Sid Sriram shares “Friendly Fire,” a new single from his forthcoming Def Jam debut Sidharth ahead of its release on August 25th. “Friendly Fire” follows the renowned Bollywood vocalist’s recent single “The Hard Way,” which was praised by The New York Times upon its release in the Playlist and called a “a clattering, experimental pop song” that is a must-listen for fans of James Blake, Bon Iver and more.

On Sidharth, hook-forward tracks with dance floor energy, like the Afrobeat-inflected “Friendly Fire,” slot in next to unexpected diversions like “The Hard Way,” which draws on the album’s R&B, indie rock, and American pop styles he grew up with as an immigrant kid in Fremont, CA, in the ’90s and 2000s.

The album’s creation process was unlike any other he had undertaken before, with a significant difference being that the vocals are delivered in English. In the summer of 2021, he took a leap of faith and hopped on a plane to Minneapolis, where he and producer Ryan Olson (Poliça, Gayngs, Bon Iver), whom had previously only met on Instagram. During an intense week in the studio, most of the songs were tracked live by a small team of Olson’s associates, including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, a longtime inspiration for Sid. Fittingly, Sid will be opening for Bon Iver on tour this month after his recent sold out headline show at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.

All this may seem like a far cry from the music that has made Sid famous with Bollywood fans worldwide since breaking out with his first hit soundtrack song, “Adiye” (from 2013’s Kadal), just a year out of music school. Indeed, many of the million-plus-viewed videos of Sid feature him singing ragas backed by traditional instruments, not freestyling personal narratives over glitchy 808s and Auto-Tune beds.

But before his sudden success, Sriram was an American 20-something obsessed with pop and R&B; he found early viral success by posting a Frank Ocean cover (“We All Try”) to YouTube. He also recently endeared himself to a new audience this past May when he delivered a mesmerizing Tiny Desk Concert for NPR. Backed by an 8-piece band, the performance received immediate acclaim, further solidifying his talent and artistry. In many ways, Sidharth highlights the ways in which the musical personalities of that younger version of Sid and the Carnatic music star Sid relate to and complement one another. 

Listen to “Friendly Fire” above now, check out touring details below, and stay tuned for more Sid Sriram news soon.


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