‘Gonna head on down to Oak Tree Road’ – Lil Nas X parody pays homage to NJ’s South Asian community

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“Yeah, I’m gonna head on down to Oak Tree Road. I’m gonna learn about my culture, yo.” Those are the opening lyrics to “Oak Tree Road,” a song and music video parody of Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road.”

Oak Tree Road in Middlesex County stretches through Edison and the Iselin section of Woodbridge. It has become the center of central New Jersey’s booming South Asian community. Oak Tree Road was once called “America’s liveliest Little India” by the New York Times due to the culture, food and retail shops along the roadway.

The “Oak Tree Road” music video stars well-known Indian American actor Omi Vaidya, who grew up in California. It features him dancing, singing and eating his way through the neighborhood as he gets in touch with his culture.

The video was co-directed by Priyanka Shah, along with fellow New Jersey native Heerak Shah

“The response has been amazing,” Priyanka says.

The directors say that the inspiration for the video came from the heart and from their experience growing up in New Jersey.

“I think there’s a lot of millennials that are just saying, ‘Wow, I resonate with this video so much. This is my childhood,’” Priyanka says. “Any time I’ve wanted to experience India outside of India within the states, it’s always been, ‘Hey mom, hey dad, hey friends. Let’s go to Oak Tree Road.’”

The “Oak Tree Road” video was posted on YouTube on Jan. 26 and has over 84,000 views.

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