Starting out calling themselves The Jakes (after the first-name initials of the band’s original five members, who first met in high school), Young the Giant was initially signed by Roadrunner Records, releasing their self-titled debut in 2010, spawning three hit alternative singles, “My Body,” “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment.” A prominent performance on the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and a subsequent tour with Incubus found the debut album climbing to #42 on the Billboard 200. Released on Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic, Mind Over Matter (2014) reached #7 on the Billboard 200, while Home of the Strange (2016), which hinted at some of the immigration themes explored in American Bollywood, peaked at #12.
“We’ve carved our own path, which is pretty amazing,” says Sameer. “We don’t fit into the structure of American pop music. We check ‘other’ on the box. I was in denial of that for a while. Hopefully, we can bring a little brown to the white world of indie-rock. This album is a litmus test for whether we can make that a reality. I believe music has the ability to bring people together without being pedantic or preaching.”
Continuing to live up to his band’s unique name, Gadhia says, “We still believe in the power of being young, naive, innocent and optimistic. We always try to find the beauty in things.”
American Bollywood does just that, turning his family history and memories into a work of exquisite high art and popular appeal.
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