BIO Amrit Singh is the Music & Culture Editor, and Host, of REVOLT TV, the new television network from Sean Combs. At REVOLT, he will write and present stories and interviews on live television, all day every day, with an emphasis on connecting the dots between music, culture, and news. You can watch his intro to REVOLT, or read pieces in Billboard, The L Magazine, and GQ India for more. Previously, he served as Executive Editor of Stereogum.com for nearly eight years, writing and producing the website into a leading voice in independent music. His video journalism has appeared on ABC, MTV, and Fuse. Amrit also served as Editor of the University of Wisconsin International Law Journal, and is a NY State Bar certified attorney, but we try not to remind his father of this. In 2012, Amrit made and appeared in his first film, DOSA HUNT, featuring members of Vampire Weekend, Das Racist, Neon Indian, Yeasayer, and the Vijay Iyer Trio on "The Greatest Hunt For South Indian Food In NYC Ever Committed To Film!" (Here's the trailer, if you're curious.) His speaking engagements and press campaign have connected the film with diverse audiences, film festivals, and media outlets from New York Magazine to BBC TV World News. Amrit has been called a "global citizen to watch" and a "generational voice" by The Huffington Post's Jim Luce, and "an example of how Indian culture gets hybridized" by The World's Marco Werman. He lives in Los Angeles, and was born in New York City.
Here’s my REVOLT Live segment speaking with celebrity attorney Trent Copeland about this week’s hearings for Chris Brown and Cee Lo. It aired Wednesday, and is here for you today.
Reggie Watts and I had a very good talk about everything, i.e. life, at Bumbershoot. Watch it! It’s conveniently embedded above. A lot of stuff was necessarily cut down to make the segment function as an "intro" to him for the REVOLT universe, but I definitely kept in this brilliant bit, in which he discusses how the comic gods of the ’90s paved the way for his improvisational performance art brilliance:
In the ‘90s we were witness to a lot of amazing, new, fresh comedians, like Sarah Silverman, and Mr. Show, and Ben Stiller, and countless others that were kind of counter-comedy, sort of ‘punk rock’ or whatever you want to call it. As the ‘90s went on and we got groups like The State or Upright Citizens Brigade, that evolved and by the time I had decided to make a transition to that, it was prime for me to be able to come in and do what I do, which may not have worked in the ‘90s.
Herein we also talk feature Jash (his project with Sarah Silverman, Tim & Eric, and Michael Cera), and his Seattle roots, and his impeccable sunglasses. Lemme know if you’re interested in the full cut of this conversation — about process, travel, NYC vs. LA, etc. — and I’ll make sure to make that happen.
I attended this year’s Bumbershoot Music & Arts festival on two levels: To cover for REVOLT, and as a documentarian with DOSA HUNT (which was an official selection). I wound up making a short documentary about Bumbershoot for REVOLT, which I’m excited to show you.
One of my many interviews there was with Tegan & Sara, and it was very special. (I.e. I didn’t get in the way of the girls being the best.)
In the Key Arena, we talked about the society’s progress to the point that, in 2013, with Heartthrob, a pair of “queer,” “alternative,” “tattooed” girls could exist in the pop mainstream. It’s a nice talk, and I’m happy we had a camera around for it. It’s a site takeover at revolt.tv now, and I elaborated a bit in this article at the REVOLT news hub.
(A teaser on those other interviews: Matt & Kim, Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, Ra Ra Riot, Joe Mande, Charles R. Cross, more. Soon!)
And so it begins with an absolute life highlight: Talking Afropunk with Chuck D for Revolt TV. I discussed this with the India Abroad, but poring over the lyrics inside the Fear Of A Black Planet and It Takes A Nation… cassettes was the first time I saw something of myself, and my budding feelings about identity politics in the US, reflected back in popular American art. Launching my television interview career by mulling those issues in 2013 with Mr. Chuck D was everything.
This weekend I was on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman, describing dosa to the NPR set. Everyone got along beautifully! (Also, after the interview Evan and KCRW launched their own hunt on Instagram, with this page pulling all #dosahunt-tagged photos. So much love.)
We work a hearty shoutout to the wonderful Southern Poverty Law Center into this one, which is a proud moment. They are good! Country music talking about the “good old days of yore,” though, is problematic. Listen in.
All week this week I am the guest on the internet’s #1 podcast for laughing at racism, Yo, Is This Racist? It is the podcast-cousin of DOSA HUNT, basically. Five episodes, so please brace yourself for five reblogs. STARTING HERE!
R.I.P. Ravi Shankar: A remembrance of the sitar virtuoso and cultural emissary, by Amrit Singh.
The night Ravi Shankar passed, I was unable to sleep until I wrote this remembrance, on Stereogum. It’s universal, but also highly personal; it speaks to Ravi’s broader legacy, and also to the night my brother and I had our baked minds rewired in his presence. I wrote it for perspective, and remembrance, and I hope it gives those things to you. He gave those things to us. He was true and great.
This came out really well: Das Racist nerve center/extraordinary human Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu interviewed me for his Asian American Writers Workshop column, The Cornering. We go in on making music, lawyering, blogging, filmmaking, 9/11, Khalistan, Wade Michael Page, Britney, and Bollywood.