Ribkat, JosyB and Biju

17 Nov

“The goal of our group is to unite all different cultures in the world through positive innovative music along with a positive uplifting free spirited message” ~ Ribkat, Josy B and Biju

Each of the following artists have individually made a name for themselves because of their unique contribution to Desi music on an international platform. Ribkat for starters, is a part of the popular band Fort Minor which also houses the likes of Linkin Park band mate Mike Shinoda. He was then joined by Josy B and more recently the ultra talented Biju. Collaboratively, the group have come out with a great blend of Hindi and English lyrics in their new album. Ribkats music has been a part of many television commercials and even the Oscar nominated film The Wrestler. However it is still early days for the talented group who are keen to make it big globally. All three artists took some time out of their busy recording schedules to chat with Roshni Magazine. Read on to found out more about their varied music and the different cultures they have bought together using music as an outlet.

Tell us about how you developed your liking and interest in music?
Ribkat:  I was constantly surrounded by music as a child. Words can’t even explain the amazing feeling it gave me as I grew older throughout the years. My brother “Bilal” was a huge pioneer in the early years of Hip-Hop, from launching his career as a “DJ” for “Kurtis Blow” to producing music for “Cypress Hill”, “House of Pain”, “The Alkaholiks”, Dr. Dre and more.

Josy B: Growing up in a Puerto Rican family music is a big part of our culture and a main part of our everyday life. My family is very musically inclined; some play guitar, piano and even the conga which have all been incorporated in musical groups that have had great success in Puerto Rico.

Biju: My mother was very much into music, which was a great start, all my siblings and I used to sing due to her encouragement and became a member of the choir, at church in India and then continued in Chicago.

What makes your group unique to any other music group?
Ribkat: I strongly feel and believe that we fill a void in the music world today with an innovative twist of Electro/Pop, a strong backbone of pure raw Hip-Hop with a splash of 80’s music influence in a way that’s created like no other.

Josy B: I believe our music is universal and is appealing to any race or age. No matter where you live in the world, our music is full of color and will inspire you.

How do you stay close to your roots and use India in your music?
Ribkat: I appreciate all cultures of music, one of them being Indian music. I am a huge fan of drums and percussion, and there’s nothing like the percussion drum swing in an Indian song, along with the unique and graceful melodic vocals of all Indian artists.

Josy B: Being Puerto Rican I love my culture, and there are so many cultures in the world. Indian culture has always been one my favorites with their beautiful traditional clothing, jewelry all coming together with their melodic music and dance.

Where do you draw your influences from and which artists do you draw your inspiration from?
Ribkat: Although I’ve established myself as a well known Hip-Hop artist worldwide in groups such as “Styles Of Beyond” and “Fort Minor” with Linkin Park member “Mike Shinoda”, I’ve Ironically drawn the majority of my influences from several 80″s Pop Artists such as “Talking Heads”, “Human League”, “Duran Duran”, “Tears For Fears”, “Culture Club”.

Josy B:  My influences are so wide because I grew up listening to salsa in a Puerto Rican household, but living in California as a child my influences were 80’s music Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Tears for Fears and so on.

Biju: I draw my influences from all genres of music, from Indian Classical to Pop and try to fuse it with Western. Listening to new and old from yesteryears music to present A.R. Rahman inspires me tremendously. Being a performer, I update my collections of Indian music, and stay connected to my roots.

Your music was featured in the Oscar nominated film The Wrestler. Tell us about that experience and how you became a part of the film?
Ribkat:  I’ve produced and written many songs that have featured in several TV networks such as MTV, ABC, FOX, ESPN, TNT and blockbuster films such as “Transformers”, “Don’t mess with the Zohan”, “The Wrestler” and more. I was asked to submit one of my songs for “The Wrestler” which at the time was being featured at several Independent Film Festivals and to my surprise, the movie got picked up by “Fox Searchlight” and they loved my song and wanted to place it in the film.

What would you say is the goal of your group?
Ribkat: The goal of our group is to unite all different cultures in the world through positive innovative music along with a positive uplifting free spirited message.

Josy B: Our goal is to reach out to all of the people in the world, and deliver across a positive, fun message that will inspire listeners

What are some of your most precious achievements till date?
Ribkat: One of my most precious achievements period, was traveling the world, being introduced to many different cultures living my dream, and performing for them. Another would be producing and writing my entire first solo project entitled “Theory Of Addicts”  featuring the Puerto Rican Queen notoriously known as “Josy B” scheduled to be released late fall 2009, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

Josy B: My most precious achievements have been being able to experience my dream as a singer, pursuing what I loved and never looking back. I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have worked with very talented artists, producers and writers who’ve all contributed to where I stand today and believe in what I stand for as an artist.

Biju: My most precious achievements was singing for the legendary Gazal King, Mr. Jagjit Singh and the legendary  Padmabushan Honouree Dr. K.J. Yesudas as well as opening for Bappi Lahiri in 2007. Listening to their music from a young age and singing for my idols that I admired is an honor for me and a dream come true. What more can an artist ask for?

What will be coming out of the group in the coming future?
Ribkat: We will be releasing our debut album “Theory Of Addicts” late fall 2009 along with a scheduled overseas tour in the UK, Asia and India. For more updates you can visit RibkatandJosyb.com. Be sure to check out our new single “REVERIEZ” Feat. Biju Mathew, free downloads are available at soundclick.com.

Biju: I am looking forward to collaborating with Ribkat and Josy B, with a few Hindi and English version of songs, which are upbeat and unique. They will stand out from the rest of the Indian Rap songs you have heard of in films and from other musicians. Working with Ribkat and Josy B, was a great pleasure. It was an honor for me to be featured on their album “Theory of Addicts” in the single Reveriez— the Hindi-English version. I will be collaborating with Ribkat and Josy B, fusing Indian music; I must say it is going to be very exciting time for all of us.

~ Roshni M.
(November 2009)

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