*Photos: Various sources
Country/Region: Hawaii (USA), Jamaica (Caribbean), England (Europe), India (South Asia)
What do you get when you combine traditional Indian music, a Hindu prayer, roots reggae and three of the most successful international multi-platinum artists? You get two wicked versions of an Indian reggae song that have both become immensely popular! Everyone knows Bruno Mars and Damian Marley’s hit “Liquor Store Blues” from Bruno’s debut album Doo – Wops & Hooligans (2010); but, did you know it is derived from Apache Indian’s song “Om Numah Shivaya” that appears on his album Time for Change (2005)?
British born, Apache Indian proudly displays his East Indian heritage on “Om Numah Shivaya”, which is a Hindu prayer that translates into “adoration to [the God] Shiva”. He incorporates Hindu chants, a classical Indian flute, tabla drums and various Indian percussion instruments into this roots reggae “riddim”. Apache’s English lyrics describe his personal journey of discovering his true identity in a multicultural world.
On “Liquor Store Blues”, Hawaiian native, Bruno Mars brings strong vocal chops to his version of the tune as he trades verses with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Bruno’s slightly faster rendition infuses more rock elements with an Indian sitar-styled guitar solo towards the middle of the track. Damian’s rapped verses mimic the rhythmic melody perfectly as he brings his signature blend of roots, reggae and DJ toasting. This dynamic duo definitely has chemistry and should consider doing a collaboration album together.
Whose version of the song do you prefer? Comment below!