Shava is a unique group of five Finnish guys from Helsinki who started playing Bhangra, a fast, energetic type of dance music which has its roots in the villages of the Punjab region of northern India. Bhangra has become a major music phenomenon within the vast immigrant Punjabi populations all over the world. Shava has embraced this tradition which is both ancient and modern at the same time and made it their own. They have created a new tradition, a global Creole music which has its roots both in the soil of India as well as the concrete jungle of East-Helsinki.
The band started as a mad idea back in 2004. They soon discovered that not only are they the only band in the world fusing Finnish lyrics with Punjabi beats, but they are also the only non-Indian origin band playing Bhangra music. Now their ”Finnjabi” music has grown into a culture of its own, with enthusiasts in many parts of the world. Coming from the land of Sauna and Santa Claus, the band’s live shows combine high energy stage presence with a kind of a crazy humour which Finns are well known for. The band has toured diligently at home and abroad, creating many fans infected by the Finnjabi virus. In Finland, Shava has appeared in big festivals such as Provinssirock, Kaustinen Folk Music Festival and Funky Elephant to name but a few. They have also been in demand overseas, appearing in VIBC’ City Of Bhangra festival in Vancouver, Canada in 2009 as well as 2011, and in the Nordic Musical Safari Explosion in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2009.
The band’s debut CD Betoninen kotimaani was released in 2010 and received wide acclaim and won the public vote for the Folk Music Record of the Year 2010 in Finland. The album features such legends of Indian music as King Gurcharan Mall, the famous Birmingham dholi as well as Pandit Rajendra Prasanna, one of Delhi’s most respected classical musicians. The album’s title means “my homeland made of concrete” and is a reference to the global multicultural suburbia. Since the album release, Shava has been prominently featured in the Finnish media, including interviews in major Finnish newspapers and TV channels (TV1, MTV3, Helsingin Sanomat to name a few). The album has received radio play ranging from local stations to nationwide senders such as YLEX and NRJ. The song “79” was voted as no.1 of six contesting new songs in the Levylautakunta-show of Radio Suomi, one of Finland’s biggest radio stations.
Apart from consistent radio play in Finland and the Nordic countries, Shava’s music has been featured on the BBC, Canada’s CBC as well as numerous other radio stations in Europe and North America. They have made special appearances in Canada’s Shaw TV as well as the Omni channel. Their music videos have become something of an online hit, being featured on a range of major web sites including The Society Pages, Sepia Mutiny and Desihits.
Shava started as a mad idea but have grown into something of a cultural phenomenon, it remains to be seen if the Finnjabi scene they created will be carried on by other groups. The group at least wishes to be an inspiration for future bands. Apart from playing cheerful music for good times, their message is that although we may all have different origins, look different and speak different languages; inside we're all the same.
- February 20, 2009 - VIBC Downtown Bhangra
- May 13, 2011 - VIBC Downtown Bhangra
- June 1, 2013 - VIBC Media Arts Mehfil
- June 7, 2013 - VIBC Downtown Bhangra