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Punjabi Wave: Canadian Artists Redefining Global Music

There are over 2.5 million people of South Asian heritage in Canada, and they account for some of the most popular music on both sides of the world. Three of the top 10 tracks in India in 2022 were made by Canadian artists.

 Punjabi Wave: Canadian Artists Redefining Global Music

By External Source

The following first appeared in Billboard Canada and is extracted with the permission of Richard Trapunski & Jeevan Sangha who penned the feature.  Pictured are  Ijkky, Karan Aujla, AP Dhillon, Jonita Gandi, and Gurinder Gill. Photography team: Ishmil Waterman, Lane Dorsey, Sasha Jairam/Billboard Canada.


Despite diplomatic tensions, these chart-topping artists are blending traditional and contemporary influences to create a border-blurring new sound — and the world is taking notice.

Diplomatically, the relationship between the two countries is suddenly volatile, but it hasn’t dulled the power of the music. There are over 2.5 million people of South Asian heritage in Canada, and they account for some of the most popular music on both sides of the world. Three of the top 10 tracks in India in 2022 were made by Canadian artists. On Spotify, the top streamed track of the year was Excuses by AP Dhillon, Gurinder Gill and Intense, who broke out from British Columbia. Canada, where artists express freely and blend cultural influences fluidly, is proving to be fertile ground for an international movement of genre-spanning music.

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Collectively, artists like AP Dhillon, Gurinder Gill, Karan Aujla, Jonita Gandhi and Ikky continue to amass billions of streams on Spotify and YouTube and perform on the country’s biggest stages. They’ve starred in documentaries, collaborated with hip-hop stars like YG, and turned audiences who might not speak a word of Punjabi into overnight diehards. – Continue reading here.

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Emily Lipson

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