Mr. Shammi
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Mr. Shammi

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Reggae




"Soca: The Soundtrack of Carnival"

Soca is the soundtrack of Carnival.
And those that make the annual pilgrimage to this pre-lent celebration can tell you, the biggest week of partying in the Caribbean can put any US Mardi Gras celebration to shame. With men dousing themselves in oil from head to toe (pay up, or they mess you up), stilt-walkers, scantily-clad glimmering ladies, and fetes (parties) that overlap from jouvert morning to the repenting dawn of Ash Wednesday, there is an undeniable madness in the music.

That kind of energy is catching on outside of Trinidad. The sound of Trinidad and Tobago, echoed in neighboring Caribbean isles like St. Vincent and Barbados, is finding its way across the globe. Often mistaken for dancehall reggae, and officially gaining its name from soul-calypso, socas infectious, high energy beats are spreading faster than a cold on a plane.

The music, much like the island's heritage, is a blend of African, East Indian, Chinese and European-Caucasian. Those of Afro-Trinidadian descent reign supreme in soca, with an occasional exception. One such exception is Shammi Salickram.

Shammi is of East Indian descent, and by island standards he should be singing chutney (East-Indian influenced) music, or "chutney soca" at best. Shammi, however, believes, People should do the music that moves them, rather than what people tell them theyre supposed to do.

Working with this prejudice against him, Shammi made waves at Carnival 2003 with his collaborative Soca Bhangra, with ragga-soca (reggae influenced soca) star Bunji Garlin. His ability to blend Indian Bhangra with island soca got him attention. His command of the stage, singing whatever strikes him at the moment, got him notoriety as time and time again the local papers said he stole the show. He swept through all the major fetes of Carnival 2003 along with Bunji and the Godfathers Asylum riding that wave all the way to shows here in the US.

He arrived via NYC, hub of Trinidadians in the US, to play some shows and return home. He never left though (I'm partially to blame, as he stayed and married me).

Leaving his home behind has begun to work in his favor, and in favor of all soca artists, despite missing out on the past few Carnival seasons. As the music of soca has begun to spread elsewhere, the riddims driving their way into the UK Garage scene, their sway hypnotizing US audience in R&B style ballads like Kevin Lyttles Turn Me On or Rupees Tempted to Touch, and the energy captivating music fans throughout Germany, Sweden and Poland, Shammi has been hatching his own soca influenced tunes.

Never one to do the same old thing as everyone else, he is using his exposure to other worldly music sounds here in the US (rock, house, Latin, hip-hop, freestyle and dance) to blend soca further into the fabric of mainstream music worldwide.

His work with NYs Kingheart Beat Entertainment is being sold throughout Japan on the New York Soca Vibe compilation. Producers in Germany and England are eager to work with him, virtually or anyway they can. His songs have even appeared as required listening on a Harvard University syllabus for a class on Electronic Music from the 60s through today.

He is also looking to collaborate with Minmi, the first soca-influenced artist out of Japan, making waves back in Trinidad with her soca/dance style hit Summertime.

Shammi has a new CD due out soon, his first since residing in the states. While the energy and origin are very much soca and true to his roots, there is a variety of styles mixed up in it. Music speaks to everyone, says Shammi, Someone in Japan may not know anything at all about Trinidad and how life is there, but they know they like the music and that it gets them up, jumping and feeling good. Sometimes, thats all that really matters.

Visit Shammi and hear his new tunes at -

"Shammi Shares the Soca Sound"

One of the sexiest men in soca is working his way onto the American scene. Known as a champion of blending unlike musical style in his native Trinidad, Shammi Salickram (a.k.a. Mr. Shammi) is working on creating the same waves here in the US. Shammi is best known back home for his 2003 Carnival hit “Soca Bhangra”, a collaborative effort with ragga soca star Bunji Garlin. As the song title suggests, Shammi was the first to successfully take a bhangra rhythm and blend it with the fast paced rhythmic sounds of soca. Both styles have made recent appearances in American pop music. Bhangra beats were the base for Brittany Spears and Madonna’s “Me Against the Music”, as well as, Jay Z and Punjabi MC’s “Beware of the Boys”, while the soca sound just recently hit the Billboard charts with Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On”. Shammi is lucky to have both styles under his belt, but he’s not stopping there.

