Rishi – Stress (Featuring Nathan C)

Dance, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 5.9

Poor Rishi. The lad is clearly stressed. He really has stress in his life. Stress. Ohhhh stress. Stress stress stress. Yep. Stress. If we were to leave the review at that, it would qualify as approximately 98% of all you need to know about his new single, for those are pretty much the only lyrics we hear. Fortunately, the production is a dead-on replica of whatever is playing on the radio right now, with a very successful Swedish House Mafia impression assisting the singer. The addition of a rapper probably would have balanced out the song more, but it’s just too slight and reliant on the beat – a missed opportunity. Also, having a job working behind a bar is pretty stressful, so hey, just quit! #WhatRecession (Reviewed by Rahul)

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Romy Shay – “Bollywood Star”

Dance, Hindi, Pop, UK Asian

Score: 5.1

Amongst this bizarre cocktail of ridiculous, it’s worth noting – Available on iTunes – a few things. It’s the usual Rishi Rich Production bland corporate nonsense, meaning zero emotion/feeling/point other than trying to be the background music for when an actual Bollywood star is being interviewed, etc etc. Romy Shay, who really cares. Shilpa Shetty pops – Available on iTunes – up and giggles hysterically at everything, all the while looking gorgeous but somewhat embarrassed. The song is alright but predictable and cynical. And then you realise, after all that particular weirdness, that Shilpa Shetty is the SISTER-IN-LAW of Romy Shay. What on earth is – Available on iTunes – he doing serenading his wife’s sister? Dude. Come on. Be a bit more  discreet than that. Damn. Your wife is, as the kids say, gonna dash you the fuck up when you get back to yard. Seriously, first you get a tattoo of Nusrat on your arm – could make wifey feel insecure, but fair enough – and then at 0:35 in the video you tell some white guy you love him… Oh man. Good luck when – Available on iTunes – you get home tonight.

Abbas Hasan – “Habibi”

Bhangra, Pop, UK Asian

Score: 5.7

The criticisms levelled at the recent output from Rishi Rich Productions seem to consist of: a lack of content (sign artist, wait at least 2 years before they release anything, if they even get to that stage – see Tasha Tah); and the importance of style over substance. RRP know how to taken a young talent, make them work hard, market them well, turn them into comfortable live performers… It’s a very old school methodology that has many obvious merits. However, they just don’t seem to care about creating truly great music anymore. Abbas Hasan is the perfect example of this. He’s multi-lingual (demographic markets aplenty, ker-ching!), he’s good-looking, he does weights… And that is pretty much all we learn. It’s impossible to tell whether he can actually sing or not, such are the levels of studio trickery applied to his vocals; as for originality, the track is called “Habibi” (enough said), so don’t expect anything revolutionary other than the language-switching. The beat is professional but without soul, nor is it particularly melodic… Eurgh. It’s such a depressing shame that with all their resources, the ambition of RRP and/or their artists is still so bewilderingly low – just look good, perform a decent live show, release an album with one or two solid tracks, make money. And that’s it. Judging from “Habibi” the story of Abbas Hasan doesn’t seem to be any different, though we truly hope to be wrong. But if they don’t care, why should we?

Rishi – “Club Scene”

Dance, Hindi, House, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 4.1

Whenever a track features production from Kam Frantic, it’s usually a pretty safe bet. However, for every rule there must be an exception, and “Club Scene” valiantly strives to be it. It’s a song that has various merits, but none of them join together to provide a cohesive listen, aside from about thirty seconds in the middle. Firstly, take Rishi, who has a decent enough voice but no chance when the lyrics are this clunky (think every cliché in the book, with too many words for each line). The chorus is at odds with the rest of the concept, and even the production – whilst sounding thoroughly professional – is lacking melody or a truly compelling percussive rhythm. Except for those previously mentioned thirty seconds – that’s when someone called Nasa (unseen in the video) sings beautifully in Hindi, and it suddenly sounds really good. This is a debut track, so of course there always lies room for growth, but Rishi must try much harder next time.

Club Scene - Single - Rishi