Guys, look. LOOK. LOOK. LOOK.
I know we’re all here to celebrate the sheer awesomeness of the desi experience — after all, we are the species that gave the world Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra, and John Abraham in low-rise speedos — but I have to be honest. This Anjali featuring French Montana jam, “We Turn Up” is not sitting well with me. Watch it below so you can get up to speed with me.
For a quick second, I thought this was that other Anjulie, who gave us such awesome pop jewels as “Stand Behind the Music” and “Boom.” I figured if you are a pop star responsible for a string of such awesome contributions to the genre, you could be excused for something like “We Turn Up.”
(It turns out these are two different pop stars and my reading comprehension on a Saturday morning is suspect.)
Here is a bit of press release verbiage copy-pasted from Anjali’s website:
The production used in “We Turn Up” allows Anjali to embrace her Indian Heritage by incorporating modern Bollywood sounds with R&B/Pop melodies.
There is potential here for “We Turn Up” to be such a fun, summer jam! Instead, this song comes off as…cheap and passé. The “modern Bollywood sounds” amount to little more than almost stock music-sounding bhangra beats. Guys, we all know Bollywood as a genre is so much more than bhangra beats. I don’t care if she is the daughter of Vivek Ranadivé, the billionaire owner of the Sacramento Kings.
For contrast, I’m going to refer to a little-known stunner by a British Indian soap opera actress-turned-pop singer. Preeya Kalidas unleashed “Shimmy” onto the world in 2010.
The strange thing is that for a song that peaked at #85 on the UK pop chart and spent one week there before disappearing forever, it’s objectively much more awesome than “We Turn Up.”
We can even discuss how Anjali’s styling more closely resembles that of Gwen Stefani’s — or how all the marketing around seems to be bent on presenting her as “exotic”.
But let’s not.
Let’s not even speak of her again until she gives us something awesome to talk about. Anjali, you’re on notice.
Rohin Guha is an Editor at The Aerogram. Have a chat with him on Twitter!