Apache Indian

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This article is about the musician. For the Native American people, see Apache.
Apache Indian
Apache Wikipedia Picture.JPG
Background information
Birth name Steven Kapur
Born (1967-05-11) 11 May 1967 (age 48)
Origin Handsworth, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Genres Bhangramuffin
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Entertainer, Actor, Founder/Director of Apache Indian Music Academy
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1980–present
Labels Island Records/PolyGram Records/Universal Music/Sunset Entertainment Group
Website apacheindianmusic.com

Steven Kapur (born 11 May 1967), better known by the stage name Apache Indian, is a British singer/song writer and reggae DJ. He is noted for a distinctive vocal style that is a fusion of Indian, Jamaican and English cultural elements.[citation needed] Apache Indian was the earliest UK artist of Asian origin to make an impact on the UK charts with a series of hits during the nineties.[1]

Biography and career[edit]

Born into a family of Indian origins, Kapur was raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, UK, a racially mixed area with large Black and Asian communities, home of reggae bands such as Steel Pulse and UB40, and by the early 1980s he was working with local sound systems and grew dreadlocks.[1] By the mid-1980s he had trimmed his hair and began to make a name for himself as a dancehall deejay. Apache recorded his first single in 1990, "Movie Over India", initially a white-label pressing, until it was picked up by the reggae distributor Jet Star.[1] The single mixed ragga and bhangra sounds and was hugely popular among audiences of both genres.[1] Two further singles followed in a similar vein, "Chok There" and "Don Raja", bringing him to the attention of the major labels, and in 1992 he signed a recording contract with Island Records.[1]

With the collaboration of his cousins Simon & Diamond (Diamond aka DJ Swami), he introduced the new hybrid sound of bhangra raggamuffin – also known as bhangramuffin – to the world with his first album No Reservations, recorded in Jamaica and produced by Simon & Diamond, Phil Chill, Robert Livingston, Bobby Digital and Sly Dunbar) in 1993.[1] It was followed by Make Way for the Indian, (produced by Sly & Robbie, The Press, Mafia & Fluxy, Pandit Dineysh and Chris Lane), which featured rapper Tim Dog and spawned the hit, "Boom Shack-A-Lak". By 1997 he parted ways with Island and his next album,[2] "Real People" (produced by Harjinder Boparai) was signed and released by Warner Bros. Sweden and proved to be his most experimental album, and also featured more Indian elements than the other albums. In his heyday, he also made an appearance in the Tamil film, Love Birds, dancing alongside Prabhu Deva. By 2000, Apache had parted ways with Warners and has since been signed to US management company, Sunset Entertainment Group, which would lead later on 2013 for Apache to collabortate on an album with hit producers Jim Beanz & Charlie Hype (both also signed to Sunset Entertainment Group).

Lyrically, Apache Indian usually sings in Jamaican patois, and is known for his daring edge to speak about socially conscious subjects i.e. "Arranged Marriage", "Aids Warning", and more recently in 2015 "Election Crisis". as well as his party tracks i.e. "Boom Shack-A-Lak", "Jump Up", "Girls Dem Fiyah", "Celebrate".

Apache Indian has recorded with Wreckx 'n' Effect, the United States chart topper Sean Paul, Maxi Priest, General Levy, Brian and Tony Gold, Shaggy, Yami Bolo, Boy George, A. R. Rahman, Sameera Singh, Asha Bhosle and Pras of the Fugees, Malkit Singh, and, more recently, with Jazzy B (self proclaimed as the Crown Prince of Bhangra) on the album Dil Luteya, StereoNation, Bally Sagoo, Raghav, and Jim Beanz. He has also recorded a song with Mukhtar Sahota on the album 4 The Muzik, with backing vocals from Am'nico.

Reggae singer Sean Paul, who has been on the top of Billboard charts with his single with Beyoncé Knowles, toured the U.S. with Apache Indian.

For his first album No Reservation, he had signed a recording contract worth £250,000 with Island Records – one of the largest sums paid for a debut album by a non-white artist.[citation needed]

"Boomshakalak" is featured in more than eight different Hollywood movies, including Dumb and Dumber and Dumb and Dumber To. It is also featured on the soundtrack for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, along with artists such as Fatboy Slim, The B-52's, 2 Unlimited and New Radicals and the movie "Threesome".

His single "Om Namaha Shivaya" features on the Putumayo World Music compilation album, World Reggae which is a collection of reggae tracks performed by artists from around the world.

