Watch: ‘Frank Brazil’ By The Ska Vengers
31 July 2015
Political expression and music have gone travelled hand in hand for centuries, and if there’s one Indian band we associate with art that makes a statement, it’s the Ska Vengers. The Delhi based ska / rocksteady / dub band have just released an powerful animated ode to Indian revolutionary Udham Singh on the 75th anniversary of his execution, in their new single and video for ‘Frank Brazil’.
‘Frank Brazil’ is the second video made by Kunal Sen and Tisha Deb Pillai who had previously collaborated with the band in 2014 for ‘Modi A Message To You’, which you can watch here (don’t forget the comments section if you really want to be entertained). The Ska Vengers also released another politically charged video for ‘Badda’ earlier this year, which we featured on our list of best videos of 2015 (sofar).
‘Frankie Brazil’ has been described by the band as a murder ballad and chorus of the track is sampled from Bessie Smith's 'Send me to the 'lectric chair' as a tribute to the genre. Its video is a stylized take on Singh’s assassination of Michael O'Dwyer at Caxton, who was the governor of Punjab at the time of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
The Ska Venger’s vocalist Taru Dalmia (solo musical alias Delhi Sultanate) talks about his inspiration for the video: “I’ve wanted to make a song about Udham Singh ever since I learnt of him and have been researching him over the years. The idea came up again at a jam session earlier this year. Part of what drove me to write the song is that upon first learning of Singh I could not believe that I had never heard of him. Also, his story throws up a series of questions. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The song is our attempt to pay tribute to one of our national heroes”