Who or what would you consider are your most inspiring musical influences?
My main influence has always been my father. As I will always say in any interview when this question is asked, I have been watching, listening taking in my fathers performances when he was the lead singer of the 70s-80s band Ashoka, so naturally that would be my number one inspiration and influence which is why I am in this industry doing what I am doing today.
Your first album was called 'The First Chapter' followed by 'No Regrets' and than you had 'The Survivor.' Now after almost a considerable break you are releasing Udeeka.. 'For Those Who Wait', why the strange and different titles for the albums?
I have always named my albums with meaning behind them The first Chapter was my 1st album in this market, No Regrets was made as I decided this was the career for me and it can only get better and I have no regrets in choosing what I do. The survivor speaks for it self. This industry as pleasant and great it seems, involves a lot of politics which does knock you down and to still come up after a lot of back chatting, negativity, is all about surviving in this industry. Now to the New release UDEEKA – For those who wait….. As I was out of the industry for 3 years after survivor, of course many people thought I had finished, but the true fans who believed in me were waiting for the new release from my self. The countless emails, messages, phone calls I was getting just proved to me that people are waiting for me to drop and album and that to be a strong album with a fresh sound….making sure I was keeping it live, which came the reason to name the album Udeeka – For those who wait!
On the new release, you provided all the vocals, why were there no other collaborations on the album?
No, This album is all about Dalvinder Singh, so there hasn’t been any other duets or collaborations on it. We were focusing on keeping it desi, Bhangra and most important was that we were letting everyone know that we are a LIVE band.
You've had a unique path through your career. What is the most important lesson you learned along this path that you might not have learned if you'd taken another?
I’ve learnt that this is not a competition. I’ve seen a lot of artists come and go and their main objective has been that they want to be better than the other. If you fight to compete then there is not a long life in the industry for you, but if you all help one another then there is a lot to be achieved.
Who would you like to play with and haven’t yet and why?
I would love to perform either onstage or on a track with the living legend Gurdas Maan. The guy is just amazing, all round entertainer and best of all sings about the truth and what actually goes on in life.
Your music is a blend of traditional and R'n'B, would you agree with this and why have you chosen this style? Is your new album in the same style?
Previously I have experimented with different styles of music, being it RnB, garage, hip hop, but with this new album I have concentrated on keeping it Bhangra. I have not used any MCs or any rapping, this album has songs which we are aiming to perform Live with the Band. My Style will always be Bhangra, but I am always open to try different things all the time.
Do you believe that lack of distribution from getting UK artists out UK causes bootleg issues with albums they cannot purchase locally?
It is very difficult to release an album in every single country in the world and for that reason that’s why we are seeing a lot of albums being downloaded. For the artist it broadens the horizons and introduces for fans to us…..I’m not condoning downloading because the artists and record labels are suffering, but I will support the legitimate digital downloads from record label websites and other sites who legally sell music. It’s a way of getting our music out around the world and that’s great as music as a whole is a universal language.
What is your current top 5? (Title/artist/label)
I generally don’t have a top 5. I respect any artist who is doing a great job for the industry. Although my favourites do include, Hans Raj Hans, Sardool Sikandar, Saleem, Sabar Koti…..I think you get my drift…
What's your take on the current state of ‘modern’ Bhangra music?
My view at the moment is that we need more Live artist with Bands. The industry is very PA based and its not good for our young fans and kids listening and growing up to this. We need to inspire young kids to pick up a keyboard, drum kit, guitar etc and learn the art of that instrument because if we want our music to stay Live these are the kids who will be the next generation after us.
Have you got any messages for all the aspiring individuals wishing to enter the industry?
Before you do enter the industry, either singing or playing an instrument, take guidance and teachings of a teacher first, because it is not easy and we don’t want everyone trying to mime to a cd in the next 5-10 years because that in my mind might be the end of our Bhangra music as everyone will get bored and turn to something else.
A final message to all the readers of SimplyBhangra?
Thanks to you all for supporting me from the beginning of my career to date. I will always say an artist is nothing with out his fans…..and that’s you. Thanks you!!!