Having just released his second single 'Jatt Diyan Reesan', UK Born Singer S Klass caught up with SimplyBhangra.com to talk about his new single and his thoughts on the industry.Check out the interview below
For those who might be unaware, tell us a little about who S Klass is?
S Klass: Well where do I start??? My name is Sandeep Singh Soomal, friends and family call me Sunny but my stage name is S Klass. I can’t really remember how this came about but its just something that has stuck and we've just gone with it. I was born and raised in Scunthorpe. I'd describe myself as a fun outgoing confident and ambitious individual. My love of music came from a young age when I began learning tabla at the local Gurdwara, Throughout my school days I also learnt to play the English drum kit and the dhol. I've always had a passion for singing and more recently I have taken up learning the vaja and vocal lessons. 2010 has been a great year for me with the release of my debut single 'Dil Di' and the second single 'Jatt Diyan Reesan'
You released your debut single 'Dil Di' back in February 2010 as a free download. How do you feel the response was for that single?
S Klass: The response to Dil Di has been absolutely amazing. I cant thank people enough for the positive comments good wishes and respect they have given the single and myself. I was told it has had the highest volumes of downloads of any single in the history of SimplyBhangra, so thank you to you guys for getting my music out there and getting it heard. It has truly inspired me to work harder and produce even better music.
As a relative newcomer to the Bhangra scene, you along with others are always susceptible to criticism, especially as UK born vocalists. What would you say to those critics?
S Klass: I feel you are always going to face criticism in any field you enter and as a newcomer you have to expect it. Criticism is a good thing providing it is constructive and positive. Only then can people take the criticism on board and hopefully improve. By no means am I the finished article, far from it but I hope to keep learning and keep improving. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I am and I'm loving every second of it. 'Living the dream'
Do you think newcomers are given much of a chance by the general audience? Is one song good enough to judge a upcoming producer/vocalist?
S Klass: It's not easy but I guess it's the same for all newcomers. The last year has seen an influx of UK based singers and producers, it's good to see. One song’s never enough. Good or bad. To be a respected artist singer or producer you have to follow up a good single with a good album and then that with another and another. It’s all about longevity.
You've followed up 'Dil Di' with your new single 'Jatt Diyan Reesan', what made you work with Gupsy Aujla?
S Klass:I've always respected Gupsy paji as a producer and as a musician, I like his sound and style of production. I met up with him and sang him the song, luckily for me he really liked it and that was it. He put a lot of time and effort into the production of JDR and it was a great experience for me working with him. There will be other projects with Gupsy in the near future.
You recently did a great live set on BBC radio, how important is it for you to try and sing live (with a band) when you perform?
S Klass: It's extremely important, I think I’m speaking here for all musicians/singers when I say that theres no better feeling than performing live. The live session on the BBC was a great experience for me and it was great to be able to work with some amazing musicians (Bally Gill- keys, Prem aka Nigel- dholak, Gaggan- tabla) Performing live gives each individual musician a chance to show off there art and skills and come together to produce fantastic sounds.I was brought up listening to bands like Apna Sangeet, A S Kang Malkit Singh Achanak DCS Jazzy B.I'd only go to weddings if there was going to be a live band playing, I'd just stand near the stage watching the musicians thinking to myself one day I'd love to be up there.
Do you have any plans to set up a permanent live band in the near future?
S Klass: It is something that we are working towards and hopefully next year you might see S Klass with a full live band. I really don’t see the point in turning up to shows and miming over a cd!!! 90% of the time the crowd don’t even know that the artist is there, may aswell just let the dj play the song. But unfortunately this is the way the scene seems to be going, and it is a great shame because there are some really talented musicians out there.
The UK Bhangra scene has more recently moved towards singles as opposed to releasing full albums. As a newcomer do you think releasing singles have their benefits?
S Klass: They do and they don’t. As a newcomer its quite a big risk to drop an album straight away because people may not necessarily support it or buy it as you are unknown in many ways. Secondly it isn’t always financially viable to produce market and release a whole album. Releasing songs can be quite expensive so unless you are backed by a big label or have plenty of your own money it’s hard. I can see why people release singles I myself have released two but it is all in preparation for the album.
I hear you're working with Jeeti on your next project; can you give us any more information on this?
S Klass: You hear very right. I knew there was a reason they call you the home of bhangra online. We are currently working on the next single called 'nachley' music is by Jeeti Productions and lyrics by Davinder Sangha (kale sanghe vaala) theres no official release date set as of yet but December is looking promising. I'm sure you guys will find out first. Jeeti is also producing a couple of other songs on the album.
Whose music have you been listening to over the past 12months?
S Klass: I've been listening to a lot of stuff from India. Master Saleem, Sabar Koti, Kaler Kanth, I think one of the biggest influences Ive had this year musically has been the amazing Satinder Sartaaj, I find him truly inspirational and he is a great talent not to mention a genius!! From the UK Jaz Dhami's cd got a lot of play in my car along with Kulvinder Johal, JK and yes i do listen to my own songs.
Do you think UK born singers are often overlooked by UK producers; who are quick to go to Panjab for vocals, or often simply buy online?
S Klass: A lot of the singers that are used by UK producers are well established and are very very good at what they do so I can see why a producer would want to use their vocals and work with them. However there is a lot of good talent in the UK so maybe if there could be a happy medium where as keep using the established well known vocalists but also try and help and promote homegrown vocalists.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
S Klass: I want to take over the world.... but that’s highly unlikely so instead i will be working hard on the music, the new single should be out before the end of the year and then full steam ahead with the rest of the album which I would like to release for summer next year. Will be doing some work in India in the early part of next year with a big video collaboration with Tingling Design. I'm also going to be doing some collaborations with other UK producers and featuring on a couple of other albums so watch this space. Outside of the music world I've just recently set up my own business so most of my time gets taken up with that.
Thanks for taking time out for this interview, any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
S Klass: The pleasure was all mine. Thanks. I'd like to thank all the readers for taking the time out. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and my music, the last few months have been amazing. Keep supporting the music and keep checking out SimplyBhangra. Jatt Diyan Reesan is out now available on iTunes so get your copy now. Oh Chakdey!!!