Having just released his brand new EP 'Same Cliche', SimplyBhangra.com thought it would be a good time to catch up with UK Born Panjab vocalist 'Jati Cheed', who is on the cusp of breaking through into the scene in a big way. Check out the interview below
For those who unaware of whom you are, give everyone a quick breakdown about who you are and what you do.
Jati Cheed: I am a British born Panjabi singer, from the West Midlands. I have been singing from the age of 15 since I was part of a band called Ajj Kal Deh Mudeh. Then started classical training and eventually was spotted and given a chance to sing on Realism Vol:1.
You’ve come from a somewhat self taught musical background, I hear you were in a live band at school, how did that come about?
Jati Cheed: Basically we were a bunch of friends having a good time, and luckily we could all play an instrument. Then one day we entered a talent show, and we couldn’t get enough of it. We played at other schools, colleges and Mela’s. I really loved it it was a shame that when we went to University, the band ended.
Being able to sing live on stage is important for any vocalist, do you get any nerves when you’re performing in front of a live crowd?
Jati Cheed: I do get nervous, but in a strange way I like that feeling, and when the performance starts the nerves change into something else, and it feels great. I can’t explain the how important it is to see the reaction of people listening to your music. It doesn’t matter how many CD’s you sell, because you’re not there when people listen to them.
Your mum is a Panjabi teacher, how important is it to ensure you and new vocalists in general actually have the correct pronunciation of the words you are singing?
Jati Cheed: It’s vital to have correct pronunciation, for singers especially from the UK, because we represent the UK Asian population worldwide and if we aren’t going to pronounce correctly then how will people understand us.
I’m a strong believer in my mother tongue and thankfully as you said my mother’s a Panjabi teacher. I have been learning from an early age, and it has helped me understand Panjabi music in a deep way. Also it has given me the ability to have meaningful conversation with Panjabi lyricists and really get into depth with what they want to portray in a song
You first caught my attention on ‘Jaan’ from the album ‘Realism Vol 1’ which went somewhat unappreciated by the majority of the public. How did you first get your big break to sing on this album??
Jati Cheed:It’s a tough world out there, especially when nobody knows who you are. I had been singing for about 3 years prior to that and making new friends in the industry was very important to me. The more friends you have the better the chance of them remembering you when a chance crops up. So ‘Sunny’ the producer remembered me and gave me call. He showed me the track and we both gelled with each other.
From releasing Jaan you’ve featured on a few different albums, has this period been you testing the waters so to speak, to see what kind of sound you want?
Jati Cheed: Not really, I am still testing out my sound even now. I really took the opportunity to work with different producers, and to gain experience in the studio. I learnt so much working with such big names as PBN, Ominous DJs and DJ Dips. It was like musical work experience.
You’ve come back with ‘Same Cliche’ before we get onto the actual song, what’s the story behind the title?
Jati Cheed: It’s about everyday things, the clichés of life. A lot of songs out there have the same theme but different name. I think the name is quite obvious with a little something different in the song.
The song itself has a really strong summer feel to it, are you hoping it catches on in time for summer?
Jati Cheed: If we get a summer it would be great if it did catch on, and from the response I get without even talking about the summer, people are saying the same thing. It is very summery and a happy song, and that’s just what we need right now.
Can you give us any info on the EP releasing and what we can expect from it?
Jati Cheed: The EP is out now, via iTunes, Amazon, Play.com and all good music stores. The Same Cliché EP consists of the Radio Edit, Club Edit, Dance Remix by DJ’s Inc and Desi Cliche produced by myself. It’s a typical EP release with a version for everyone.
Hearing you on BBC West Midlands, you sounded great singing live, can we expect full acoustic versions of your songs from you in the future?
Jati Cheed: Thanks, acoustic sessions are so raw and random, that’s why I love them. I would like to do more acoustic sessions and even release something, but nothing in the pipeline yet.
It seems you’re one of the few artists who is thinking outside the box and doing something different from the rest, is it fair to say that a lot of new artists lack their own identity to their music?
Jati Cheed: I’m not sure, maybe these are their identities. I can only speak for myself, I wanted to make good music, regardless of what genre so it happened to be something unexpected. It’s up to us the artists to push music forward and take it to places where it’s never been.
I hear there’s also a album in the pipeline, with Same Cliché offering a different alternative to UK Bhangra, will the album provide more out the box ideas?
Jati Cheed: Yes and no, the album will be a mix of everything. I’m not just a Bhangra Singer, I’m a Panjabi Singer. So I’ll be showcasing all types of genres. Some songs are typical Bhangra tracks, and some with a western sound.
The BBC Asian Network is all but set to close, as a upcoming artist how do you think this will affect you, and do you see other media outlets filling the void?
Jati Cheed: It’s a real big shame about the Asian Network. Obviously it’s going to be a bad thing. The ability to connect with national and international listeners will be lost. The only way to overcome this will be to concentrate on all the smaller radio stations and TV stations. One good thing that’ll come out of it will be having more live shows. Getting back to basics.
You’re signed up to 4 Play Recordings who have really seemed to have grasped the concept of promoting their artists the correct way, do you still think certain elements of the Bhangra industry are stuck in the 90’s?
Jati Cheed: I wish we were stuck in the 90’s, at least there would be more live bands out. But getting back to the point, I think its important to use all the media opportunities we have, Now we have dedicated Bhangra TV channels, dedicated Asian programs on English radio. I think the internet has had a negative and a positive role, with illegal downloading but also allowing people to hear music before you buy and just buying tracks that they like.
In an ideal scenario, were would you like to see your musical career two years from now
Jati Cheed: Two years from now I would like to be in the position were I’ve had 3 successful albums with the opportunity to have represented Asian music were it hasn’t gone before, be it, geographically of musically.
Thanks for taking time out for the interview, any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
Jati Cheed: A very big thank you to SimplyBhangra.com for giving me the opportunity to contact their readers and thanks to all the readers for their love and support. The album’s coming, Summer 2010, so keep listening.
The EP 'Same Cliche' by Jati Cheed is out now via Amazon MP3, iTunes and all other digital outlets!