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Desi Hits to Go Universal

By: Murali Kamma Email By: Murali Kamma
September 2010
Desi Hits to Go Universal Bhangra to Bollywood, hip hop to R&B, and pop/fusion to urban desi. These are the genres promoted by Desi Hits, a popular South Asian-themed, California-based company that bills itself as an “entertainment/lifestyle hub for anyone curious about Desi culture.”

Now Desi Hits is gaining a higher profile, with a chance to extend its appeal to Western audiences not familiar with Indian music. The timing couldn’t be better, given the success of films like Slumdog Millionaire and musicians like A.R. Rahman and Jay Sean. Universal Music, the largest record label, is teaming up with Desi Hits to sign on artists. Taking a leaf from the success of Def Jam, which popularized hip hop, Desi Hits aims to be a one-stop shop and listening guide for music lovers craving a desi twist.

And it’s not just artists of South Asian descent that Desi Hits is seeking. It’s looking to capitalize on the popularity of Madonna, the Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z, who “have all produced desi-influenced tracks that have been appreciated by the mainstream market in the West,” according to Desi Hits. Whether it’s M.I.A. or Lady Gaga or an up-and-coming performer, Desi Hits thinks it can play a role in bringing the music to the masses.

Anjula Acharia-Bath, the CEO of Desi Hits Inc., grew up in Britain. She has also made deals with Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and MySpace Music. Not bad for a 38-year-old who co-founded Desi Hits as a web portal barely five years ago.

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