Berkeley Dil Se

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Dil Se is the premiere coed South Asian a cappella group based in the University of California, Berkeley. It ranks as one of the top South Asian a cappella groups in the nation after placing first at Anahat 2008,[1] Gathe Raho 2009, and Anahat 2011.[2] It was founded in the Spring of 2004 by students at the university who wished to combine the melody-based raagas of Indian music with the depth and harmony that drive western music. The group is sponsored by the ASUC.[3][4] In May 2013, Dil Se, for the first time in its history, released a music video which went viral with over 40,000 hits on YouTube (search for Berkeley Dil Se A Cappella - Suno/Trouble). This video combines a Hindi song (Suno by The Bilz & Kashif) and an English song (I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift).


Dil Se was founded by UC Berkeley graduate Arjun Ohri in the spring of 2004. He and his co-founders wished to fill the void on UC Berkeley's campus that had already been filled by then at schools like the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford; the lack of an a cappella team that incorporated the popular tunes of South Asia. The group, in its roots, played on the interests of second generation South Asians at Berkeley who wished to find a common ground between their western and eastern cultures through music.


Dil Se performing at Bollywood Berkeley 2008 in San Francisco

The highlight of Dil Se's fall calendar is the annual Anahat, incidentally hosted by UC Berkeley's Indus. The event is usually held late in the fall.

In recent history, Dil Se has placed first at Anahat 2011, third at Anahat 2012, third at the ICCA 2012 West Quarterfinal, and third at Anahat 2014. In the past few years, Dil Se has performed at illustrious venues such as Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business, International House at UC Berkeley, the India Community Center in Milpitas, the Paramount Theater in Oakland, Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California, Mills College, Ohlone College, Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Smithwick Theater, Saratoga High School.

2004: Fall of 2004 marked the very first Anahat competition, where Dil Se, as hosts of the competition, performed as an exhibition act, instead of competing.

2005: This was the first Anahat that Dil Se competed at. The competition took place at the Julian Morgan Theater, and Dil Se placed 2nd.

2006: Dil Se placed 2nd at Anahat

2007: In the 2007 episode of Anahat, including UIUC Chai-Town, Stanford Raagapella, UCI Haath, UCLA Naya Zamaana, Rutgers R.A.A.G., and UIUC Chandni, Dil Se placed second.

2008: Competing against UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UIUC Chai-town, and UIUC Chandani, Dil Se placed first with a renditions O Re Piya from Aaja Nachle, a song that remains as a popular Dil Se piece to this day.

In the spring of 2008, Dil Se performed as an exhibition act at the Hindi Film Dance competition Bollywood Berkeley, and the Bay Area's only Raas[disambiguation needed] competition, Rangeelo Raas on March 1, 2008. Dil Se also performed at Bombay in the Bay, the largest High School Indian cultural show in the Bay Area, on April 5 at Saratoga High School, Saratoga, California. They closed out the year with performances at the world-famous Zellerbach Hall for the From All Perspectives annual multicultural showcase hosted by UC Berkeley's ASUC and at the Alumni House of UC Berkeley.

2009: In November 2009, Dil Se took third place at Anahat, behind USC's Asli Baat and UIUC's Chai Town. Dil Se took first place at Gathe Raho in February 2009, the annual South Asian a cappella competition hosted by the University of Iowa. That was their only Gathe Raho trip to date. Other notable 2009 performances have included an exhibition at Bollywood Berkeley, performing in concert with Penn Masala, and a performance at the Indian Embassy of San Francisco's annual Republic Day banquet at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco[5]

2010: Dil Se placed second at Anahat. They also performed at Bollywood Berkeley.

2011: Dil Se placed first at Anahat. They also performed at Bollywood Berkeley.

2012: Dil Se placed 3rd at Anahat. They also performed at the ICCA 2012 West Quarterfinal, placing third and winning best soloist, a huge accomplishment for them. They also performed at Bollywood Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall and at the ICC Banquet in Milpitas.

2013: Dil Se performed at an array of large-scale venues: USC Bovard Auditorium for Mehfil: A Showcase of South Asian A Cappella, Zellerbach Hall for Indus Culture show and ASUC Perspectives, in a collaboration concert with groups like Tufts Beelzebubs, UC Men's Octet, and the California Golden Overtones, and at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis for Hellacappella, a Northern California A Cappella showcase featuring groups like On The Rocks A Cappella.

2014: Dil Se placed 3rd at Anahat.

2015: Dil Se performed at a plethora of venues in 2015. We performed for Berkeley's own "Take Back the Night" - an annual event on women empowerment, "The Asian Pacific Islander Conference" - a conference on ethnic diversity, and "The Regents' and Chancellor's Scholars Association" - where the team performed for newly admitted Cal students. Additionally, Dil Se had the pleasure of performing at both "Mehfil", hosted by Asli Baat at USC and "Hellacapella" hosted by The Spokes at UC Davis. Dil Se also had a blast opening for fellow acapella teams "Drawn to Scale", "Decadence" and "Cal Jazz Choir" for their Spring Shows. Lastly in May of 2015, Dil Se had the honor of opening for the Shankar Tucker concert at the Norse Theater in San Francisco.

Current members[edit]

  • Anjani Gupta
  • Arnav Gautam
  • Gayatri Sabne
  • Nandini Krishnaswamy
  • Nitin Sadras
  • Priyanka Ranade
  • Puja Iyer
  • Shourya Kumar
  • Shruti Koti
  • Siddharth Kusuma
  • Sudarshan Seshadri
  • Vinay A. Ramesh


  1. ^ "Anahat 2008 results". UC Berkeley Indus. November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Gathe Raho 2009". UIowa ISA. February 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  3. ^ "A Bill in Support of Dil Se". Associated Students of the University of California. September 20, 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  4. ^ "A Bill in Support of Dil Se". Associated Students of the University of California. February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  5. ^ "India's Republic Day Celebrations in San Francisco". Siliconeer Magazine. February 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 

External links[edit]