Who is Tesher? Indian-Canadian singer of 'Jalebi Baby' teams up with Jason Derulo

The man behind the viral Punjabi-English song has been creating mash-ups of international hits and Bollywood songs for years

If there’s a viral song going around, could Jason Derulo be far behind?

The hitmaker, known for tracks such as Trumpets and Whatcha Say, as well as last year's viral TikTok song Savage Love, has now added his name to another popular number.

Derulo has recorded a new version of Jalebi Baby, the Punjabi-English song that became all the rage on TikTok last year, with more than 3.1 million creations on the social media app.

Named after a dessert popular in South Asia, the original song, by Canadian rapper and producer Tesher, has been streamed more than 100 million times and spent more than 24 weeks atop the Official Charts’ Asian Music Top 40.

Tesher announced the collaboration with Deluro last month, telling fans they were “about to hear Hindi and Punjabi lyrics on Top 40 radio all over the world”.

“I can tell you the 2021 song of the summer is literally about an Indian sweet. And that's got to count for something,” he posted on Instagram.

Derulo has also been promoting the song, creating videos with it on TikTok, where he has more than 46 million followers.

On Wednesday, he posted a video of himself making and enjoying jalebis.

@jasonderulo

For those of you still wondering what a Jalebi is #jalebibaby @khabsaab_oc #millimeals

♬ Jalebi Baby - Official - Tesher & Jason Derulo

Who is Tesher?

Born Hitesh Sharma in Saskatchewan, Canada, to Indian parents from Punjab, the self-taught DJ’s love for music began when he accompanied his videographer father to Indian events and weddings as a young boy.

"My dad is extremely involved in the community and he decided to do videography for all these events. That eventually branched out to people asking him if he provides any DJ services. His reply was, 'No I don't, but I have a 11-year-old son who really likes computers and music.' That's how I started DJing and that was the start of it all," he told Man's World magazine.

Hip-hop fan Tesher, 25, then began to fuse that genre with Bollywood music, creating his signature sound.

His first taste of online fame came in 2019 thanks to his remix of Lil Nas X's record-breaking Old Town Road, with which he blended Bollywood song Ramta Jogi, from the 1999 film Taal.

The tune was widely shared on TikTok, with more than 488,000 creations, and now boasts more than three million streams on YouTube.

Encouraged by the success, Tesher released his first original composition, Young Shah Rukh, in February last year, inspired by King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan.

The song also samples a tune, Bole Chudiyan, from Khan's 2001 hit Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham ...

It soon caught the attention of Sony Music India, who decided to release it on their label.

But it's Jalebi Baby, which he released a few months later, that would take Tesher truly global. Entering charts around the world as well as gaining popularity online, the song has been streamed more than 11 million times on Spotify, 28 million times on YouTube and is No 4 globally on Shazam, according to Tesher.

And now it has the backing, and vocals, of Derulo, the most-followed artist on TikTok and the 12th most-followed overall on the platform.

"From day one, my biggest goal was always to bring South Asian sounds into the mainstream in a big way,” Tesher says in his post when he announced the Derulo collaboration.

“In a way that could push our culture forward and spotlight us authentically, free from stereotypes and overused tropes. Something that celebrated us, and that we could all be proud of.”

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