Rishi Rich on his new song with old friend Jay Sean
Not many music duos are as consistent as British-Indian icons Rishi Rich & Jay Sean. Which is why, when they released their Nakhre single last month, the excitement that it generated among their fans didn’t come as a surprise. After all, it was they who took the popularity of bhangra pop and R&B to another level. For those who grew up listening to their music, to see them together once again, in
simple words, is gratifying.
A homage to ’90s Bollywood music, Nakhre is an uplifting track that begins with a sample of the opening music of the 1993 song Tere Chehre Pe, from the movie Baazigar. The movie was also one of Shah Rukh Khan’s earliest hits, and the song does its bit to pay a visual tribute to him as well. “Jay and I love ’90s Bollywood. So, one evening when he was in my studio in Mumbai and listening to a number of tracks, we came across the Baazigar track and its sample," says Rishi. “It felt right and I started working on it the same night.”
Released by the label Break The Noise Records, launched by Rishi himself, the song was quite a hit on social media, with platforms like Triller hosting contests for fans. “I think social media is a key part of music and the way it is heard and seen. Streaming is the latest way really to get your music out to people. For instance, it was really great to partner with Triller and see all the love that we got from our fans on this fun and engaging platform,” says the 44-year-old, who is currently looking out for new talent through his label.
While he did have to figure out a creative way to shoot the music video of Nakhre, Rishi also kept himself busy with other projects. “I recently scored the title music for Netflix’s Bad Boy Billionaires," says Rishi, who last worked on Gully Boy and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.
Coming back to his camaraderie with Jay Sean, Rishi says he saw a spark in him from day one. “I always saw potential in him. It’s always great working with him and I’m glad we managed to get a track out finally together,” he says, while reflecting on their days in the Rishi Rich Project, his pet initiative that launched the careers of many other British-Asian artistes. “We had a lot of fun back then as it was very new and exciting. To see the impact that it has now is such a great feeling,” he adds, stating that to remain consistent one has to be different. “I think for me personally I’ve always tried to overcome barriers and not play safe. Break the rules with music — that’s the key,” he signs off.