After the success of their self-titled debut album HIGHFLYERS are back with a brand new single ‘Aaja Hun’, the first single from their 2nd album - we caught up with them to see what they been up to!
The first question for you nowadays tends to be “where have you been?” But you’ve kept really active since your last album. So, more
accurately; tell us what you’ve been up to for the last couple of years.
Since the release of our Debut Album, we have been active behind the scenes working hard perfecting our 2nd album. After the success of our previous songs, we needed to make sure we live up to what the fans expect from us. It has taken us 2 years to complete it. But that is not all, we have also been contributing tracks as Seva to the Immortal Productions album every year, as we feel it is essential to do work that has a positive influence on people. Apart from that, we have been busy on the DJ circuit with bookings all over the UK.
And you have moved to VIP Records; what was the reason behind this?
We made the choice to join VIP Records because we felt they were the right record label to help push our products in the right direction and to help us progress and develop as artists. They have been very helpful and we are happy to be working with them.
The role of a record label in the Bhangra industry is very different to what people expect their role to be. From our past experiences, we have noticed that every record label works in different ways; some offer marketing, support, guidance and funding, whereas others offer none of that and will just release the products without any push.
We think our debut album did really well, we received great feedback from Bhangra listeners from all over the world and were shocked at how well it had done. As it was our debut album, for us it feels as if we have stepped one foot into the Bhangra industry, our second album will fully establish us as producers who are in the industry to stay.
I’m sure as you know, these days the public are very sceptical when it comes to ‘new’ producers and are quick to throw accusations of ghost production around. Can you clear up where the album was produced, in terms of mixing down and engineering & mastering?
We have had many accusations of ghost production, but it does not affect us. In fact, we think of it as a compliment for people to think our music sounds like the music of established producers. But obviously it would be great for us to receive the credit we deserve for our hard work.
All of our music is produced, mixed down and engineered fully in our small home studio. For recordings, some vocal/instrument recordings are done at our home studio, but we also use our cousin’s studio based in Birmingham, and studios in Punjab because a lot of the singers we work with are based there. Our debut album was mastered by us; however our 2nd album is currently being mastered elsewhere, arranged by our record label.
Your promotion for ‘Aaja Hun’ includes a video of you playing instruments; did you find it necessary to show the public that you could play instruments as producers?
Because of the accusations of ghost production, we think it was essential to show that we can play instruments. It shows a different side to us as musicians. We will be releasing a lot more videos showing us playing instruments and producing music, hopefully this will end the accusations and clear things up for the listeners.
How does Jaswant Heera compare to all the other vocalists you’ve worked with?
Jaswant Heera is a great vocalist with a sharp high pitched voice, we chose to work with him because of this, and have worked with him on more tracks on our 2nd album. We feel he is very underrated and hope that he gets the recognition he deserves.
So the flavour of the month in the desi music industry is collaborations, if you had the chance to collaborate with one artist past or present, who would it be?
It would have been amazing to have a chance to work with the Late Great Surjit Bindrakhia. He was a legend who contributed massively to Punjabi music, and had one of the greatest voices in the history of Bhangra.
The second album is completed and will be released in 2014 on VIP Records. The album features some well known vocalists, as well as some who are not as well known but talented and deserve a chance to break into the commercial Bhangra market.
Why do you feel Bollywood is turning to UK Punjabi artists now, and is that transition something you’re aiming for your own brand of BollyHood to be a part of?
Maybe Bollywood is turning to UK Punjabi artists to get a refreshing flavour and new styles of music into their scene. At the moment we have only been working on Punjabi music, but maybe sometime in the near future we will be aiming to be part of that.
What Bhangra albums/singles from this year have you been listening to?
Although released in 2012, we have still been blasting Diljit Dosanjh’s album ‘Back 2 Basics’ and Sharry Mann’s album ‘Aate Di Chiri’. They are some of the best albums to have been released lately.
Thank you for taking out the time for this interview. Do you have any final words for your fans?
Thank you to the SimplyBhangra team for giving us the opportunity to do this interview, and also thanks to all the other media promotion teams who have been supporting us. Watch out for our brand new single ‘Aaja Hun’ featuring Jaswant Heera, Releasing Thursday 26th September on VIP Records. We hope you all enjoy our music. HIGHFLYERS (Gurj & Indie)