I kind of got a rekindled interest in Indian dance music, modern Bollywood music, maybe it was after watching two episodes of So You Think You Can Dance with Bollywood choreography that just blew my mind concerning creativity.
So I checked out more contemporary material using YouTube — YouTube is an excellent way to find out more about various artists, in this case contemporary Indian ones.
There’s also an excellent article over at Wikipedia concerning Bollywood Songs. I especially liked the concept of using the nine rasas to define the dominant emotion of a song. In case you have a writer’s block concerning writing music or lyrics, use that as one of the tools to break the ice.
Anyway, the fun part with Indian music are the tempos that are not standard, even if 4/4s are more and more used. Also, the use of percussion is very different and exciting. Sometimes it’s really the upfront part in combination of singing — the rest of the instruments take a supportive role which is not that common in contemporary Western music, unless we talk about hiphop and similar drum-centric styles.
As a bass player I checked out the bass lines; use of bass synths are more and more in place, which is also interesting. As there’s a growing population of Indians here in Silicon Valley I would not be surprised to see more and more Indian party bands appearing, actually.
I saw a couple of Indian music streaming channels in iTunes, under the International section (such as Bollywood & Beyond) so tune in and get influenced.