BlackMahal
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BlackMahal

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
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I love my blog. In just the past week, I've had the opportunity to interview the founder of the Steeler Nation in Israel, received an e-mail from TMZ (more on this later), and now, I've been contacted by a gentleman with the title "The Sherpa" regarding the first-ever Punjabi-Influenced Pittsburgh Steelers Football Anthem. Again, I love my blog.

So let me introduce you to BlackMahal. They recently released the song Black, Gold and Silver (Lombardi Baby) featuring samples from owner Dan Rooney, the late great Myron Cope, and features vocals from Lal Singh Bhatti the godfather of Punjabi-American music. Enjoy!

Black Gold and Siliver (Lombardi Baby) by BlackMahal

Here's more information about the song and the group:

From the home of the terrific turbans comes the new terrible towel anthem, Black, Gold and Silver by BlackMahal available for free download at www.facebook.com/blackmahal.

The song takes the classic black and gold colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers and adds the silver of the storied Lombardi Trophy, given to the winner of NFL Super Bowl. First there was "Here We Go" by Roger Wood then "Black and Yellow" from Wiz Khalifa. Now BlackMahal unveils the first Bhangra-infused anthem for football fans, "Black, Gold and Silver."

The song features some dedications and samples of the late Steelers broadcaster and icon, Myron Cope, as the band re-invents the, "Yoi, Yoi, and Double Yoi" catchphrase.

Bhatti also introduces a new name for the team that sits at the confluence of the Monongahela, Alleghany and Ohio Rivers, translating them into 'thin-jabis' or "those from the three rivers."

"The new colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers are black, gold and silver," says BlackMahal rapper and executive producer Vijay Chattha. "The Lombardi trophy and its silver sheen has become a standard of success in the team's historic franchise, so we wanted to celebrate our colors on the song."

"Steelers Nation* is a worldwide community so it's time for the rest of the world, like us, to express our love for the Steelers in local flavors," continues Chattha, a native of Weirton, WV, just 45 minutes from Pittsburgh's Heinz Field stadium.

Part P-Funk, part Punjabi-Funk, BlackMahal is a 10-piece live music experience complete with drums, DJs, horns, hip-hop MCs, and the godfather of Punjabi-American music – Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti.

BlackMahal's lead vocalist, Lal 'Blitz-Singh' Bhatti, is regarded as the godfather of Punjabi-American music. Bhatti has collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas, The Doors and has performed for nearly every U.S. President since Gerald Ford as well has being honored at the opening of the Smithsonian Sikh Gallery in 2005.

For over four decades, Bhatti has used the power of dhol, bhangra and Punjabi music to bring people of all cultures together including performances at America’s Bi-Centennial celebration in 1976 all the way to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as official Cultural Olympiad Performer.




BlackMahal is steeped in Old California, a Punjabi-American experience that started in the 1890s when the first Punjabi-Americans settled in the Great West and forged a new identity combining elements of Mexican and African-American influence. The band has rocked major concerts across North America including the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with features in Rolling Stone, Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle, and rotation on the BBC Radio 1.

* There's been quite a debate going on lately about whether Steeler Nation is Steelers Nation or Steeler Nation. The answer is clearly Steeler Nation. Ginny at That's Church put this to rest. - Sean's Ramblings


Austin: San Francisco's funky Punjabi hip-hop incarnation, BlackMahal, is planning to shake up Austin at the highly anticipated 2011 SXSW Music festival. After acclaimed performances from the bay area to Canada, the group will take part in a World Soul Showcase at Momos Club on March 15th.

Hot on the heels of their viral hit and NFL fight song "Black, Gold, and Silver", the group will be performing exciting new material from their upcoming debut album, Music + Love + Dancing. The band's pre-release singles have been making waves across international radio and featured on stations in Boston, San Francisco and the UK's BBC-Radio 1, garnering the attention of international press including buzz in the San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone, Ego Trip, Wired and MTV Desi. - The Times of India


I finally got to see Black Mahal at Yerba Buena Gardens on Saturday (who doesn't like free concerts in nice settings?)! Our own favorite Rav-e started things off, then on came Black Mahal (well, first you saw the red turban winding its way through the crowd, then the rest of the crew followed the sound of the dhol on stage). I've heard about them and witnessed their music, yet I'm still not quite sure how to describe this SF-based group. Fronted by Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti, a grandfatherly figure who both sings and gets down with the dhol, the rest of the band is composed of a noticeably young mix of singers, rappers, horns, and a DJ in the back. The music is kitchy, catchy, and completely enjoyable. The afternoon performance definitely had a PG family vibe to it. And, behold, a lovely little song about moustaches.

