Trinidad & Tobago
Sunday 6 June 2010 : 9:16 GMT
Dil E Nadan was formed in Trinidad in 1957 by the late Usaf Khan and Ramnarine Moonilal. In 1962, the group won the Prime Minister's Trophy for best Indian orchestration, judged by the late, great Mohammed Rafi. The band enjoyed much success in the years to follow, and dominated the local Indian music industry.
In the 80s, the band boasted the best singers the country had at the time (namely, Nazimul and Ruby, Ras Nancoo), and with them toured, mainly in Canada, Guyana and Suriname. In the mid 80s, two of Ramnarine's sons, Rennie and Raymond, joined the group as percussionists; they then moved on to the trumpet, and then guitar and keyboard. Soon, with a push from then manager Haseeb Majid, Raymond began his career as lead singer.
Raymond entered the national duet singing competition with Swarsati Maraj in 1989, and won first place. This proved to be the start of the rise of Indian culture amongst the youth of Trinidad and Tobago. The next year, Raymond entered Mastana Bahar, where he placed second in the grand finals in which, Rennie, the eldest brother, also sang. That same year, the youngest of the brothers, Richard, joined the band as a tabla and dholak player.
Dil E Nadan first performed in New York in 1993, at York College in Queens with a show that sold out a week in advance. In 1996, the band was signed to Soca Paradise (Ramesh Singh), and released their first CD, People's Choice. The success seemed to have only just begun as, in 1997, they became the first to tour Holland and Spain. In 1999, Richard, at the tender age of 19, became the youngest manager in Trinidad, and soon after, Dil E Nadan became the first chutney group to perform at the world renowned Brass Festival and Youth fest. They hold the record for the most awards (24) at the 103fm awards show.The band is currently sponsored by Bmobile and Stag, and recently signed a five year deal with Bollywood LTD in Holland for performances in Europe.