If you have ever jigged to songs like Young Shahrukh and Jalebi Baby during a party, then you probably have already been introduced to Tesher’s music. Hailing from Canada, Hitesh Sharma, professionally known as Tesher, rose to fame because of a viral Tik Tok challenge. While he had been remixing songs since his school days, his 2019 remix called Old Town Road vs Ramta Jogi grabbed everyone’s attention on the video-sharing app. People used his melody for a milk-drinking challenge, and in no time, everyone was looking at what else Tesher has worked on.
Raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Tesher grew up learning about his Indian heritage from his family. His Canadian upbringing and his fascination with Indian music made him experiment with songs. He began mixing Bollywood music with hip-hop songs, and kept experimenting to make new remixes. He adds bhangra, R&B, pop, reggaeton, house, and salsa music into his songs, and it is almost impossible for one to not shake a leg when they listen to one of his songs.
YouTube played a huge role in Tesher’s musical journey. By the time he reached high school, he was already posting videos of his remixes on YouTube and SoundCloud. He continued doing this for two years after which in 2016 he caught Sony Music India’s attention. Tesher produced the official Bhangra mix of Kar Gayi Chull from the film Kapoor and Sons. Alia Bhatt used the song for her award-function performance in 2017 as well. And this was just the beginning.
Tesher knew he had to do something bigger than this, and that is when he gave the world the song, Young Shahrukh in 2020. The song went viral on social media platforms, so much so that it peaked at number one on the BBC Asian Music Chart that year. Then came Jalebi Baby and Tesher was officially a household name on every party music playlist. Tesher later collaborated with Jason Derulo to release a remix of Jalebi Baby in 2021. He also performed the song live with Simu Liu at the Juno Awards of 2022, where he was also nominated for the Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
The artist has now released a new song titled Desperado in collaboration with Raghav Mathur. We chatted with the young artist about his new song, music, his love for Bollywood songs and his plans ahead.
Excerpt from our interview with Tesher
You were into creating remixes of popular songs ever since high school. What drew you the most about it?
It was a way for me to fuse my two cultures together — Canadian/American music with desi (Indian) music.
What was the idea behind your new song, Desperado? How was it working with him?
You’ll have to ask Raghav about that, all I did was try to match his energy with my rap verse. Working with him was dope. He’s a legend who paved the way for artists like me, so it was only right that we worked together.
Growing up in Canada, how has Indian music, especially Bollywood music impacted your childhood?
It had a huge influence. Indian music was played in the house when I was growing up and it provided a solid foundation for my musical taste.
Jalebi Baby and Young Shah Rukh Khan still have the same kind of magic. Do you think people’s taste in music has evolved?
Music has definitely evolved but I think if I dropped either of those two songs now, they would still hit just as hard today. It’s not like they are that old anyway.
Talking about remixes, many people feel that original songs should not be re-created. What is your take on that?
Recreations and remakes usually stink. But sampling is far more interesting. After all, sampling is the backbone of the entire genre of hip-hop and look how that turned out to be.
As someone who understands Indian music, what changes do you think our industry needs?
I think labels need to stop offering artists bad deals. Artists need to learn how to do more things by themselves.
Any new collaborations that we might see happening in the coming future?
Honestly, not really. I am more focused on solo music these days.
Which Indian artists would you like to work with?
I would love to work with Sukhwinder Singh.
All Images: Courtesy Tesher/Instagram