Sukhmani Malik is a powerhouse. Just walk into any of Hari and Sukhmani's performances and you will be overwhelmed by the way the room reverberates with her presence, not just her voice, and how she has the audience entranced with her Beyoncé like moves that go hand-in-hand with their melodies.
When we get on the phone with her, she tells us how the All India Bakchod boys echo her thoughts. "It's very easy to write 'Every Bollywood Party Song'. All you have to do is take a generic line and repeated until it is etched in the audience's minds. It takes a true artist to do something original." The duo has successfully taken folk music from their home state, Punjab, and given it a complete facelift via ambient electronica, whilst still keeping the essence alive. From the guitar to the flute, the duo insists on playing at least one instrument during their live performances. The likes of Bulleh Shah and Baba Farid inspire their Sufi lyrics. Having a distinct voice is what has made them stand out from the growing tribe of 'indie' artists—and made them just as relevant at a fancy wedding in Maldives as the hottest club in the capital.
From performing three nights a week at a lounge in Chandigarh, where they started out, to taking the stage all over the world, the duo has come a long way—and the crazier-than-thou audience bears witness. "Success is just a by-product," she smiles, "you've got to love your music enough to want to listen to it every time it plays on the radio."