Panjabi MC, more commonly known as Rajinder Singh Rai to his family members, is the undisputed global ambassador of Bhangra music. He was the pioneer in engineering the bridge that decreased the gap between the western and eastern parts of the world. Starting from producing demo mixes in his basement, spitting some bars on self-produced beats, to DJing local gigs, and now producing international chart toppers; he has made himself a household name. Besides producing for famous Punjabi artists, Panjabi MC has also worked with many big names from the west such as Jay-Z, Akon, Mark Morrison, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Beanie Man, Twista, and Lady Gaga just to name a few. His work has also featured on the WWE original soundtrack.
UrbanAsian host Monty Lokesh Kataria with Panjabi MC
Panjabi MC started his career in 1993 and produced his first full-length studio album, Rootz. He was then signed under Nachural Records and then went on to produce six more full-length albums within the next five years. His singles such as Dhol Jageero Da, Jogi, and Hogya Sharabi gained a lot of momentum, both in the underground and mainstream scenes. With a growing interest and audience of this new genre of music that fuses Bhangra and hip-hop, Panjabi MC gained much popularity and appreciation all over. Beware of the Boyz/Mundian To Bachke Rahi made Panjabi MC what he is today and his collaboration with Jay-Z took the world with a storm.
Panjabi MC has definitely earned bragging rights by accepting the following well deserving awards, just to name a few – Best Dance Fact 2003, MTV Europe Music Awards, World’s Best Indian Artist 2003 World Music Awards, and Best Sound Recording: Morni, 2011 Punjabi Music Awards. Urban Asian’s host Monty Lokesh Kataria met with Panjabi MC during this year’s first Basement Bhangra hosted by DJ Rekha at LPR, Downtown NYC and chatted with him about his road to success, music, life, and his latest studio album, The Raj.