In discussing his new album, due out this fall, Shammi said, “I have really enjoyed infusing new sounds into my music. While I don’t want to forget my roots in soca and bhangra, I am hoping to bring them to a wider audience here in the US by blending them with sounds that the American people are more familiar with. I have new influences ranging from reggae and hip hop to freestyle and rock to techno and drum and bass. Nothing is off limits. The more I hear the more I am inspired to do new things. There are so many talented people here in New York with open minds to experimenting and trying new things in music. That is what I am all about.”

Shammi has also taken on working with other artists for his forthcoming release. “I enjoy working with other artists from different genres of music,” says Shammi, “It gives us the opportunity to learn from one another and gives the music more depth”.

Those unfamiliar with Trini’s Mr. Shammi soon will be. To keep up to date on all of Shammi’s movements, hear his tracks and check out pictures, log onto
- Red Ink Magazine

"Mr. Shammi Come Again"

Where is Shammi? That was the question that kept popping up at Carnival this year in Trinidad. He wasn’t in the Soca Monarch competition. He couldn’t be found at any of the major fetes. The Godfather Asylum was missing their grand finale without the unique stylings of Mr. Shammi. “Stick It”, the follow up with Bunji Garlin to their 2003 hit “Soca Bhangra (remix)”, was even more of a crowd pleaser this year, but there was no sign of Mr. Shammi to bring it to life on stage.

So, where has Shammi been? After creating such a huge bang in the soca world in 2003 and playing all of the major fetes at Carnival, Shammi is working on the next big thing… his full album release. Working to bring the sounds of soca to a world beyond the Caribbean, Shammi has created a whole new sound infusing styles from numerous genres and working with other artists for his new release “Come Again”. Slated for release this summer from a New York based label, “Come Again” includes soon to be hits, “It’s Carnival (Can’t Stop This Party)” with Jamaican artist Screechy and “Drive Me Crazy” with New York native Terry Felicia, a song with a New York freestyle feel to it. 2003 hit with Bunji Garlin, “Soca Bhangra” is included, as well as the 2004 follow up, “Stick It”. “Come Again” includes a full range of sounds and illustrates Shammi’s skills, including the bonus track “Soca Bhangra Techno remix”.

Shammi says he is excited about this CD. Not only does he perform on each song, each song is very personal, as he also wrote and co-produced every track. Shammi says, “Though I may seem new on the scene to some people. I have been at this for a long time. I have had to work very hard to be recognized, especially as an Indian in the soca scene. This album is my chance to explore other types of music, without abandoning the sounds that got me here. I want to bring the bacchanal of Trinidad to a wider audience.” “And”, Shammi says, “This is just the beginning. I have so many songs and ideas in me. I just need to continue to link with the right people who believe in my music, as I do, and who are open to exploring ways to expand the soca sound.”

Family Roots
The youngest of six boys, Shammi was always in the spotlight, from day one. His mother named him after Shammi Kapoor, the Indian actor often dubbed ‘the Indian Elvis’. It seems her mothers’ intuition told her what her youngest child was destined for. Blessed with a captivating smile and unarguable good looks, Shammi never rested on his winning appearance. He started performing at age 16 in local schools. His eldest brother, Rick, operated a nightclub in Toronto. Shammi often stayed with him, working with him in the DJ booth and eventually began DJing himself, honing his rhythmic skills. At age 24, Shammi paired with his brother Nigel for their hit song “Soca Bhangra”, a remake of the Indian song “Bo Lo Ta Ra Ra”. The same song would later be remixed again to become Shammi and Bunji Garlin’s 2003 Carnival hit. Brother Nigel recently returned to his chutney roots, placing second in this year’s Chutney Monarch competition in Trinidad.

