja is the short form for Jamaica,” he says. “I wanted to bring authentic reggae to the forefront again. I won’t be remixing songs with bhangra or any other Punjabi folk element; it’s going to be only reggae.”

What prompted him to take this change of direction? “When I started making music, I used to mix Punjabi folk, bhangra and other Indian elements to my music,” Apache reminisces. “However, this time around I decided to make original reggae because I wanted to have some fun with my music — now that I am a known name, there is really little risk in pursuing this. It took five years to complete this album. While I wrote the lyrics to some of the songs in the album, my friends have made a contribution as well. With In Ja, I want to target the new generation.”

On the verge of turning 50, he reveals that this album has brought him immense happiness. “I started making music when I was 14 or 15 year old. I always wanted to do something in the field of music. When both my parents (hailing from Jalandhar), moved and settled in the UK, a Jamaican nanny started looking after me. She used to sing reggae to me, and that is how I got interested in their culture, and eventually that genre. Today, 25 years later, I’m releasing an album that is pure reggae — at the age of 50, it feels like a double celebration for me.”

Apache even has future plans in place. “Apart from this, I also want to open a music academy for children who are passionate about music. And, also lend my voice to more Tamil, Telugu and Hindi songs,” he signs off.

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