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Delhi 2 Dublin plays free Whistler concert

Vocalist Sanjay Seran talks about the importance of music in bringing people together

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Monday. I'm talking to Sanjay Seran of world music group Delhi 2 Dublin after the ugly scenes at a white supremacist march that led to death and injury in Charlottesville, VA.

I tell him it is good to talk to someone from a band whose very existence and output is a celebration of diversity and the beautiful things that can come from it.

Seran describes himself as sensitive to such events, finding it hard to even read about them.

He says that while Delhi 2 Dublin isn't political in the way a musician such as Michael Franti might be, the group does have a connection to it.

"We definitely feel that we are political in the sense that you look at us, and see what we're playing, and who we are playing to," Seran says.

He recalls a show that the band played in Arkansas — the mainly white audience was "rocking it out" and enjoying themselves. He wants people to understand that we are all the same — but says that preaching to them can make people turn off and stop listening.

"We bring our message in a party vibe," he says.

"Recently people have been falling down the rabbit hole, and it can get pretty ugly out there... I read all the stuff going on about KKK people protesting, and it's so ugly. But recently someone reminded me that the Dalai Lama said we should focus on the 95 per cent of children who are growing up in beautiful, loving, caring homes with parents who love them.

"And I thought, 'Right, we're focusing on the wrong things. The energy is going to the wrong place.' I feel that we (the band) brings the energy to the right place and people leave wanting more."

Seran wants the band to lead by example.

"I really strongly believe that I need to be the person that I want to see other people be," he says.

"I try to be a person who just looks beyond the fact that there is a bunch of people on stage doing Punjabi music, Irish music and electronic music. We're people doing music and I look at the vibe we're creating, beyond even needing to call it out.

"The next level is what I'm after. It seems so simple, but people can't even get beyond it. They want to put us in a category, and they want to ask us what we are.

"It doesn't matter, man. Just focus on what you feel and keep going."

Delhi 2 Dublin broke onto the scene in Vancouver in 2006 after forming for a festival by merging bhangra and Celtic music. From there, the band built a dedicated fan base.

It is currently a four-piece group with Seran on vocals. Tarun Mayar on tabla and electronics, Ravi Binning on dhol and dholak, and Serena Eades on violin. Other members join for song writing and recording work.

Delhi 2 Dublin performs at the free concert series at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Seran says it's the band's first Whistler show in several years.

"It's been a long time and we're super stoked," he says.

"We're doing tracks off our most recent album We Are All Desi, and our recent remix album, too. We're bringing our regular feel-good party, we want everyone to get sweaty and have a good time."

Delhi 2 Dublin has been making the festival rounds and kicking back to enjoy the summer in that idyllic British Columbia kind of way.

"I'm sitting on Galliano (Island) doing absolutely nothing. Sitting on a hammock," he laughs.

"We play festivals on the weekend until September. Then this fall we have some grants to write a couple of albums. We're going to take it slow, so we don't make the mistakes we feel we've made in the past.

"We're going to write an a bunch of songs, release maybe one or two singles and then go on a good, long tour in the spring. We want to put out our best music ever."

For more information on the band, visit www.delhi2dublin.com.

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