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She’s so chic: Bollywood-influenced girl group plays in Dumbo

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These women are ready to groove!

A Brooklyn girl group will bring a blend of disco and Bollywood sounds to the Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge this week. The band Say She She, performing on Aug. 22 as part of Dumbo’s Live at the Archway series, draws inspiration from ’70s soul singers, Motown, and an Indian diva known for blending jazz and Indian classical music, said one of its three lead singers.

“Think Minnie Riperton meets the Supremes, with a sprinkling of Asha Puthli,” said Piya Malik. “All this doused heavily in the rhythmic wah-guitar, melodic synths, bansuri flute lines and badass horn section.”

Malik and fellow singers Sabrina Cunningham and Nya Parker Brown lead the eight-part band. The group’s name pays homage to one of their favorite acts, Malik said: Chic, who recorded the disco anthem “Le Freak.”

“The name Say She She is a silent nod to the band Chic, but also is a word-play on the French saying ‘it’s chic,’ ” she said. The French phrase “c’est chic” can sound like “Say She She” in English.

The band has been performing together for about a year, and has drawn attention because of its diverse influence, and the three-part harmony of its singers, said Malik.

“The main thing people comment on is how different our voices are individually but how they all blend together seamlessly,” she said.

The band has already recorded a few songs, and plans to debut two new dance tunes at the concert on Aug. 22.

“The new tracks we are debuting are about making people dance — we want to help people be uplifted, we want to play up the crowd because we feel good and want the audience to feel good,” Malik said.

The performance under the bridge will offer a rare chance for fans of all ages to enjoy the music in the open air, instead of in a spot restricted to those who are over 21.

“We’re excited to play this show because the acoustic of the archway is going to add to our sound, but also because we get to play for our friends that have children, because our performances are usually at nightclubs,” Malik said.

“Say She She” at the Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge (Water Street between Anchorage Place and Adams Street in Dumbo, www.dumbo.is). Aug. 22 at 6:15 p.m. Free.

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.
Updated 12:26 pm, August 21, 2019
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