The Ska Vengers is a New Delhi-based band that blends ska, dub, punk, jazz and rap in their music. The core band consists of Stefan Kaye (keys, percussions, theremin, backing vocals), Delhi Sultanate (lead vocals), Begum X (lead vocals), the late Nikhil Vasudevan (drums, backing vocals), Chaitanya Bhalla ‘Chaz’ (guitars) and Tony Guinard (bass, backing vocals).
The band is the first and only ska-based setup to come out of India and are touted to be the country’s biggest (non-Bollywood or Hindi). The band incorporates psychedelia, Latin jazz and more experimental genres into their music.
The Ska Vengers released their first self-titled album in 2013.
‘Frank Brazil’ is the first single from their second album XX, released July 2016. It was released on 31 July 2015, which marks the anniversary of the hanging of Udham Singh, on whom the track is based and who travelled to the UK to assassinate General Michael O’Dwyer because he believed he was responsible for the infamous Jallianwallah Bagh massacre.
Following the release of XX, pronounced ‘double cross’, the band went on a 18-show UK summer tour. Some of the shows included key slots at Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness Festival, London Mela, Bestival and the Notting Hill Carnival.
In the summer of 2017, the band was back with an extensive calendar of 38 shows, this time playing main-stage slots at festivals like Glastonbury Festival, WOMAD, Love Supreme Festival, Wilderness Festival and Bestival, amongst others. This makes the band the first to come out of the independent scene in India and to do so many dates outside the country in a span of three months.
The band is currently working on heading to Australia and Europe for another summer tour in 2018.