Along the Dusty Road, the much anticipated debut solo album from British Asian
artist Niraj Chag, now has a confirmed release date of 3rd July.
Two tracks from the album, Bangles and Kwhaab, have been gaining critical
and airplay on BBC and local stations in the UK, with Kwhaab being described as
of the most sensuous, soulful and beautiful tracks I’ve heard since joining
Radio 1’ by
Radio 1 DJ, Nihal.
Niraj is a second-generation British Asian whose music explores his roots. On
the album’s thirteen tracks, he uses an unusual and remarkable variety of South
Asian music styles, from ghazals to qawwalis and beyond, and vocals in six languages. Although traditional Indian musical instruments are used to create haunting
melodic lines, the beats and production are contemporary, in Niraj’s trademark cinematic style.
The album has been three years in the making. Niraj describes the idea behind
it: “I had been speaking to my grandmother a lot and I was really blown away by her
story. She’d traveled three continents, from Asia to Africa to Europe. I wanted to
capture all the emotions of this kind of life in one album.”
He describes the album as
personal project, an evolution of all the music I’ve done before in its
power.” Along the Dusty Road has been described as very different to work he has previously
produced as one half of dance outfit Dum Dum Project.
Tracks from the album were first played live in a set by Niraj at the London
‘BritAsia festival’ in June 2005. No further live dates are yet scheduled, although Niraj
is in the process of developing the songs for live performance.