Every once in a while, a song comes along that transcends cultures and becomes a multinational hit, bringing people together. We've seen it with Psy's "Gangnam Style," Don Omar's "Danza Kuduro," and a bevy of other unforgettable international hits.
However, most recently one song that has been stirring the pot and gaining a lot of streams in the process is "Jalebi Baby," a release by Canadian artist Tesher that has already garnered some big co-signs.
You might've heard "Jalebi Baby" online at some point or another already, but what exactly does the song mean? Here's everything we know about the origins of the viral song.
So, what exactly does "Jalebi Baby" mean? It derives from a pretty popular snack food.
The song, which was originally released on Nov. 13, 2020, by the 25-year-old Canadian-Punjabi star, quickly went viral in the native Punjabi language, and its fame can be attributed to its core meaning aligning with one of South Asia's most popular desserts, jalebi.
Jalebi, also known as jilapi, jilipi, zulbia, mushabak, and zalabia, is a sweet Indian snack that has been popular in areas spanning most of South Asia as well as the Middle East. It's similar to American funnel cake; it is made by simply deep-frying a flour-based batter into a shape reminiscent of a pretzel or circle. The shapes are then soaked in sugar syrup and are served warm or cold.
In an interview with PopShift, Tesher gave some insight into why he chose the popular dessert to be the backbone of his hit song. According to him, the dessert serves as an innuendo for some more risqué ideas.
The artist admitted that "Cheti means fast in Punjabi, so I’m literally giving directions, 'Shawty take it slow and then go fast.' I know this is a lyric explain video, but I think it’s actually best that the chorus is just interpreted by the audience however you’d like."
"For me personally … when I say, 'Baby let me eat it, I just want to see it,' I’m not talking about jalebis. And I’ll leave it at that," he said while smirking.
Clearly, although Tesher wrote the song on face-value about dessert, he's talking about something that he finds to be much sweeter than simply a popular street snack.
The song was originally released in Punjabi but was dubbed into English with Jason Derulo's help.
Although the song originally came out at the tail end of 2020, it was relaunched in 2021 by Tesher and artist Jason Derulo. Thanks to a new Universal Music India and Capitol Records merger, the two stars were able to get in the studio together. Now, there are both English and Punjabi versions of the song, and it has gone on to become one of Shazam's highest-charting tracks in about 25 countries.
The song was a viral sensation in its own right when only Tesher's version existed, but with the help of Jason, it has gone truly viral, with countless posts across various social media channels showcasing fans showing off their moves to the infectious melody.
Even Jason posted a video to his Instagram to help clarify the feature for some of his fans. And it showed himself actually cooking jalebis!
"For those of you still wondering what a Jalebi is," he wrote.