Brooklyn Shanti, aka the1shanti, is an American musician, producer and artist. Best known for his work in pioneering South Asian hip-hop between the late 90’s to present as well as his contributions in the evolution of Tropical and Global Bass, Shanti is a DJ and vocalist on stage, and a producer/director/cinematographer/composer off the stage.
Born in North Carolina, Shanti was raised outside of Washington D.C. where at the age of 12 he placed in a BET sponsored rap contest with his childhood rap group. This provided the group the opportunity to be on stage with Doug E. Fresh, Zhigge and Ultramagnetics MCs, encouraging Shanti’s dedication to the art of freestyle rapping. He would continue to make bedroom recordings with friends including Thomas Blondet and a young Ludacris.
In 1999, Shanti helped to co-found Soulspazm Records. By 2000, he would go on to release his debut, “Blaxploitation”, on the label, which peaked at #13 on GAVIN music’s industry charts. Subsequently, he released an EP, “Deadline” in 2001, which would ascend to the #1 position in HITS magazine’s Rap Attack chart.
Shanti next joined Sean “DJ Cavo” Dinsmore’s Dum Dum Project, and relocated with the group to London, as they became full time members of the SWARAJ crew and club night on the heels of the relase of the group's second album, Export Quality. It was during this time period that Cavo and Shanti traveled to Mumbai and filmed the video for the first hip-hop single to be released in India, Jaani Jaan featuring Asha Puthli.
In time, the group would expanded to include Niraj Chag and became the first act to score a hit record from Bobby & Nihal’s BBC Radio One show, with “Punjabi Five 0” followed by "Supafly Bindi". Sony and Universal released the group’s album, “Spiritual Bling” in multiple territories and the group toured continuously between 2001 and 2007.
In 2006, the Universal Zulu Nation and Afrika Bambaataa dubbed Shanti the “Indian Bambaataa” for his work with the Dum Dum Project in spreading hip-hop culture throughout South Asia. That year, Shanti released his first solo album, “India Bambaataa”, on Flatbush Junction/Laskar Music.
In 2007, upon returning full time to Brooklyn, Shanti signed with legendary label, Rawkus Records, to deliver his self-titled sophomore album. Produced by J.J. Brown, Resk1 & more, the album was recorded and delivered in two weeks and would be one of the last releases on Rawkus before it folded permanently.
Shanti would continue to release hip-hop music under the moniker the1shanti until 2010, when he added the alias, Brooklyn Shanti, and transitioned to focus on Tropical Bass. As part of Cumba Mela, a crew of like-minded producers and DJs developing within the Tropical scene in New York, Shanti collaborated on a Bengali-language reggae song entitled “Rani Rani” with fellow DJ/producer, Thornato. It would go on to mark the beginning of a self-proclaimed “Bangla dancehall” phase, which would later help co-found the genre of “Bangla Bass” with Nucleya and Mou Sultana.
The success of “Rani Rani” led to a string of well-received Bengali-language releases, work on Bollywood film soundtracks, television appearances, and a renewed set of international tours as both a vocalist and a DJ. During that time, Shanti joined Dutty Artz and began helping Geko Jones and Uproot Andy with their legendary Que Bajo?! events.
2014’s “Bedstuyle”, was released as a producer album and featured appearances by Karsh Kale, Evelyn Sharma, Jahdan Blakkamoore, the Midival Punditz, Dani Mari, Vanessa Beatriz and more. A TEDx talk is also available wherein Shanti was asked to reverse engineer the making of the album.
In 2017, Shanti travelled the world, moving to a different city across the globe every four to six days. He released a new song and music video every Wednesday while being hired by labels and brands as a cinematographer, director and producer for video based work. This was alongside songwriting and music production and composition work for film, television and major label and independent artists.
In 2018, Shanti released “Missed America”, his fourth studio album. The BBC in London quickly selected “Blade Runners” as one of its first picks of the week for 2018, and added “Bengali Inna di Dance” to regular rotation as well. In the fall, Billboard released his most recent chart topping offering, "Ai Mon Tomake Dilam", via their own platform. Between touring, providing music supervision for brands and film projects in addition to executive producing projects for Someplace Called Brooklyn, the year has been a busy one for Shanti with an even more ambitious 2019 around the corner.
In the duration of a 20+ year career, Shanti has shared the stage alongside and worked with acts as varied as Run DMC, A.R. Rahman, De La Soul, Gyptian, the Prodigy, the Roots, Camp Lo, Karsh Kale, the Foreign Beggars, Tittsworth, Dave Nada, Nickodemus, Kool Keith & KutMasta Kurt, Akil of Jurassic 5 and countless more.
Selections from Brooklyn Shanti's cumulative discography. Click on cover art to stream release.
The Vodka Diary
India.com Premier of “Towers” video
Mishthi Music premier of “Intervention” video
UrbanAsian reviews Soviet Bhangra
AllTheMachines.net premiers Soviet Bhangra
Remezcla reviews remix for El Freaky & Gyptian’s Summer Now
Brooklyn Radio spotlights Brooklyn Shanti’s remix for Major Lazer’s Lean On
Urban Asian premiers video for She acoustic
OkayAfrica covers Baja’s feature on Bedstuyle
Diffuser.fm premiers the video for 33 1/3
Jazz Weekly reviews Bedstuyle
Only The Beat premiers Thomas Blondet’s remix for “A Great Day”
Echoes cites Bedstuyle as one of its top 25 albums, Oct 2014
Knox News album review
Tube Filter names This Feeling a “must watch”
Sounds and Colors premiers Sun Salutation video ft. Vanessa Beatriz
MTV Iggy premiers video for Garden of Ghosts ft. Dani Mari
Wild City Album Review
Brooklyn Radio debuts new song & Bedstuyle Collection with BPM Jewelry
Album review on AmericanFobs
Entertainment Weekly premiers Something Beautiful video
Inside World Music album review
Nanobot Rocket album review
The Global Bass Experience
Urban Asian Covers Bedstuyle
Urban Asian Covers Something Beautiful
Alt Sounds Reviews Bedstuyle
SPIN Magazine debuts video for This Feeling
Broadway World reviews Bedstuyle
Interviews & Various
Large Up covers Jahdan Blakkamoore & Brooklyn Shanti collab
BollySpice – Feature Interview
Daily Telegraph Kolkata – FSWL interview
Newswala – FSWL Kolkata coverage
BollySpice – FSWL music review
Bombay Times covers Rani Rani
Times of India – Rani Rani
Mstation.org – Interview
NPR Artist Profile
Top 40 Charts – SAJA / MTV Desi Panel Coverage
Sepia Mutiny – DDP overview