Making jalebis famous globally through his song “Jalebi Baby”, Tesher has certainly made the world groove. A track whose name riffs on the south Indian dessert “Jalebi”, has been stealing the limelight in parties and ruling over social media feeds around the globe. This artist, with his relatable bars and banging beats, and unique pop tracks has the world at its feet! Read on to know more about Tesher, the man behind these catchy melodies you can’t get out of your head!
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Hitesh Sharma, known as Tesher, is a Canadian rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer. He is best known for his popular singles “Young Shahrukh” and “Jalebi Baby”, released in 2020. His fusion of Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road vs Sukhwinder Singh’s Ramta Jogi has made its way into playlists worldwide.
“My music reflects who I am, and who I am is a Canadian-born Indian who’s managed to balance the Western culture I grew up in with my South Asian heritage. I am the blend of two cultures, and so is my music. If I didn’t incorporate sounds and influences from both sides of the world, it wouldn’t be me.”
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Tesher was born to a Punjabi family and was raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. His Punjabi heritage and upbringing have been a strong influence on his life. Being passionate about music ever since he was a kid, Tesher made my first “remix” when he was just six years old! His house would always have Bollywood and Bhangra music playing when he was young. He soon developed an interest in music when he tagged along with his father, a videographer by profession, in weddings and Indian functions.
His father’s clients used to ask him if he provided DJ services, to which his reply was ‘‘No, I don’t, but I have an 11-year-old son who really likes computers and music.”. And that’s where Tesher began his journey as a DJ for these events which soon helped him hone his skills!
Listening to Indian and Western hip hop music, Tesher began to fuse Bollywood and hip-hop songs together and create mashup as a child. Eventually, he also began experimenting with bhangra, R&B, pop, reggaeton, house, and salsa music into his songs. The three most significant musical influences for him have been Anitta, Drake, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
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Tesher’s Musical Career
Tesher is known to have an ear for groundbreaking mashups. Mashup is a concept that has long existed but mashing up Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with French Montana like Tesher is unheard of. He is no less than a magician in this regard. His mashups include combinations you would never expect in one song. For example, AR Rahman and Travis Scott, Govinda and Drake, or Diljit Dosanjh and Big Sean. Tesher loves pushing the envelope and seeing how fantastically different things come together.
“One time, I mixed a metal track with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan vocals, and it ended up sounding phenomenal. You have got to try. That’s the key; just try. You might just hit something some time, and you might just create something completely new in the process.”
Tesher began creating remixes as a teenager and uploading them to YouTube and SoundCloud in 2009. In the years 2012 to 2014, he was recognised for making country remixes. In 2016, Tesher composed the official Bhangra Mix of “Kar Gayi Chull” from the Bollywood film Kapoor and Sons for Sony Music India. This version, featuring a part of vocals from his sister, was performed by actress Alia Bhatt at Femina Miss India 2017. Tesher’s Old Town Road vs Ramta Jogi remix gained popularity on TikTok as a sound accompanying a milk-drinking challenge.
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2020–present: Debut Singles
In February 2020, Tesher dropped his first single, “Young Shahrukh”, an original rap song written, produced, and performed by him with the beats of “Bole Chudiyan” from the Bollywood film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. This song is a homage to Shahrukh Khan, the “King of Bollywood”. The song dominated social media feeds such as YouTube and TikTok. In May 2020, it was picked up by Sony Music India, becoming Tesher’s debut major label single.
Tesher’s “Young Shahrukh” topped UK’s Asian Music Chart on the week of July 10, 2020, and reached number four on Billboard’s Top Thriller Global chart on the week of July 25, 2020. Celebrities like Ranveer Singh and Sunny Singh praised the phenomenal fusion. The official release has over 20 million views on YouTube and 20 million streams on Spotify.
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Claim to Fame: Jalebi Baby
Tesher then released a remix of Justin Bieber’s “Yummy” with “Jalebi Bai” “Yummy Jalebi”. This went viral on social media platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, for a verse featuring original vocals from Tesher. He then released a version removing “Yummy”, extending his verse to a completely original song with his own rapping in English and Punjabi. Jalebi Baby was released on all streaming platforms on November 13. The single garnered over 100 million streams and became Tesher’s second single to reach number one on the Asian Music Chart in the week ending on May 20, 2021. “Jalebi Baby” also debuted number 20 on the Top Triller Global chart and number 16 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.
On May 28, 2021, Tesher published a remix of “Jalebi Baby” with American singer Jason Derulo. The song peaked at number 6 on the World Digital Song Sales chart, Tesher’s first top 10 hits. Debuting at number 17 in the inaugural edition of India’s top 20 international singles chart, it later rose to the 16th position. This song was a smashing hit in Europe, charting in Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland.
South Asian Sounds into the Mainstream
“From day one, my biggest goal was always to bring South Asian sounds into the mainstream in a big way,” Tesher shared in his Jason Derulo collaboration announcement post. Tesher wants to serve popular South Asian tunes, blended with Western beats and seasoned with his creativity onto everyone’s playlists.
“In a way that could push our culture forward and spotlight us authentically, free from stereotypes and overused tropes. Something that celebrated us and that we could all be proud of.”
Tesher’s journey of breaking stereotypes and rising in the world of music has just begun and is set to go onwards and upwards! Hope this blog helped you through the life of the 25-year-old blooming musician, Tesher. For more exciting content and updates, follow Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram