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The Ska Vengers Take Aim with New Animated Video “Modi, A Message To You”

The Delhi ska/reggae band do a version of the reggae classic that takes on prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi

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Anurag Tagat Apr 06, 2014
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The Ska Vengers

The Ska Vengers

The Ska Vengers never mince their words. Not when they’ve got vocalist Delhi Sultanate fronting them. In the midst of all the election chatter in India (including countless parodies), the Delhi ska/reggae band take aim at prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the song “Modi, A Message To You.”

The song, a take on the original 1967 version “Rudy, A Message To You” by reggae artist Dandy Livingstone, gained prominence after it was covered by UK reggae/new wave act The Specials in 1979 as a general warning to rude boys in their neighborhood.

The Ska Vengers team up with animation filmmakers Kunal Sen and Tisha Deb Pillai and digital filmmakers The Jamun Collective in their video for the track, which shows the women in Gujarat being locked up, cities being burnt and the Gujarat Chief Minister literally pump his state’s growth figures. Says Delhi Sultanate about the video, “We’ve been performing the song for more than three years. We’ve also been planning to release the song for a long time and all of us felt that now was the time.” The song includes a strong trombone section set to rocksteady beats. 

The band is hosting a video premiere for “Modi, A Message To You” at the India Habitat Center in Delhi today. As for the vocalist’s own view ahead of the elections, he says, “I’m still trying to figure what the best strategy is… perhaps the None of the Above option?”

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He adds that “Modi, A Message To You” won’t feature on their yet-to-be-titled second album, which is due later this year. Last week, the band posted photos from the video shoot for the song “Badda” off their debut self-titled album, which included keyboardist Stefan Kaye in brownface makeup and vocalist Begum X aka Samara C draped in a sari. Delhi Sultanate says the video for “Badda” will be out next month.

Watch “Modi, A Message To You” here:

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