India – Introducing India’s first transgender pop group, 6 Pack Band. Their remake of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” has over a million views on YouTube already. The band has retitled the song “Hum Hain Happy”.
This is the first of six songs they plan to release this year as they aim to raise transgender awareness in India.
In India, male to female transgender people are referred to as “Hijra’s” and are also referred to as “3rd Gender”. “We realized that the LGBT community in India is very different from the rest of the world. They belong to the lowest economic strata and are shunned by their family,” said Ashish Patil, head of Y-Films, which launched the band. “If this reaches out to more people, you look at them a little differently, with more tolerance,” he said. Shamir Tandon, who founded the group, auditioned over 200 people before settling on it’s six members. “The idea was to transcend boundaries, so we thought instead of doing a Hindi song lets do an English one. They are always happy despite the fact that people abhor them, disrespect them. Happy, we hope, will be heard by everybody in the world.”, said Tandon.
All the members of the group are from Mumbai and are between the ages of 22 and 23. Indian singer Sonu Nigam is also involved with the group.
The voice over at the beginning of the song was done by actress Anushka Sharma.
This marks the start of a new wave of transgender acceptance in India as it comes on the heels of the country announcing it’s first transgender police officer.