Apache Indian has been nominated and has received several significant awards over the years, from an Ivor Novello award for best contemporary song for "Arranged Marriage" to a Mercury Music Prize for his debut album "No Reservations" in 1993. Apache Indian was also nominated for the Central Britain Media and Arts Asian Jewel Award in 2004. Apache was presented an award at the Asian Media Awards in Manchester UK for his talk show "Real Talk" (popularly featured on Brit Asia TV) in 2013 and in 2014 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award also at the Asian Media Awards. In late 2014, Apache closed the year with a lifetime achievement award from Brit Asia TV, celebrating 25 years in the Music Business and received a standing ovation for his stellar performance at the same event. Apache has just received his fourth Life Time Achievement Award from the Black Country Asian Business Association (BCABA) in Wolverhampton, West Midlands UK.

Apache Indian has also been involved with numerous multicultural initiatives, such as International Headliner at Toronto's Dundas Square in front of 10,000+ people as part of the 'Desi Fest' May 2008, the South Asian Heritage Month celebration at Canada's Wonderland 'Canadian-Indian Music Festival' July 2011, and Toronto 6 degrees club's 'Luv to Bhang' 5 year anniversary event in July 2013.

Apache Indian did a limited release of his latest album titled "It Is What It Is" (IiWiI) in the fall of 2013 on Universal India. The album's first single "Celebrate" was a collaboration with Canadian pop singer Raghav and legendary producer Jim Beanz. The album was written and recorded in Philadelphia at the Sunset Entertainment Group headquarters, featuring production from Jim Beanz, Charlie Hype, TroyBoi and J.Nick.

Apache Indian Music Academy[edit]

In November 2013, Apache Indian opened the Apache Indian Music Academy at South and City College, in his hometown of Handsworth.[citation needed]


  • Mercury Music Prize nominee for his debut album "No Reservations" 1993
  • Ivor Novello best contemporary song for "Arranged Marriage"
  • Best Newcomer British Reggae Industry Awards 1990[1]
  • UK Asian Music Awards – Best International Success 2003[3]
  • UK Asian Music Awards – Outstanding Achievement 2005[4]
  • UK Asian Music Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award 2011[5]
  • Lifetime achievement award from Brit Asia TV 2013, 2014
  • Lifetime achievement award from Black Country Asian Business Association (BCABA), 2015



  • 1993 No Reservations UK #36[6]
  • 1995 Make Way For The Indian (Island/Universal Music UK) - featured big worldwide hit "Boomshakalak"
  • 1997 Real People / Wild East (Warners Sweden/Sunset Records)
  • 2000 Karma
  • 2005 Time for Change
  • 2007 Sadhu – The Movement (TIPS Music India)
  • 2012 Home Run (Universal Music India)[7]
  • 2013 It Is What It Is (Universal Music India/Sunset Entertainment Group)

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
1991 "Movie Over India" No Reservations
"Chok There"
1992 "Don Raja"
"Arranged Marriage" 16
1993 "Chok There" (reissue) 30
Nuff Vibes EP 5 8 10 24 32 13 34 19 Nuff Vibes EP
"Boom Shack-A-Lak" 5 5 3 1 3 6 1 2
"Movin' On" (charity single) 48 single only
1995 "Make Way For The Indian" (with Tim Dog) 29 Make Way For The Indian
"Raggamuffin Girl" (with Frankie Paul) 31
1997 "Lovin' (Let Me Love You)" 53 Real People
"Real People" 66
2005 "Om Numah Shivaya" (tsunami charity single) Time For Change
"The Israelites" (with Desmond Dekker) 239 34
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Other Singles:

  • 1992 "Fe' Real" UK #33 (Maxi Priest Featuring Apache Indian)
  • 1994 "Music Relief" Charity Single #12
  • 1994 "Wrecxx Shop" UK #26 (Wreckx-N-Effect Featuring Apache Indian)
  • 2006 "Teriyan Adawaan" (Preet Harpal)
  • 2007 "Ground Shaker 2" (Kudi Dekhi Lagdi by Aman Hayer)
  • 2012 "Gabroo" (Miss Pooja)
  • 2013 "Run Run" (Telugu song composed by Devi Sri Prasad for Iddarammayilatho)
  • 2013 "Celebrate" featuring Raqhav (Produced by Jim Beanz)
  • 2014 "Kakinada Kaaja" (Telugu song composed by A.R Bochukrishna for Rasagulla)
  • 2015 "Pagal Jiya" with Sheeba Khan
  • 2015 "Election Crisis" (Produced by Charlie Hype)
  • 2015 "Pretty Baby" with StereoNation and Bally Sagoo


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p.13
  2. ^ Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p.14
  3. ^ "BRITISH ASIAN MUSIC AWARDS 2004 LAUNCHED". 7 October 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Artists unite to celebrate British Asian Music". Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". desiblitz.com. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 26. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ Amazon.com: Home Run
  8. ^ "Apache Indian", Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 October 2014

External links[edit]