SimplyBhangra.com caught up with vocalist ADH, who is set to release his fourth solo release 'Taubah Taubah' this autumn. Check out the interview to find out more about ADH and his brand new album!
You’ve been around for quite a few years now, give a quick lowdown on who you are and what ‘ADH’ stands for?
ADH: ADH stands for Amarjit DHada which is my name. I started with Gabhru Panjab De Bhangra team in Birmingham as a backing singer and worked through to lead singer, then was offered a recording contract with Nachural Records who released my first album – ‘I want it all’ and I then released ‘4 folk sake’ on my own label which was also released in India by WSPL music. When I started to work on my third album – ‘Never Look Back’ I was offered a 3 album deal with Moviebox. So for the last 2 and a half years I’ve been working on the latest album - ‘Taubah Taubah’.
Being a UK born Panjabi vocalist, how hard do you think it is to be accepted by the audience?
ADH: Being in Gabhrus helped me develop my desi vocals. For UK singers it’s very hard to come through because sometimes its like people are just waiting to pick faults in your ability instead of encouraging them to improve and progress.
How did you initially get into singing and who is your ustaad (teacher)?
ADH: I took classical lessons from a guy called Pritam who teaches harmonium and tabla. Then singing with the Gabhrus really helped me.
You’ve been criticized in the past for over use of the ‘auto-tuner’, however your new single ‘taubah taubah’ you seem to have dropped the auto tune. What was your decision behind dropping it and can we expect more of the same throughout the new album.
ADH: The autotune thing was not done out of choice but because of budgets. The albums ‘I want it all’ and ‘4 folk sake’ had to have my guide vocals as final vocals due to budgeting, thus the use of autotune. I believe my vocals have improved and this album being my 4th album I wanted to showcase this.
Your new album has been produced by some of the biggest names in the Bhangra industry? Can you give us a low down on all the producers used and how you managed to hook up with the likes of Bally Jagpal to feature on your album.
ADH: All the producers on this album I also worked with on ‘Never look back’ apart from Hunterz, who is someone I always thought was immensely talented and wanted to work with so we hooked it up. Aman Hayer was a big boost when he agreed to work on the Manak saab track and Bhota, Bally and BS Productions (formerly N-zo) were a natural choice after what they did on ‘Never look back’.
Oh, do you have any idea when the B21 album is releasing? (lol)?
ADH: I can’t put a date on B21s album but from what I’ve heard it’s dangerous and worth the wait, the guys are amazing.
You also feature some very interesting vocal collaborations with Hunterz and Miss Pooja. However you have also teamed up with the legendary Kuldeep Manak. How did that collaboration come about again?
ADH: I approached Manak saab when he was in the UK and his team got me to sing a couple of tracks and then with Manak saab before agreeing to the collabo. His team said Manak saab does not work with anybody who would disrespect or degrade his work hence why he has only sang with Jazzy B and Avtar maniac.
I’ve also heard that you have produced a song yourself? How hard is it producing a song from scratch?
ADH: I’ve actually produced 2 tracks and written 1 of them. When you get a track you have an idea in your head how you would like it to sound and what instruments etc. So I sat down with Kamraan (Moviebox) and said whoever does this track (Ishq) this is the vibe I want. He sat back listened and said why don’t you go in studio and try it… i was like 'you what mate?!'. So he booked a studio for me, I got the musicians in, started putting the track together and it came out nice. I purposely got in English engineers in for the recording and never even told the other producers I was doing this. I didn’t want anyone saying I had paid someone else to produce the track and put my name on it. The other track I’ve produced is ‘Tu ni jaandi'.
One thing I can say about ADH is that with every album you have improved and progressed as a artist and vocalist, which is a very rare thing in the scene. How would you say you have developed from the ADH who brought out Mirza (Ready or Not) in 2001 to the ADH who is about to release ‘Taubah Taubah’ in 2009.
ADH: I’ve improved and matured a lot and that has a lot to do with the people I work with and the company I keep. I’m learning and improving everyday.
Your last album ‘Never Look Back’ was a big step up for you, both in terms in the use of producers and music videos. Do you now feel that ‘Never Look Back’ set the benchmark for you?
ADH: ‘Never look back’ did put a lot of pressure on me to come back with something if not stronger at least on par with that because the response I had for that album was overwhelming and to a point changed the perception of ADH in the market.
Have you got your own live band? Or is this something you are looking at?
ADH: A band is something I am working on as we speak but I also have my roadshow which features Phantom touring entertainment and the Gabhrus as a package.
As i just mentioned videos played a big part in ‘Never Look Back’, have you looked at the same high level of videos for ‘Taubah Taubah’. I asked Sardara Gill this same question but who’s B.S productions?
ADH: BS Productions is a guy from Birmingham who produces really good music...
Recently we’ve seen a new influx of UK born vocalists such as JK, Jaz Dhami & Rana Sahota. Alongside these new vocalists, do you think the scene also needs young musicians as opposed to young djs?
ADH: A couple of years ago there were hundreds of DJs coming through so its really good that UK born vocalists are coming back and the standard they are setting is very high too. Respect to them all.. one thing the industry needs is more musicians.
You’ve already worked alongside some of the biggest names, but if you could have one special collaboration with ANY artist, who would it be and why?
ADH: I couldn’t just name 1 collaboration because there are so many great ones.
You performed at the Kaka Bhainiawala tribute gig in June, how did his untimely death affect you?
ADH: Kaka was an amazing singer who’s fan base was increasing day by day, track by track and in the next 12-18 months I think he could of been right at the top so his passing was very unfortunate and my deepest condolences go out to this family.
Ok now’s a time where you have to pick one or the other. Only one answer!
Shinda or Jazzy - Jazzy always been a big fan... (no disrespect to you Shinda paaji)
Miss Pooja or Sudesh Kumari - Miss pooja
Bally or Bhoota - B21
Saag or Daal - Butter chicken
PA or Live - Live
Man United or Liverpool - Liverpool
Thanks for taking time out for this interview! We wish you all the best for the new album, do you have any final message for your fans and the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
ADH: Respect guys for the interview and supporting the projects.
'Taubah Taubah' will be releasing Autumn 2009 on the Moviebox label