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Boogie to Munasib: Bringing Desi hip hop to Sydney Opera House

In conversation with the emerging South Asian DJ


Australian born Bengali DJ, Munasib, is all set to perform at the Sydney Opera House’s annual Contemporary Music program, Vivid LIVE


Munasib marks a sea change in Australian dance culture, reflecting the plurality of the country’s multiculturalism with sets that as easily include Bollywood beats as Vince Staples’ ‘Norf Norf.’ 


Dilpreet chats with Munasib about mixing music from different genres, what is it like DJing in Australia in 2022 and the inspirations that drive their work.


Dilpreet: Munasib, congratulations on your Sydney Opera House debut! What can we expect from your tunes at the event?

 

Munasib: Hey, thank you! It isn’t really my debut; I think I performed at the Opera House when I was about 8/9! This was when my dad brought down the famous Bengali artist Runa Laila from Bangladesh for her concert, which happened in the Joan Sutherland theatre. We did a massive group dance and song with all the people from my dad's singing school. But yes, as the artist Munasib, this will be my debut, and I’m super excited! Seeing as the night I'm playing is focused on Grime and Hip Hop, I'm hoping to play a mix of other things in between acts to give the people some range. I usually play a mix of Global Club rhythms, Bollywood beats, rap, hip-hop, Baile Funk, and old school slappers, among many others. So expect nothing but tunes to boogie to!


Dilpreet: I love that you often add Desi tunes to your mixes. Is that something you consciously do?


Munasib: I grew up listening to Bengali and Hindi music my whole life, so naturally, they fell into my catalogue. Nobody does melodies like South Asians (ask Timbaland), so I love to weave them in wherever I can because it sounds so good. I also think it's cool to play to your strengths and things you understand and having grown up surrounded by South Asian music, it only made sense for me to incorporate them.

 


Dilpreet: It’s rare to see South Asian folks DJing in Australia; how was it for you to enter this industry?


Munasib: It happened pretty naturally once I surrounded myself with like-minded people. To be honest, it was really good, I have had fantastic support from my friends, and people around me and people seem to dig the vibes.


Dilpreet: Growing up brown in the west, were there any particular musicians or singers that inspired your journey?


Munasib: A few artists that inspire me are AR Rahman, Manna Dey, Das Racist, MIA, Riz MC and some newer cats like Anika Khan and Priya Ragu.  


Dilpreet: If there’s one thing you could tell baby South Asian DJs, what would it be? We’re always looking for our readers to learn from the community as they follow their dreams. 


Munasib: Tap into your own sauce and play to it as a strength; nobody does it like me, and nobody does it like you either! 


Boogie to Munasib by booking your tickets here.


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About the author

Dilpreet is the founder of South Asian Today. More about her can be found here.

 

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