New Delhi: For his very first album, Steven Kapur, also known as Apache Indian, signed a contract worth 250,000 - one of the largest sums paid for a debut album by a non-white artist.
"I was surprised it was so popular in India. I think they picked up phrases like Sweet like jalebi. That was fantastic,” he says.
And the song Boom Shak-a-Lak made Apache Indian a name to reckon with on the world music stage, with the track being used in five Hollywood flicks including Dumb & Dumber and Scooby Doo 2.
Eleven years and loads of dreadlocks later, Steven hopes to drum up the same magic with his new album, called Sadhu, which he hopes will show people the maturity his music has gained.
"I'm celebrating my culture, my multi-culture if you like, and it's been accepted,” he says.
For an Indian immigrant who was born and raised in Birmingham, the epicenter of reggae music in the UK, Apache Indian managed to achieve a middle path that led him to collaborate with Shaggy, Maxi Priest, Luciano, pop icon Boy George and more recently Sean Paul and Beyonce Knowles.
"It's nice to be doing something with Sean Paul and the Fugees. It's like they have accepted you, your style of music and they want to add to you. It's nice to know music has no language, no colour, some of us don't even know each other's language, but we can sing together and perform together,” he says.
And a little known fact about Apache: He tried his hand at acting in a movie, Love Story 98 opposite Jaya Prada, produced by Bappi Lahiri.
Now, Apache wants to give acting a go again, though this time for different reasons. "I'm waiting to meet Amitabh Bachchan. I have never met him,” he says.