After 3 years AJD returns with his latest single titled “Put em up” we caught up with the artist earlier this week.
After 3 years, you return with another single called “Put em up”, On social media, you have mentioned “you say about time, I say right timing” Can you elaborate abit more?
Since my last release 'Khushiyan' which was back in Mid-2013, my schedule has been manic. Non stop DJ'ing, club events, international events. One thing that I could not answer to when asked was "When is your next single releasing?" - As much as I wanted to go back to the team and work on another project, time was the biggest issue. There got to a point where I had products ready, and was ready to launch promo campaigns and releases, however being a very hands on person with micro managing all aspects of my own promotion, I knew these would be half hearted efforts. This then lead onto delays.
It was a very fulfilling time in terms of my DJ work, however very frustrating too. Although my main line of work was busy, I wanted to give back on the music side of things. After being back and forth with "Put Em Up" from the studio out on events and taking back to perfect, I then had the audio ready late 2016. The video fell into place after being in talks with a video director (Surinder Birdi) through a mutual contact and good friend DJ KSR out in Canada, at the same time of heading out to Toronto for an event to DJ at. It was the perfect timing to bring the project together, to which you see now. As time has gone on, I was beginning to think "AJ it's about time you put something out" but the way how this project has fell into place has made me realise that it is actually "The right timing" for 'Put Em Up' to release.
What was your most memorable part whilst shooting and making the song?
Every moment is memorable, everything shares a great connection to the song. From the creation of the hook, to then getting the sample back from the vocalist (Amar Singh) displaying his devilish style on the vocal. I had been a big fan of Amar Singh prior to doing this song, it has been a pleasure to have him working on a project. Working on the product alongside talented musicians (Also from Derby) Kaos Productions, we actually had the audio finished of the song back in 2015, we were back and forth with the project for over 2 years perfecting it, but I am happy now that it took this while for the final product to become what it has (Which you see on Thursday!)
Shooting the video in Toronto was a great experience. The director (Surinder Birdi) displayed great leadership on the set and had everything co-ordinated well. I also shot a behind the scenes documentary for the video which will be releasing in due course. I loved the Canadian lifestyle and culture, very work-orientated, just what I needed for the video.
How is “Put em up” more unique compared to your previous releases and how did you come up with the concept for this song?
'Put Em Up' is simply a devilish Derby head-nod creation. Without having followed any trends or methods of whats working, this project is simply for those who enjoyed my last songs, and want more of the same. This is a statement to say that I have not gone anywhere and have not forgot about the support network that has been there for me over the years with previous releases.
As 4 years have progressed since the last release, the sound is a lot more fuller and richer, and I am happy that I have not followed the trend of it being commercial or happy style bhangra. Its a very dark, desi song that still has the stamp of UK Bhangra. One other standout thing is the vocalist, previously I had used Voice of Panjab winner Anantpal Billa (Billa Ferozepuria) for my previous two releases "Magic" and "Khushiyan", however this song I felt needed a more raw voice, and having been a fan of A.S Amar for quite a while, I had decided to bring his explosive vocal onto "Put Em Up"
The idea of the song was conceived by myself as I composed and wrote the hook of the song myself, as I have done with all of my previous projects too.
What are your views on the UK bhangra scene at the moment on how they’ve fallen so far behind to India and North America?
I wouldn't say the UK has fallen behind, UK Producers have just had to look at opportunities overseas in order for their work to capitalise. The UK I would say probably doesn't offer as much as a lucrative market when it comes to ventures abroad. UK producers such as Tru-Skool, Dr. Zeus, Tigerstyle and Aman Hayer are still producing for the biggest names in the Bhangra industry and also in Bollywood. These same names are the pioneers for a lot of other producers overseas whom I believe take influence from the names mentioned, but maybe shy away from saying.
The main thing I would say is the difference between the UK scene and the Overseas scene is Productivity. There are a lot more projects being released by India and the North America market compared to the UK.
What would you say is the best thing about being part of the Bhangra industry?
It's great, I just feel that our scene needs to have more togetherness in order to bring artists and performers together more often within the industry to give it that proper feel again.
And finally, you’ve achieved tremendous success winning multiple awards, what advice would you give to upcoming DJ’s and producers and how we can make UK bhangra stand up again?
The cliche answer would be to practice. However as well as practising, learn the trade, the industry, network, contact and branch out. Having talent is great however without a decent management team, you have to manage yourself, and if you cannot network or know how to come across to people, talent is commonly overlooked. I'm blessed for every nomination, recognition, testimonial, review and awards I have received, positive or negative, without it I would never know what I am doing well or wrong. On the outside I am greatful and blessed, and on the inside I have a fire that keeps my head down and working hard to achieve more.
You can follow me at Follow @ThisIsShinda