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rani taj
Born in England as Shahanara Taj, 18-year-old Rani Taj has quickly risen to become one of the most popular female dhol players after her version of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” became a YouTube viral hit. The dhol — a double-headed drum that’s beaten with two wooden sticks and is popularly used in Punjabi Bhangra music — has historically been played by men. But Taj, having learned the dhol from experts Harjit Singh of Azaad Dhol and the Dhol Blasters, has broken this tradition. Here she performs and explains how she creates the tantalizingly hypnotic beats.

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