On May 14, Rukus Avenue Productions, in association with MTV Networks, presented \”The Movement Live,\” featuring South-Asian hip-hop fusion group Karmacy at the Key Club in West Hollywood.
This was the group\’s first stop on its nationwide tour which is scheduled to make stops in New York, San Francisco, Toronto and possibly London.
Karmacy\’s first album, ‘The Movement,’ blends hip-hop with jazz, rhythm & blues, Indian classical, drum-n-bass and bhangra, traditional North Indian folk music.
Karmacy, derived from the Sanskrit word \”karma,\” which suggests one\’s fate or destiny, started in 1998 by Rukus Avenue, the group’s record label.
According to group members Nimesh ‘Nimo’ Patel, Kiran ‘KB’ Belur, Swapneel ‘Swap’ Shah and producer Sammy Chand, Karmacy represents the collective thoughts of bicultured individuals while embracing the universality of human condition.
Their first album, ‘The Movement,’ released on January 15, 2005, is loosely defined as \”the simultaneous progress made by all individuals who have been inspired to express their life through an artistic medium and push for positive change.\”
Of the album\’s 18 tracks, \”Horizon\” illustrates the best example of Karmacy\’s multi-lingual and muliticultural expression.
‘I think mainstream exposure to multilingual music has an impact on listeners,’ Nimo said. ‘Audiences are getting exposed to music they wouldn’t to five years ago.’
Aside from English, parts of the song are featured in Spanish and three Indian languages-Gujarati, Hindi and Punjabi.
Since its inception, Karmacy has written original songs for hit international movies such as ‘Bride and Prejudice’ (2004), starring South-Asian actress Aishwarya Rai and ‘Where’s the Party Yaar’? (2003) featuring ‘Harold and Kumar’ actor Kal Penn. The group has also been featured in two music videos and the movie ‘Quarter Life Crisis.’
While Chand produces beats for the songs, lyricists Nimo, KB and Swap develop the lyrics.
‘We inspire ourselves by vibes or emotions that [Chand] produces,’ Nimo said. ‘The song ‘Intensity’ is about following your passion which was inspired by a beat from Sammi Chand.
This year, Karmacy is focusing on promoting its current album as well as producing a new album, which is set to be released in Spring 2006.
‘There will be a certain evolution in our next album,’ Nimo said. ‘It may not rip off our culture as much, but rather thoughts and concepts that we want to express.’