"Surprise of the day came from a band called Manooghi Hi, a genre-bending group of Seattle locals plus a key import... ... what a fascinating sound. Imagine the emotional grandeur of Wolf Parade fronted by a female Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan."
-Jonathan Zwickel, Listen.com –August 2008
"Spectacular Indian-born vocalist Mehnaz was a pop phenomenon in her native country before moving to Seattle. Her six-piece outfit Manooghi Hi blend arena-sized Anglo-American rock with Indian wind, string and percussion instruments and Mehnaz's impassioned trilingual utterances. Their sound has plenty of ramalamasala."
-Dave Segal, the Stranger –August 2008
"...my ears got all melty the first time I heard “Kismet,” the astounding opening track on the new album by Manooghi Hi [a Seattle band] fronted by a gorgeous, successful and somewhat unconventional Bombay pop singer named Mehnaz. [Kismet] blows up into a Big Rock Elton John starburst, replete with madcap pixie strings and Beatles flashbacks. Then the band sinks back into the initial riff as Mehnaz invokes Buddha and Jesus and Hendrix and Andy Warhol, which sounds like it would be corny but actually starts the globe spinning so fast that east and west really don’t mean much anymore and everybody is coming to party. Finally she starts to wail in Hindi, or maybe Bengali (what do I know?) as the final one-chord riff builds to a sheltering sky crescendo that’s about as close to “Kashmir” as I expect to hear in many a moon. Robert Plant is gonna cream in his jeans when he hears this...The album never seems restlessly eclectic or muddled, but instead hums with an intense hunger to make music that does not skirt on top of differences but dives so deep that the molten core of unity starts to glow on the horizon. Its like those Sufi dancers who start out slowly spinning in a space with well-defined compass points until they don’t know where they are anymore, and its all a yearning blur." --Erik Davis www.techgnosis.com
FROM "BANOONGI MEIN" TO "MANOOGHI HI"
She first took India by storm in 1996 with her mega hit song "Banoongi Mein" (Miss India). Over the next decade Mehnaz had a number of successful genre bending follow-ups, including the beautiful "Mausaum". Then, the "indi-pop diva," took a leap of faith and flew to the Emerald City [Seattle] to chase a distant though impassioned dream. Here she joined forces with some well-known musicians who opened new doors for her.....
After her initial introduction in May 2007, an intense and well-received performance at "The Triple Door" nightclub, she returned in November to collaborate with Mark Nichols and Todd Fogelsonger to create original songs for what's now Manooghi Hi, and a sound that aggressively combines two very distant worlds.
This blend of Traditional south Asian rhythmic sounds, words, and melodies, and American rock, theatrical pop and a soulful sweetness is a stew you have not heard before..ever.