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Watch: Why are so many Indian dancers covering Ed Sheeran’s hit ‘Shape Of You’ in their own styles?


By now everyone, but everyone, has watched videos of Indians performing to Ed Sheeran’s chartbuster Shape of You – from IIT Roorkee students to odissi and kathak dancers and even bhangra.

The English singer-songwriter’s single has been leading on the Dance Club Songs chart ever since its release on January 6 – the kind of success that only 18 songs have achieved since 1991.

Apparently the song’s unusual rhythm of 96 beats per minute makes it a big draw for younger audiences. But as any Sheeran fan would know, Shape of You is not in the singer’s usual style, which leans more towards classic melody and sophisticated, heartfelt lyrics.

“‘Shape of You’ is trickier, a nimble and effective song that takes the aggressive thinning of ‘Caribbean music’.”

As noted by many music critics, the song is famous for its marimba looped beats. Interestingly, it was originally written for R&B singer Rihanna, who comes from Barbados.

News website Metro wrote that it sounds similar to the American singer Sia’s Cheap Thrills – a “reggae-tinged,” bouncy song which has also been a fascination for Indian artists.

Genres like dance hall and tropical house have increasingly become common in pop songs, and a source of inspiration…

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