‘Desperado’ unites two Canadian artists who have found the sweet spot between the vibrancy of Indian pop music with an appeal that speaks to huge western audiences: Raghav is a cross-cultural pioneer with four UK Top 10 hits to his name as well as a MOBO Award, while Tesher’s ‘Jalebi Baby’ (a collab with Jason Derulo) climbed charts all over the world and exceeded 500 million streams, leading to a 2022 Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. ‘Desperado’is out now on Raghav’s own label, Mathurmatics Records.
The pulsating Indian rhythms that introduce ‘Desperado’ set a spirited tone for the song, which the duo then take higher. Raghav’s soaring, soulful hook delivers a pop-leaning R&B hit-in-the-making, before those vibrant beats provide the perfect setting for Tesher to fire up his sleek bars. Meanwhile the production from Mushtaq (Amy Winehouse, Skepta) adds another layer of international appeal with some subtle Spanish embellishments within the instrumental. Watch the lyric video HERE.
The song was written by Raghav, Tesher and Mushtaq and samples ‘Churaliya’, which was written by Hindi film score greats Majrooh Sultanpuri and R.D. Burman.
Raghav says, “This track is really close to my heart as it brought me back to a studio with Mushtaq, who has produced many of my songs during the early days of my career as an artist. When you go back to work with someone after a considerable gap, you are always questioning whether you can recreate the magic or not. I am beyond thrilled that with ‘Desperado’, Mushtaq and I have gotten the chance to take things to a whole new level. It is indeed overwhelming to see your idea turn into a banger of a reality. I’d been itching to compose for the Indian audience for a while and the love and appreciation of some of my age-old tracks on social media just sealed the deal for me!
Having Tesher on the single is perfection for me. What he’s done these last 2 years both within pop music and specifically multi cultural pop, is touching new heights, I am beyond honoured to work with him on the first single of my second chapter”.
Tesher adds, “It was a dream come true! Raghav is a legend to me, especially as a fellow Canadian. I always thought he was one of the best artists ever to fuse Indian and western elements in a way that didn’t alienate either audience, which is what I strive to achieve in my music now. I think the fact that we were able to come together and make this record is honestly a generational moment for the culture. Sometimes when you’re making a song you’re not 100% sure if people will like it, but I think people are gonna absolutely love this record.”
Raghav was one of the first artists to prove that South Asian artists could crossover into charts across the globe. His four UK Top 10 single spent a total of 22 weeks in the Top 40, while his debut album ‘Storyteller’ sold over 1.4 million copies – and major honours soon followed, including a MOBO, an Urban Music Award, a UK Asian Music Award, and, most recently, a Brit Asia TV Music Award. Regularly able to sell-out stadiums in India, his achievements continued through his follow-up albums, with ‘Identity’ going to #1 in India and the UAE before ‘The Phoenix’ spent more than six months in Canada’s Top 20. He has also worked with artists including Labrinth, Nelly, Wale and Redman. While Raghav has kept a lower profile in recent years, he is currently connecting with a new wave of younger fans after Norway’s dance troupe The Quick Styleattracted 40 million views in just a week when they performed to his classic track ‘Let’s Work It Out’.
Tesher first rose to prominence with a series of genre-bending remixes and mash-ups across YouTube and SoundCloud. He followed a number of viral hits with his official debut single ‘Young Shahrukh’ which is approaching 100 million streams, before hitting big when ‘Jalebi Baby’ took him to more than 3 million monthly listeners at Spotify after just two singles. Drawing upon his South Asian heritage and the western culture he grew up in, Tesher’s music is a synthesis of both elements and possesses a magnetic appeal to both audiences. He showcased that blend with a complete reinvention of the Queen classic ‘A Kind of Magic’ which was recorded during a live performance at Coke Studio.