"Gurjot Sandhu is one of the newest Punjabi artists to come out of Canada with his release of Ishq Nachaya with music from Intense and a feature from Binder Bajwa. Jovan Heer had the opportunity to sit with Gurjot and talk to him about his debut track and what the future holds for this talented Canadian born artist."
Where did you get the inspiration to become a singer and what inspired you to make this track?
My love for music stems from being involved in Bhangra teams, playing the Dhol/Tumbi/Algoze. Slowly over time being involved in the Punjabi scene in Edmonton and Alberta, I became more and more involved in my roots. I always had the passion to sing but never thought about pursuing it fully.
Over the last 2 years my friends and family had pushed me to pursue this passion further. Without them I would have not taken this opportunity to produce my first single. Furthermore the biggest push for this track came from my friends Harvey Panesar, DJ Palay, and DJ Juicy. They were the ones who helped assemble this track and made it all possible. Having a friend circle that is always there to support you is the key to staying motivated and on track!
What can you tell us about your debut single?
This single came together because of all my friends that pushed me. Sitting around over the year my friends would ask me to sing for them at parties, and one of my favourite tracks to sing was Ishq Nachaya.
The song Ishq Nachaya originates from the Edmonton Vocalist Binder Bajwa, lyrics from Edmonton’s Pavitter Dhaliwal and Music by Code Red. From there on, my friends came up with the idea to redo the song Ishq Nachaya and create a modern bhangra vibe up to date, and luckily enough Binder fully supported us in doing so.
The hard part was deciding whether to make it a full out desi style song or something for the youth here which would be more relaxed and easy enough for them to sing along with, which then we decide to go with a basic singing style for the youth. Further on into the planning phase, we got Intense in on the project.
Having his experience and presence in the music industry with his tracks Diamond Koka and Suit, he was the best for us. From there on it all became a reality.
How long has this process taken to release this track and music video? What was involved in making it all happen?
This whole project was done over the span of 3 months, but had always been in the back of our minds for the last year. My friends M Dhadwal and Patwant Singh started to prep me slowly, helping with riyaz and overall practise.
Sitting down late at night and making music and practise anything we had, literally just have weekly mehfils. From that point on I got the push to produce the track. To make it all happen I had to travel to Intense and we tirelessly worked day and night on this track.
As soon as I had gotten back, I got Binder in the studio and got his vocals recorded to add on to the track. Having the original singer in my debut single was very important to me, because he is one of the most influential Punjabi artists that has been looked up to in the Edmonton community.
Without his guidance and blessings this track would have been incomplete. Then locally I had my friends come together in preparing the concept for the music video and getting everything ready for the shoot. Having the massive support from Edmonton, we wanted to shoot the video locally to make it an Edmonton Bhangra Anthem!
Who do you model your singing style after?
I draw inspiration from some of the legendary singers and new versatile singers, and view them as role models in my pursuit for this passion. However to pin point some of the singers I would definitely say some of the new generation singers such as Akhil, Prabh Gill, Ammy Virk, Garry Sandhu and for the legendary singers I would say Kuldeep Manak, Wadali Brothers, Amrinder Gill and our local artist Binder Bajwa.
You worked with Intense on this track, how was it working with him in the studio? What were you able to learn or take away from that experience?
Working with Intense was a great learning experience, the amount of knowledge Intense has when producing music is just unbelievable. He guides you through every little step and prepares you for the final recording stage. Words cannot express the time, effort and talent he puts into his work.
As a Canadian artist what do you think the challenges are of breaking out into the Punjabi music industry? What do you have to do to be successful and stay relevant?
The biggest challenge I would say is getting the same recognition level that compares to India and UK artists. To be successful in the market here it highly relies on the amount of marketing you put in for yourself and the number of track you release, both which also correlate with finances.
As well being over here working full time jobs or being in school for some also make it hard to balance everything. However with more and more producers coming out of Canada, it is easier for locals to record and release tracks.
What do we have to look forward to in the next few years from you?
For the upcoming years, I have some projects lined up that showcase my different styles of singing. Tracks ranging from Dancefloor bangers to chilled out R’n’B tracks, something for everyone in the audience.
My first track Ishq Nachaya is a chilled Bhangra vibe for the youth to enjoy and sing along, my next project is going to be a totally folk Punjabi style song, that really emphasizes Punjabi wording.
What would you like to say to the SimplyBhangra.com followers?
Thank you to Simply Bhangra for the support on my Debut Single. I would like to say that never give up what you have a passion for, at any moment you may get the push to fulfill your dreams!
Lastly support local artists in your community, in the end we are all united through music!
I encourage everyone to follow me on my social media (at the links below) through my musical journey.
You can follow me at Follow @JovanHeer