Fave 5 with Delhi 2 Dublin
Sanjay Seran of Delhi 2 Dublin is slightly bemused at how he’s spent the last two-and-a-half years.
“I’ve just been at home,” the vocalist exclaims from Galiano Island, just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. “There’s like 1,300 people here. I’ve just basically been doing yard work and writing my solo project. It’s quite different from Delhi 2 Dublin, more like stoner sex music. I’m married and I have a kid, so I write music about fucking being high. That’s my life.”
Delhi 2 Dublin’s glorious mashup of funk, bhangra, dub, electronic, reggae, hip hop, and Celtic music has channelled itself through a number of different lineups over the years, but they’ve been on a hiatus since the release of 2019’s We Got This. Started on a workshop stage at a Celtic festival in 2006, the band originally featured Seran, electronic artist and tabla player Tarun Nayar, violinists Kytami and Oliver Schroer, and DJ Adrian Blackhurst. Since that inspired beginning, they’ve gone on to become a world trotting collective, beloved at folk festivals and always incorporating new sounds.
We spoke with Seran about some of his favourite places to play around the world.
We’ve played it seven times. It was a goal of ours and we manifested it to happen, I’m still not sure how. The best shows we’ve ever done were there and I’ve always wanted to see ourselves from the audience perspective at the Commodore. There were so many ego boxes that got ticked off when we finally got there. It felt fucking fantastic. The staff are awesome, the guy that runs it is awesome. I think he plays in a band so he gets it. One little tidbit of information: my wife’s grandmother used to go clubbing there when she was at UBC. It was the place for socialites at the time, so that made it perfect for us.
There are some pretty magical things that happen in Bali. It’s a very spiritual place. We played Bali Spirit Fest twice as a band and once as a DJ collective, so I wasn’t on that trip. I think my son was just born or something. So it’s a yoga festival with yogis from all over. When the concert happens it’s completely wild because you’re just sweating so much. I couldn’t even hold the mic, it was just slipping. But the sound is impeccable, and it’s in this beautiful, closed in, outdoor area. Just fucking wild, you know?
HUMBOLDT, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
It’s not a venue, it’s a region. Northern California gave us so much love early on starting with Earthdance, which takes place south of Humboldt, and north of San Francisco. That was my first time being introduced to bands like Sound Tribe and Sector Nine and a lot of American jam bands. I grew up in Richmond, so I didn’t really listen to the Grateful Dead or anything. It was a bit of a shock. It was also the wild west of weed, because that’s where all the growers were. So that was the vibe, and Delhi 2 Dublin were welcomed because we fit it.
THE FILLMORE, SAN FRANCISCO
Someone across the planet might not know the Commodore in Vancouver, but they’ll know the Fillmore. The Summer of Love, the hippies in San Francisco, everyone knows it. We were on a roll and we finally got to play there. And like The Commodore, the staff from top down were incredible. Like, we roll up in a minivan, and they treat you exactly the same as a band that shows up with a semi and a tour bus. So that was just special. But also as a musician it’s impossible to put into words what it feels like to be offered the Fillmore.
RANDOM BAND SHELL, SHEBOYGAN WISCONSIN
So what the fuck are we doing in Sheboygan? There were two brown people in the audience and everyone else was middle-aged to older white people. You’re like, great, I’m a fucking clown on stage. What am I going to do? ‘Look at that guy, he’s so ethnic.’ But I was wrong. Tarun (Nayar) goes in and he was basically like, ‘yo, everyone, hands up, stand up.’ And holy shit, everyone stood up. And it was like thousands of people doing bhangra in Wisconsin. That was another one of those experiences where you’re like, holy shit, like this is bigger than me.
Click the link to watch Delhi 2 Dublin music videos.