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Interview with Cornershop's Tjinder Singh - musical influences

The U.K. band Cornershop is born again on their latest album "England is a Garden." (Photo: courtesy of the band)

Listen. It’s been some time, hasn’t it? Some time since I’ve written a true “world music blog.” What can I say? The world gets away from me, from all of us, sometimes. But I figured it was high time I typed up a little rundown of what’s going on with this week’s World Music Show (3/28). 

Right off the bat, you need to listen to either version of my interview with Cornershop founder and frontman Tjinder Singh. There’s the cleaned up/uncut version that should satisfy those of us who like to take the time to hear what an artist has to say (and sadly, many of us have some time on our hands). But if you’re in a rush and want to just dip your ears into the shortened version, then by all means, you’ll be happy that you did. Plus, with that verison, there are some musical interludes.

A brief synopsis of the interview goes something like this. Tjinder talks about his earlier musical influences when he was growing up--what was on his turntable when he was a kid in London. Then we jump around to talk about the lush and really wonderful new Cornershop album “England is a Garden.” 

In their latest release, the band swoops in with some surround sound that wraps you up and takes you away to gardens near and far (as in through a back garden gate to some past Cornershop sounds). 

Tjinder talks about the process of writing and creating music and how he picks such unique song titles as “Everywhere That Wog Army Roam,” and the title track “England is a Garden,” (which begs the question, is it?) 

We also talk about how his label, Ample Play, picks which artists to feature; and we talk about what he’s listening to now, which includes an affinity for Van Morrison. 

Take a few minutes, at least 14 to be exact, and listen to Tjinder

Other Fun Things

Filling out the rest of the show this week will be tracks from the Kansas City Latin-rock band Making Movies, who partner with the legend that is Ruben Blades. We’ll dance around to other Latin beats with songs from Latin Playboys (the Los Lobos side project), the Spanish singer Bebe, and the band Los Pinguos.

For new music, we’ll check out the female Reggae musician Jah9, and a Latin folk song from Cuñao, who’s based in L.A. and has a really wonderful sounding new album coming out called “Rayuela.” 

Rounding out the first hour will be some classic Reggae with Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh and UB40

Hour two brings us the shortened interview with Cornershop as well as songs from the New Orleans based band Kuwaisiana, which is a mix of the words Kuwait and Louisiana--talk about a great combination. 

Brazil is next in the area we’ll hang out of a bit, with tracks from Dom La Nena, Fantomaticos (who’s member, Babu, we’ll also hear in hour one), Jota Erre, and songs from Kassin (who tells us to “Relax”) and Dominico Lancelotti, who have partnered together many times, but who are solo in this line up. 

A good message comes from Michael Franti, who reminds us to “Stay Human “ and we’ll end the show with some “Bhangra Fever,” by Midival Punditz.

Until next time, be sure to wash your hands of this show once it’s done.

The World Music Show aires Saturday nights from 8-10pm on VPM Music. 93.1 or 107.3FM or can be streamed right here!

Follow the World Music Show on Twitter at VPM_IanStewart or on Facebook at The World Music Show on VPM. 


Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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