World Music Day is all about bringing music and joy to people in any form possible. This is especially true when music from different cultures is merged together. When two cultures come together to create music, it can create something truly special that transcends borders and languages.

South Asian music and American mainstream genres have been collaborating for over 30+ years and there are many examples of successful collaborations (see our top picks below).

One of the earliest and most famous examples is the song “Mundian To Bach Ke” by Panjabi MC and Jay-Z.

Panjabi MC & Jay Z - Mundian To Bach Ke (Beware of the boys remix)

This song was released in 2002 and was a huge crossover success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It helped to introduce Indian music to a wider audience and showed the power of music to bring people together.

In recent years, there have been many more successful collaborations between artists from different cultures. 

Below, we take a look at some of the songs that increased the visibility of South Asian music through international collabs. 

2023: Mera Na - Steel Banglez x Burna Boy x Sidhu Moosewala

Mera Na: Steel Banglez, Burna Boy, and Sidhu Moosewala

“Mera Na” is a groundbreaking collaboration that brings together the British-Indian producer Steel Banglez, the Nigerian afrobeat sensation Burna Boy, and the Punjabi pop icon Sidhu Moosewala. Released in 2023, this track beautifully blends Punjabi folk-infused melodies, vibrant afrobeat rhythms, and contemporary urban sounds, showcasing the limitless possibilities when diverse musical cultures converge.

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2022: Guddi Riddim - DJ Snake x Wade ft Nooran Sisters

Guddi Riddim: DJ Snake x Wade ft Nooran Sisters (2022)

Released in 2022, “Guddi Riddim” combines the creative genius of DJ Snake, Wade, and the soulful vocals of the Nooran Sisters. This collaboration exemplifies the perfect amalgamation of electronic beats and traditional Punjabi melodies, showcasing the harmonious fusion of East and West.

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2022: Voodoo - Badshah x J Balvin x Lil Baby

Voodoo: Badshah, J Balvin, Lil Baby

In 2022, “Voodoo” took the music world by storm, uniting Indian rapper Badshah with Latin sensation J Balvin and American rapper Lil Baby. This trilingual collaboration seamlessly merges Punjabi, Latin, and English verses, emphasizing the global appeal and cross-cultural influence of modern music.

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2022: Chauffeur - Diljit Dosanjh x Tory Lanez

Chauffeur: Diljit Dosanjh & Tory Lanez

“Diljit Dosanjh & Tory Lanez’s “Chauffeur,” released in 2022, epitomizes the convergence of Punjabi pop and contemporary hip-hop. This collaboration showcases the cultural exchange between East and West, with infectious beats and captivating verses capturing the attention of music enthusiasts worldwide.

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2022: Gangsta - Karan Aujla & YG

Gangsta: Karan Aujla & YG

Released in 2022, “Gangsta” unites Punjabi singer Karan Aujla with American rapper YG, combining the best of Punjabi and West Coast rap. This collaboration amplifies the global influence of Punjabi music and its ability to seamlessly blend with diverse genres, creating a unique and captivating musical experience.

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2019: BIBA - Marshmello x Pritam feat. Shirley Setia

BIBA: Marshmello x Pritam feat. Shirley Setia

Although not a recent release, “BIBA” by Marshmello and Pritam featuring Shirley Setia deserves a mention. Released in 2019, this collaboration brings together the infectious energy of EDM and Bollywood pop, serving as a precursor to the rising trend of East-West collaborations.

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2011: Shera Di Kaum - RDB x Ludacris

2011: Sher Di Kaum - RDB x Ludacris

“Shera Di Kaum” seamlessly merges Punjabi bhangra rhythms with Ludacris’ charismatic rap style, resulting in a high-energy fusion that resonates with fans worldwide. The track’s driving beats, catchy melodies, and dynamic vocal deliveries create an irresistible blend of East and West, showcasing the collective artistry and creative vision of RDB and Ludacris.

Watch video here

Why is Merging Music of Two Cultures Important?

  • Break down cultural barriers: Music can be a powerful tool for communication and understanding.
  • Promote cultural diversity: Help to make the world a more open and accepting place.
  • Create new and innovative music: When artists from different cultures come together, they can often create new and innovative music that is unlike anything that has come before. This is because they bring different influences and perspectives to the table.

(There is a new genre emerging in the US called Indo-House. Read more here about Indo-house and the creative DJ’s behind it here).

In the future, we can expect to see even more boundary-pushing collaborations that blur the lines between different genres and cultures. These collaborations will help to create a more diverse and inclusive music landscape that reflects the world we live in

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