How could you not love a group that sings about moustaches? I mean, really. Especially if it's the leftover flavor in your moustache. I would highly recommend Black Mahal for a little levity along with a little variety in your moustache.
- White Desi Blog


BlackMahal was started by Vijay Chattha, who says of the beginning, "I combined golden-era hip-hop instrumentals with live Punjabi freestyles of Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti, a Punjabi American music icon at shows across San Francisco." Seven years later, the band has grown in number and expanded musically - fusing styles into what Chattha calls "turban groove" or "Punjabi funk hop."

Not only do they span nearly every musical genre, touching on reggaeton, soul and funk, but they also include an extra special ingredient: a great sense of humor. With a whole song dedicated to the mustache rocker ("Save the Flavor") with lines like, "keep a mustache fly, like Magnum P.I. / let it drip dry / baby don't dye it off / it's so sexy," what's not to love?

Lineup: Jay Slim, turntables; Satish Pillai, keys; Mandeep Sethi, vocals; Vijay Chattha, vocals; Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti, vocals, dhol percussion; Sandeep Bhatt, sax; Pang Fua Chang, vocals; Tim Chang, bass; Jon Cook, drums; Dave Wood, trumpet.
How did you name your band? What does it mean?

It started as a fascination that Vijay Chattha had as a kid with the Black Taj myth of India. According to the Black Taj myth, Shah Jahan had planned to build a mirror image of the Taj Mahal he built for his wife Mumtaz, albeit in black, on the other side of the river and connect the two by a bridge. So yes, the BlackMahal that never was ... has now been built in San Francisco.

Who are your musical influences?

P-funk, Gurdas Maan, Fishbone, Lee Scratch Perry, the Roots, Afrika Bambaataa, Kalyanji Anandji.
How do you approach live music differently from recorded music?

Most of our recorded music is for the clubs while our live music has more of an organic funky dance feel.
How has your music evolved since you started playing together?

Over the past three years, we've stepped up our game and transformed into a fully live music experience that performs all original compositions.
What is the funniest thing said to you about your music?

A film producer (told us): "Your music is perfect for my new porn film."

Check it out: www.blackmahal.com.

Next gig: 9 p.m. Fri. $18. With Das Racist, Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F. (415) 625-8880. www.mezzaninesf.com.

- Michelle Broder Van Dyke, bandwidth@sfchronicle.com


- SFGate.com


"BlackMahal absolutely rocked the Great American Music Hall! Their mix of energy, rhythm and sounds got the crowd jumping. Everybody was asking about them after the show and we were honored to have them play Silicon Valley Rocks. I would strongly encourage any festival or venue booking agent to check out their myspace or videos to see the kind of energy they can bring to a place." - Alison Murdock, Event Producer, Silicon Valley Rocks.


"BlacKMahal brings life to any event. Their mixture of Hip-Hop, Funk, and Indian classics is a rarity, and it's a joy to see them work a crowd so deftly. After the Jam Master Jay tribute they performed at, everyone was blown away!" - Darian Heyman, Executive Director, Craigslist Foundation


Discography

Black Gold And Silver (Lombardi Baby) - 2011

Photos

Bio

BlackMahal’s music reflects Punjabi tradition in the context of timeless funk and contemporary hip-hop. BlackMahal is steeped in an Old California experience that started in the 1890s when the first Punjabi-Americans settled in the Great West and forged a new identity with elements of Mexican and African-American influence. It also represents the new California feel: hippy hybrid hip-hop and hysterical hi-jinks.

The nine-piece band has rocked major concerts across North America including the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, with feature articles in Rolling Stone, Wired, and The San Francisco Chronicle, as well as rotation on BBC Radio 1.