For those who don’t know, tell us about DDS & who you are?
DDS is my stage/producer name. I've been Djing for just over 14 years and started producing basic beats around that tome too. I have always had a strong desire to create music but projects were overshadowed by putting blood, sweat and tears into building a successful entertainment service. With some serious commitment, I have since managed to bring my vision to fruition and have completed my debut album and I’m ready to release a variety of singles from it.
You first broke onto the scene with your debut single ‘Ik Jindree’ which featured collaboration between two north American acts; Ishmeet Narula & Bikram Singh. How did you manage to make this happen?
This collaboration came about by sheer chance from where I was standing as it was not part of the original album. But as they say, everything happens for a reason and both North American talents were best placed to create something fresh and original. The story goes - I was in NYC, playing alongside Bikram Singh and he mentioned he had written another duet to which the lyrics were unfinished. He sang the first verse along with the chorus and I fell in love with the song. I then took the song back to the UK to start working on it. Once the music was lovingly crafted I flew Bikram out to the DDS Mix Factory and we finalised the vocal. We then had the momentous task of finding a female vocalist who could fit the track perfectly. We tried numerous vocalist from all over the globe but I was not satisfied with the synergy with both Bikram and the music. Bikram then had a chance meeting with Ishmeet Narula, at a US show and was amazed by her voice and her live performance. He then sent me her demo and we went from there. A very fitting story as it all just fell into place… it ties in well with the song subject matter. How romantic!
In 2008 you released an album promo on Youtube for your album – Will this album ever see a release?
Ill be brutally honest. I SCRAPPED everything I had done after that promo was released. I actually had the guts to delete what was more than half of a complete albums worth of music. To this day I cant believe I did it. I took stock of my work and decided that it had taken me this long to get around to making music, that it had to be perfect. Hence the name of the upcoming record. The album has the 'some' desi/bhangra on it for all of the party goers that love to shrug their shoulders to a dhol beat. Although I can confidently say that I have managed to cater for audiences outside of this and hope the hybrid nature of the record will appeal to everyone who takes the time to listen to it. Having avoided the ‘commercial only’ aspect of much of todays music, I have created something that cater’s to me too! To answer your question, YES the album will be released but in a completely different guise to the original concept.
2012 has seen the return for DDS with the single ‘DJ Utho’ featuring the very talented Des-C. How did this collaboration come about?
The DJ circuit exposed me to countless singers, producers and artists. I was always very aware of Des-C’s vocal talents and enjoyed listening to his music, aswell as admiring his stage presence when performing. We spoke on various occasions about collaborating and took the ‘hojayga’ approach which never materialized into anything. I then took steps to present a solid concept to him and funnily enough he had already been working on lyrics centered around the DJ industry, having had the experience himself some years prior. The song itself was conceived and born into its current form over the course of a year and you’ll notice how different it is upon your first listen. I wasn’t out to create the ‘NEW SOUND OF 2012’. That couldn’t have been further from my mind… Des-C was in a similar mind frame. We just crafted a track which had some dance appeal based around a relatable subject.
Coming from a DJ background yourself, was it a conscious decision to try and do a song that praises DJ’s?
The natural trend from DJ to Producer is not without controversy. There is a large proportion of ‘producers’ who delegate established producers to create music for them and slap a label on the cover with their roadshow name on. It obviously helps enhance their DJ business. It’s a great business tactic but shouldn’t be what making music is about. These people are probably fantastic DJ’s in their own right and I felt this song would be a way to recognize them all. Too all the hard working DJ’s out there, I salute you. Contrary to the way a lot of music is ‘ghost produced’ nowadays, I have gone out of my way to create each track from scratch… they literally start off as absolutely nothing. The finished product is always as close to my vision as possible.
You released your single on ‘Soldier Sound Records’ – which is the boutique label of Tigerstyle. What made you go with this label, compared to the others out there?
I've worked with Tigerstyle a lot over the years in the DJ arena and it just felt right releasing under their label. I was actually signed to another ‘nameless’ label a few years back but was dissapointed with the lack of communication I was receiving and felt that I was being told what to produce. With Soldier Sound Recordings I have limitless freedom and never get told what and what not to do. The boys are very forward thinking with their music, evidently, and don’t restrain artistic vision. I’m at home with Soldier Sound Recordings.
There has been a strong trend of DJ’s turning to production in Bhangra; do you think its important to try & set yourself apart from the rest?
Yes. Definitely. Without question. The way to really stand out is to stop using the same ghost producers and roll up your sleeves and do some hard work. Use your hands, mind and ears. NOT your wallet.
What can we expect from DDS in the coming months? Will there be more single releases in the build up to the new album?
The next single will be my second musical outing with Bikram Singh. We have been working on this for a while now and the video and single should be set to release in December. I am attempting to coincide this single release with the album. This isn’t necessarily the ‘done’ thing but as my career progresses, I think you’ll find that myself and those closest to me wont be doing things by the book. Politely rebellious?
Any final words for the worldwide readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
Just keep supporting the artists that are releasing new material. Artists put time, effort and money into making music… the days of big record label investments are long gone. Motivate your favourite artists to make more of what you love. If you cant spend 79p on a song, then we have no hope.
The new album 'Perfect the beat' will be out very soon including a handful of brand new singers who have yet to grace the UK Bhangra charts, along with some familiar yet legendary voices. Exciting times ahead!!!