Vancouver-based, Indian-Canadian singer horsepowar (aka Jasleen Powar) dropped a video for her thumping, crafty “Hi Everybody” last night. On top of being a banger of a song, the clip itself is thrilling and beautiful in its own way, and, perhaps, even important.
A tour of urban and rural India, “Hi Everybody” shows the rapper traipsing through the towns, running in the fields, and laughing with local children. One could be forgiven for seeing a Humanitarians of Tinder/White Savior Barbie thing going on here. That is until you know that “Hi Everybody” is a home movie, a document of a family trip to horsepowar’s ancestral India co-created by her and her family. This isn’t “voluntourism” or cultural browsing. Rather, it’s a fun, happy, over-the-shoulder look at a Western-raised, Western-influenced artist rediscovering an important side of herself.
As horsepowar said about the video:
In February I went to India and it was one hell of a rang dang doodle deux. Hindustan was a chaotic, emotional, and revitalizing journey for the soul, but it was so wild to be in a future that was also stuck in the past. This video is for the warm hearts that I met in India that showed me how blessed we are.
In this, “Hi Everybody” is pretty much the video that the controversial, criticized, and praised “Hymn for the Weekend” could have been. Though many in the Desi diaspora did enjoy it the clip, Coldplay seemed to fetishize the perceived “mystical” otherness of India—dangerous territory even though it’s a beautiful video. Horsepowar, on the other hand, not only enjoys the country for what it is but doesn’t try to present what it isn’t. Where Coldplay attempted to present a voyage to India’s heart that was ultimately a multimillion-dollar CGI-heavy fantasy, this no-budget, no-filter video is the real thing.
Also, as said, “Hi There” is a true banger. Enjoy.