Every few years American dance floors are infused with a little South Asian influence when an artist takes something traditional and eastern and blends it with something contemporary and western. Panjabi MC did this in 2003 with a version of his track “Beware the Boys” that featured JAY Z. A hit around the world, it rose to No. 33 on the Hot 100. A few years later, we were introduced to M.I.A. and her Sri Lanka by way of London rhymes that merged with Brazilian baile-funk beats creating a unique sound that put the tiny island nation (and Diplo) on the musical map. Now in 2013, Sri Lankan producer Ranidu is spicing up EDM by adding some South Asian rhythms to the mix on his new EP, Bailatronic, out this week on Indie-Pop. You can listen to the cut “Baila Bounce” exclusively here:
“Up until now I was always working on music that had a western base such as hip-hop, electro and dubstep and putting Sri Lankan elements on top of that,” Ranidu explains. “With ‘Bailatronic’ I wanted to flip this formula.”
While perhaps not a household name, “Balia Bounce” is not Ranidu’s first foray into the U.S. music scene. He was the first Sri Lankan artist to perform at both Ultra Music Festival and Coachella. But after three best-selling records that blended Sri Lankan music with reggae, hip-hop and rap, “Bailatronic” plants his feet firmly in dance music, creating a genre some have dubbed “Asian trap.”
Describing the “bailatronic” genre as a “mashup of old and new, east and west, baila and bass,” on “Baila Bounce” Ranidu incorporates the Sri Lankan pop sound known as “baila” with EDM production that would sound at home inside Pacha or the mainstage at Ultra.
“I am proud of my Sri Lankan heritage and I always wanted a global audience to experience our music and culture,” says Ranidu. ““My goal was to create a new genre of [EDM] with a South Asian soul that has rhythms that have never been heard outside of Sri Lanka,”
As EDM’s influence continues to spread worldwide, Ranidu is a forerunner in merging global styles with a sound that is captivating a generation.