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Kerfew's Munasib & Rakish Share Their Favourite Songs Changing Music & Culture

21 May 2024 | 12:43 pm | Mary Varvaris

KERFEW's Munasib and Rakish will keep the party going at Vivid Live’s Spice Trail event presented by Astral People.

Munasib, Rakish

Munasib, Rakish (Source: Supplied)

Munasib and Rakish, from the South Asian creative KERFEW, will keep the party going at Vivid Live’s Spice Trail event presented by Astral People.

The pair will accompany genre-spanning R&B artist Sid Sriram, Tamil-Swiss singer and rapper Priya Ragu, and ground-breaking artist Raf-Saperra. The event takes place on Tuesday, 28 May, at the Concert Hall in the Sydney Opera House.

Deeply embedded in the dance music space, KERFEW is a collection of DJs, artists, radio hosts, photographers, illustrators and graphic designers who shine the light on South Asian excellence across Australia’s artistic scene.

Ahead of their appearances at Vivid Live, Munasib and Rakish have put together playlists for Purple Sneakers that highlight the songs by this year’s Spice Trail artists they feel are changing music and culture. You can also listen to the playlists below.

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CornerStore: Starting strong with a song that is defined by summer. This track was made to soundtrack cruising down the highway against the dim glow of dusk.

Badami Rangiye: I've been loving the cross-pollination between South Asian and African music. The afrobeat productions with the Arabic marries perfectly with Raf's Punjabi swagger.

Dear Sahana: This is hands down one of my favourites on this list. I remember being floored when I first heard this on his Tiny Desk; the song is so damn dreamy, I get lost in its layers over and over again. 

Vacation: Try not dancing to this one. I dare you.

Ranjha: I heard this track come on while I was in my friend's car cruising down Sydney Road in Brunswick during the most incredible Melbourne sunset. It was perfect, and I think about that day often. 

Chicken Lemon Rice: All my Priya Ragu picks are some variation on what she does best - global drums that you can throw back to, creamy lyrics that you intuitively know off by heart, and a playful spirit that ties it all together. 

Mast Qalandar: Raf Saperra has RANGE. Our Modern Mirza slayed this version of a tested classic. Man has a set of pipes on him, too. 

Nee Singham Dhan: The meeting of the GOATS: A. R. Rahman and Sid Sriram. This song is soooo filmy, and even though I can't understand a bit of it, it gets the hair on the back of my neck standing. 

NLS: Muna already has this on her list, but it's just so nice that we had to include it twice. 

Easy (MJ Coles Remix): Priya Ragu sounds SO good over a Y2K 2-step garage beat. The chopped and screwed vocals over pulsing synths is an instant classic. 


Modern Mirza: When I hear the tumbi on the opening of this song, it sends shivers down my spine. It has such a sharp sound; this has to be one of my all-time favourite songs. The music video takes the whole thing to another level. His voice is so rich and old-timey, paired with the traditional instruments and modern beats; there's just no combination like it. 

Barood: My good friend Yung Singh, who is an amazing Punjabi DJ out of the UK, showed me the music of his mate (Raf) a couple of years ago, and this was one of the first tracks he showed me, which he's in the video for too! He told me a bit about Raf's background and how he kind of fell into this all, and the story is so incredible that I was taken aback and couldn't believe my ears. Or eyes. The track is also produced by the legendary Punjabi MC, so you already knowww what time it is.

Venomz Boliyan: Boliyan or bolis are couplets that are sung in Punjab. Boliyan are often sung in accompaniment of bhangra dances. A boli expresses typical situations and their emotions. Here, he's taken a very traditional style of music and made it VENOMZ. This EP is perfect for cruising down a highway with your homies. Too. FIRE

Hood Harvest: Worlds colliding, this gotta be one of the hottest collabs this year in my opinion. NYC -> PUNJAB DAVE EAST?? BIG BODY BES AND BOBBY KANG WITH BIG BOY RAF! LET'S GOOO, one of the hardest intros I've ever heard, too. 

Good Love 2.0: This song and the entire album soundtracked a huge chunk of my life in 2021. I'd never heard such a mixture of sounds before. It changed so much for me and made me realise that maybe people in the West were finally ready for us. This is such a feel-good track. I love the traditional breakdown at the end; it fits in perfectly.

Deli: Love the Tabla in this track, its a bit more of a slower song but has so much heart, i love the melodies she plays with in it. 

Forgot About: It's one of my favourite songs of all time! Watching her live performance of this will change your life forever. Something about the melody just sticks to me. 

Do The Dance: It has to be one of the most infectious hooks I've heard in recent times. Sid has such a smooth voice, and watching him live would be a spiritual experience, so I can’t wait to sink into it. If you like Bon Iver, I would recommend checking out Sid's latest self-titled project and his Tiny Desk! 

The Hard Way: The beat for this track is so interesting. Coupled with the vocals on the top, it gives me James Blake vibes, who is also one of my favourite artists of all time. 

Friendly Fire: This song reminds me a little of CocoRosie. I don't know if anyone reading this is familiar with the French electronic duo from about a decade ago, but something about this project from Sid is so nostalgic, even though it's new. There's a certain familiarity in all the songs.

Influences like Jose Gonzales, The Knife, James Blake, Bon Iver + so many other artists i was listening to when i was discovering my own taste in music. Imagine all that coupled with Carnatic runs and accents woven throughout the project. That's what the album is. 

You can buy tickets to Astral People’s Spice Trail celebration here.