So how does Shammi spend his time away from the stage and studio? He stays healthy with training at the gym, keeping that shape that all the ladies love to see on stage. He loves watching horror/psycho thriller movies, the more twisted, the better. “I don’t like gore in horror movies,” Shammi says, “I like the supernatural psychological thrillers that make you think and keep you guessing until the end.” And, never far away from music, Shammi spends a lot of his time listening to all different styles of music. Two of his personal favorites are Bryan Adams and Marc Cohen, for their writing capabilities, but Shammi also keeps his ears tuned to Dance, Latin and other rhythmic styles of music that he looks to integrate into his own music. “Inspiration is everywhere,” says Shammi. And it always seems there is a beat drumming in his head. During our interview, he was always tapping out an elaborate rhythm or bouncing his leg to a music it seems only he could hear.

Shammi is enjoying his time here in New York. He says, “New York is a great place to create. There are so many characters everywhere. People I thought were only exaggerations in the movies - they actual exist! – and they live here in New York!”

Those who have been looking for a dose of Shammi should be on the lookout this summer, as Shammi will be making New York his home base for at least the next six months. He will be performing throughout New York and New Jersey, showing off his new tunes, as well as the crowd pleaser “Soca Bhangra.” - Everybody's Magazine

"Shammi to Release Song in Japan"

Shammi to release song in Japan

Shammi Salickram who, with brother Nigel, was responsible for the 1997 hit Soca Bhangra (aka Bolo Ta Da Da), may soon be big in Japan.

At least that’s what King Heartbeat Productions is hoping for when they release Salickram’s songs there next month.

Salickram, who on his own gave the song Tomato Choka—a spoof off Ricky Martin’s La Vida Loca—has also caught the attention of a Polish producer who is interested in doing some collaborative work with him.
- Trinidad Guardian

"Building a Home Away from Home"

Few people fulfill dreams of performing on stage in front of thousands of people, or ever get to make a music video in their home town featuring their neighbors and family. Shammi Salickram, or Mr. Shammi as he is known to his fans in the Caribbean, achieved all that and more. Named one of the sexiest singers in his homeland of Trinidad, during the Carnival fetes of 2003, Mr. Shammi had it all. His hit song, “Soca Bhangra” pumped furiously day and night on all the hot soca stations. He performed his hits to crowds floored by his energy night after night. Nearly any fete, big or small, pumped the tune, whether by CD, by other bands covering the hit, or by the team of Shammi and his co-collaborator Bunji Garlin themselves. Sleep was not an option for Shammi. He dozed now and again between sets, kept his energy up with a swig of a Stag or Guinness beer, and took the country by storm. On this wave of energy, Shammi flew, along with the Godfathers Asylum to New York City, to bring their soca styles to New York, Brooklyn, New Jersey and beyond. (Soca is originally from “soul” and “calypso,” similar to dancehall reggae, but truly a blend of high energy musical styles native to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.) It was meant to be a three month stint in the states. Make a slew of money, and then finally return home to rest some until the next Carnival season rolled along.

But life doesn’t always work out the way you expect it to. Shammi met someone. And between shows, they spent some time together. And soon, the Godfathers Asylum returned home. And Shammi stayed. Winter rolled around, but Shammi did not return home. Carnival 2004 came and went. Summer and fall again. And soon, a new Mr. Shammi, his son, came into the world. The elder Shammi had left the hype behind. He took his sabbatical in the heat of his fame. He left the potential sponsorships, the money, the notoriety, and most importantly, his home. He left it, not because he had to, but because it was right for him.

But, be warned. Those who do not know this soca terror, cannot imagine the fire for music that burns within him. He fought for years upon years to be seen as a musical artist beyond the boundaries of race and place. You see, in Trinidad, Afro-Trinidadians (those descendants of Africa) rule soca music. Indo-Trinidadians (those descendants of Eastern India) are expected to sing chutney, a musical derivative of East Indian rhythms and dialect. Shammi just wanted to sing and perform what he pleased. He was told many times, "For an Indian, you’re pretty good." Ask Shammi and he will tell you "No one group of people own any type of music. Music is universal. It speaks to us all and its varying degrees of pitch, rhythm and style are open to interpretation to anyone. Blending of sounds only grows the art and opens up the world to those who care to listen. I was lucky enough to be given a chance in the soca world because one man, Bunji Garlin, took a chance and believed in me. Sometimes that’s all it takes in life, one person to believe in you."

