Nitasha’s debut single, ‘Laila’, is set to rouse the senses very soon and guarantees to offer just that little extra. So what better way to find out more about the single and what else she has been upto, SimplyBhangra.com caught up with her to bring you this Exclusive interview.
Yo! You’re still relatively new to the scene, so for those who haven’t heard of you give everyone a quick lowdown about Nitasha
Nitasha: Well I’m a singer/songwriter signed to The Sound Pipe Records. I’m working on my debut album and my first single ‘Laila’ featuring Bee2 and Horizon which will be out on the 29th August. The video for ‘Laila’ will be out soon so watch out for that too.
First and foremost you’re signed up to the ever growing Sound Pipe records, who in my opinion are one of the few labels out there that are willing to take risks on new artists and invest in them. How did you manage to hook up with them?
Nitasha: Since I was very young, I was part of a community centre in my hometown (Reading). At the time, Bee2 was teaching classes of Bhangra and dhol which I was a part of and had told him that I sung and asked me to send him a demo. Bee2 was very impressed with my demo but as The Sound Pipe Records was not established, we remained in touch until things seemed to take off with his record company. A few months later, I got a call from Bee2 asking me if I was still interested in pursuing a career in music and went into the studio, auditioned and here I am, now working on my debut album.
You sing in Hindi, English & Punjabi but what do you feel most comfortable on and what should we expect more of from you in the future?
Nitasha: My comfort zone is singing English but I like to stick to my roots and show my versatility. My first single ‘Laila’ is a good example of that. The main body of the song is English but the hook line is in Hindi. We’re trying to make each song on the album different from the next and that’s why we’re taking our time with it as we’re trying to find the right sounds. So you can expect my album to sound raw and different from anything else out there.
Your new single ‘Laila’ is out soon (29/8/08), I understand it features a number of mixes on it, can you give us a breakdown of what types of sounds to expect and who else features on the single.
Nitasha: The single ‘Laila’ will have 3 songs on it. The original version and two remixes. The original version features me, Bee2 and a rapper named Horizon who is another artist signed to The Sound Pipe Records. It’s got an R n B and Arabic vibe to it. The first remix is called the Fatal Attraction featuring myself, Bee2 and Horizon again. This version’s got a mysterious vibe to it and is more edgy, which I would say has more of an urban sound to it. The second remix is called the Spanish Fly remix which features Bee2 and a rapper called Ramone and a female rapper called Linzy. This is more of a party theme which has a Spanish sound to it, hence the name Spanish Fly remix.
What was the thinking behind releasing a single first? Is the album still in the making?
Nitasha: The single is coming out first because we’re still currently working on the album and by putting a single out in the market it gives us an opportunity to try and find a sound that is new and not been done before and also to see the response to it.
The album is still in the process of being made and hopefully will be out early next year.
Is it too late to ask for an acoustic version of Laila as performed by you for the website? Maybe something to add to the album!
Nitasha: I didn’t actually realise the live acoustic version of ‘Laila’ would get such a positive response so I was pleasantly surprised by that. But yes, we could put it on the album as a bonus feature.
Females in the Asian music scene are limited to say the least, before the tie up with Sound Pipe Records, was it proving difficult for you to try and secure a break in the industry?
Nitasha: Female artists are limited to the scene as they don’t get the recognition they deserve. Everyone runs a mile the opposite way when they hear the name of a new female artist. I have to admit it is definitely harder for females to make their mark in the industry. Fortunately for me, so far the response I’ve had is unbelievable, especially from females. But I can honestly say that I have a great team behind me and The Sound Pipe Records have a lot of faith in me and have given me a great opportunity to showcase my musical ability.
Do you write your own lyrics, and how important do you think it is for artists to try and portray meaningful lyrics in songs, rather than repeat the whole ‘club story’.
Nitasha: I write my own lyrics and some of them are based on things that happen in my life and the people around me. I think it’s very important to have input in what you’re writing about because as the singer you will be the one who will be performing it and if you don’t feel what your singing then no-one else will. You have to believe in what you’re saying. Singing a song is like telling a story, and you basically have 3 minutes to do it in.
Your bio describes you to be a natural performer, you’ve certainly have been busy touring with the Sound Pipe crew doing melas and shows, as a new artist how important was it for you to gain invaluable experience performing to such big crowds?
Nitasha: We’ve been performing all over the UK and India too, doing a lot of melas and shows and they’ve really helped me gain experience as well as confidence, but you can never be too confident. I’ve been performing on stage since I was 5, but every time I’m about to go on I get really nervous. I think it’s good to be nervous, because it shows you’re aware of your surroundings. After all, every crowd is different and you can never be too comfortable performing in front of big crowds. The most important thing I’ve learnt about being on stage is that anything can go wrong and you have to be prepared.
Fast forward one year from now, were would you like to see yourself and what would you consider a success?
Nitasha: Hopefully my album would be out by then so it would be nice for it to do well and for people to like it. But to be honest it would be great to get recognition for making good music and whatever else comes with it is a huge bonus and God’s grace.
You state your inspirations range from Michael Jackson to Beyonce, but is there anyone from the Asian music scene who you have looked up to?
Nitasha: When I was asked to name a few people that inspired me musically, I really didn’t want to name just a few because there are so many artists that I could name! But honestly this might sound cheesy and I don’t even think Bee2 knows this because I’ve never told him but I actually really look up to him. I think he’s a great humble person and very talented. He’s taught me a lot in a short space of time and for him to give me this opportunity really means a lot to me.
For anyone still unsure about whether to go out and buy the new single, this is your pitch to try and convince them!
Nitasha: The single is called ‘Laila’ if you don’t know already and if you like to party then you should go and buy it. Its out on 29th August and you can order your copy on www.thesoundpipe.com. I think its time for female artists to get some support from everyone. So if you like the song, then go get your copy!
Nitasha: Firstly I would like to thank SimplyBhangra.com for their continuous support in my career so far, and their readers and anyone else who has taken the time out to read this. Thank you to The Sound Pipe Records for keeping faith in me. And last but not least a big thank you to everyone who’s supported me in my journey; it’s been great ride so far so thanks for the warm welcome.
Facebook: Nitasha Sharma