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Interviews |  28 Feb 2013 21:20 |  By JesciliaKarayamparambil

Apache Indian: "I would like to do a movie on my life"

For more than 22 years, British vocalist Apache Indian has performed a highly eclectic form of reggae informed by the Bhangra style of his East Indian heritage. He has been a musical voice for the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities. In 2011, he received Lifetime Achievement Award from UK Asian Music Awards for his genuine contribution.

DJ Steven Kapur aka Apache Indian was born into a family of Indian origins. By the mid-1980s he had been called dancehall deejay, and he recorded his first single in 1990, ‘Movie Over India’. Apache Indian began to release singles in the early ’90s and achieved three number 1’s in both the reggae and Asian charts. Many of these singles would appear on his 1993 major-label Island Records debut, ‘No Reservations’, including “Don Rajah”, a song that exemplifies Apache Indian’s cross-cultural fusion and earned him a new nickname as well.

He has just released his new album ‘Home Run’ on Universal Music India featuring artists: Miss Pooja, Money K, Amar, Malkit Singh, AR Rahman, Bali Kalsi, Asha Bhosle, Shaggy & More!

He is currently in India for four-city tour-Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad. On his halt in Delhi, he takes time out to speak with and shares his views about his performance on 1 March at Tarami’s Raasta Lounge in Delhi.


Why did you adopt the name Apache Indian?

When I was young I used to listen to a singer called ‘Wild Apache’ from Jamaica. Apache  name came from there and because I am an Indian by origin, ‘Indian’ has been added, so this sums up as Apache India.

What influence did Birmingham city had on your music?

There was a massive influence of the place I was living-in on my music. My parents are from Punjab and they had settled in United Kingdom. Punjabi influence is there and when I used to get home there is influence of Bollywood, culture and food; lot of Indian influence at home. On the streets there was reggae that was quite popular. In Birmingham, there is great Jamaican community. Then, there was lot of Jamaican bands, culture and food as well. Influence of Britain culture from school and pop music, had also influenced my music. My music is a mix of Indian- Jamaican-Britain culture.

Music helped me to make sense of want I am. It’s the reflection of the new generation and culture. My music is what I am and where I am coming from. That is why, I am still here talking to people

How has your musical journey be so far?

It has been 22 years and I have travelled five times around the world. It was incredible to do music for my living and travel all around the world. I experienced different cultures and enjoyed working with different artistes. I loved working with Sean Paul, Shaggy and other international artistes along with AR Rahman and Asha Bhosle. I have done mix of genres and this is a very strong inspiration.

How was the response for reggae music in India?

Recently, in last two-three years the love for reggae music has increased. The Reggae Rajahs and Bombay Bassment have become quite popular and the new generation has learnt so much through internet and television. Radio is not that popular in India but the role of internet has been tremendous in Indian music. I love that Indians love reggae. I had grown-up in reggae so I know what it is like. It was part of the upbringing. Tomorrow, it will be my reggae gig. Sometimes when I come to Delhi I see there is lot of Bhangra crowd or people who enjoy Punjabi music and sometimes it is reggae. I will have to see and decide on the type of music I will play for the crowd in Delhi. I have vast collection of music which is my work of 22 years so I have Bhangra music and reggae music. I will play more of the DJ style I enjoy that a lot. I will play it in a reggae style.

How was your Indian trip so far?

I performed in Mumbai, then Bengaluru, now in Delhi and then in Hyderabad. It’s a very tight schedule. I am very excited about the performance tomorrow at Tarami’s Raasta Lounge. I have heard a lot about the club and Reggae Rajahs so I am looking forward to it.

What are your thoughts about Bollywood?

I love Bollywood. It has become very popular all over the world and it’s really incredible that it has come a long way. But honestly speaking, I enjoy old style of Bollywood the black and white era. The old classical movies like Mother India. I like the script and also the music. Today’s movie has so much of dancing. I like good story. I am looking forward to work in bollywood. I would like to do a movie on my life story.

Any album on the cards?

The album is called ‘It is what it is’ which has 14 tracks and will be released in May by Universal music. There are a couple of collaborations but it is mainly my solo album. I have done many collaboration over years but this will be more about me. The new album is called IWII,  and is done by big producers in America and will be enjoyed by reggae and pop fans.

Tell us about your next destination?

After India tour, I am going to UK followed by America and Europe. I will return to India for the album launch in May-June.