Now based in the states in Melrose, Shammi works from his own studio. He had to build it up slowly, piece by piece, between payouts for formula, diapers and baby clothes, being that he left the chance for any kind of bankroll behind when he left Trini. And though he dearly misses his native home of Trinidad, which he has been unable to return to since Carnival of 2003, he now has a new musical hurdle to overcome. Taking on the world.

"Being born and raised in Trinidad, I have a great musical base to build on. The blend of Caribbean, African, East Indian and Asian sounds that comprise the music of the island are so unique to Trinidad. And the world has yet to really discover the sound. I really want to work with other local artists to blend my style with other styles like rock, electronica, reggaeton, house, hip hop and more. There are no boundaries really, and that’s what makes living here and now such a great opportunity. Soca is just breaking out of its shell, and now, having lived away from it for so long, I can see the potential it has in the outside world."

"Living in the Malden area really opens up a lot of opportunities, since there are so many people from all over the world living right in my neighborhood. The more I learn, the greater my potential. I really look forward to working with other local artists to see what musical accomplishments we can achieve together."

Meanwhile, some studio work Shammi did while he was in New York with King Heart Beat Productions is currently being released nationally in Japan. The exposure to a whole new audience, with new expectations really excites Shammi. “I would love to get the chance to perform in Japan. I would just like to see what kind of a vibe the audience would have and what kind of a reaction I would get. Crowds in Trinidad go wild. I just wonder what kind of energy and feedback I would get halfway around the world.”

So, while studio tim - Malden Muse


Still working on that hot first release.



2013 was a good year for the U.S.s Mr. Shammi with a number of summer savvy songs from the Caribbean singer whos unique delivery of fast paced, high energy lyrics gained attention on dancefloors and radio stations throughout Europe and beyond. With even more dance-inducing hits planned for 2014, Mr. Shammi is a an artist to keeps tabs on.

His barrage of music follows from a successful partnering with world renowned DJ and Producer Bob Sinclar beginning in 2011, on the tracks Me Not A Gangsta released in English as well as in French with a collaboration from Colonel Reyel on Sinclars Disco Crash EP on Yellow Records and Universal records France; and No No No No featured in the Italian movie Vacanze di Natale a Cortina in Italy, on Sinclars Africanism sub-label with several re-mixes and on Sinclars latest EP Paris by Night.

Mr. Shammi joined forces with newly formed duo Luux out of Denmark, consisting of Martin Almind and Claus Flid, for Bubble It which rose on the charts and playlists throughout Denmark on the Room for Visions label before being signed with Warner Music Germany for release throughout Europe. Remixes of the track are available from Claus Flid, Fabian Mazur and Bodybangers.

Over in Belgium, Mr. Shammi worked with the well established producer Laurent Wery (known for the hit hey Hey Hey) to create Up 2 The Sky, available via the La Musique Du Beau Monde record label, currently seated on the Ultratop top 50 singles and reaching #1 on Radio ABC Denmark for two weeks.

Down in Austria, Darius and Finlay and Mr. Shammi worked together to herald the coming of summer with the put-the-top-down-on-the-car-and-cruise track Summer Is Here, the title track for the duos first full length EP, released via Trak Music and Sony music Germany.

Over in Romania, Free Deejays and Mr, Shammi put together the bubbly sweet, fun track Suga Love, via Code Production Studios.

And, finally, for something a little more hard hitting Mr. Shammi ventured to Brazil for a floor banger with Brazilians hottest dance act Felguk for the EDM reggae toaster Blaze It Up, a loud, thumping, erupting hit sure to wake up even the sleepiest of crowds.

While Mr. Shammi appears to be exploding on the European dance scene seemingly out of nowhere, his career in music is far from new. He is well known in his native country of Trinidad, where his most well known track Soca Bhangra with ragga singer Bunji Garlin was once a mainstay of Carnival fetes, in a country well known for their partying prowess.

Band Members