As Asian Urban collective hailing from the Scottish city of Glasgow; G Town Desi have just released their debut album, containing a whole host of different flavours. SimplyBhangra.com caught up with them to talk about the new album and more.
Give us a quick breakdown of each member of the collective and what their roles are in the group.
G Town Desi:
Bobby B – He has developed his reputation over 15 years within the club scene as DJ and acts as main producer within Gtown Desi having also pieced the collective together.
Jay Jagpal – A multi-talented individual with 12 years experience as percussionist, MC and also co-producer alongside Bobby
Mr VIN – Regarded as one of the hottest talents in terms of Bhangra DJs mashing up eastern and western influences.
DJ Gully – The individual heavily influenced by urban genres including Grime & Dubstep as well as a true passion for radio.
Ozzy – The roadshow DJ greatly influenced by Bollywood breaks as well as acting as Gtown Desi graphic designer.
Would you class yourselves as a 'Bhangra' act?about?
G Town Desi: Not necessarily. Our influences across the team allow us to draw for different sounds as opposed to opting for the conventional sound. We would describe our style as ‘UrbAsian’.
The saying goes that two heads are better than one, but how was it producing songs with 5 different people having their input? And who got their way most of the time?
G Town Desi: Being a team we each respect everyone’s opinion so each member had their respective say on how the album should sound. Of course from time to time there were occasional disagreements however being on a similar wavelength, our initial approach and end result reflected our original idea for 11:34.
The video teaser for 'Peerh' found its way on SimplyBhangra.com in August 2009, why did it take so long for the full video to air finally in February 2010.
G Town Desi: Well the album in fact was actually completed by summer 2007. However due to our efforts in regenerating the Asian nightlife scene within Scotland our album was pushed to the backburner as we aimed to breathe new life into the scene in our home city. ‘Peerh’ was then shot in April 09 with the 2nd video produced a few months later during mid summer. In an attempt to have the album ready and then the videos, we found the entire product was ready however certain factors out with ourselves prevented such action hence the delay.
Your debut album, 11:34 is out now in stores, what can people expect from it?
G Town Desi:Expect raw cuts, upfront commercial flavours and Desi bangers as we focused on incorporating our collective influence.
What’s the story behind calling the album 11:34?
G Town Desi: The question arises more often than John Terry’s love life however we have to keep you guessing as we’ll be releasing the single – ‘1134’ later in the year which will reveal all so until then, our lips are sealed!
You've also included two released songs on the album 'Naal Nachna' ( pure desi vol 2 - 2008) and 'Tor Vehka' (pure desi vol 1 - 2005), do you not feel that this gives the impression to consumers that you've merely added these songs to make up the numbers so to speak.
G Town Desi: No. To be perfectly honest, the majority of Bhangra albums these days will consist of 8 tracks yet ’11:34’ has 11 and in addition the 2 mentioned above. We felt being it was our debut album, all our work should appear on the record. When ‘Tor Vehka’ was produced, our thought was to deliver an album as an offshoot from the single. As this never materialised we believed it was a justifiable decision to place the track on the debut album.
The video for Peerh has a creative backdrop on the streets of Glasgow, is it becoming harder to make videos that relate to the song lyrics?
G Town Desi: Yes and no. Many of the best video across any genre have absolutely no link to the actual song itself yet it propels the product to a new high based on creativity and imagination. With ‘Peerh’, our feeling for the track was that its energy was high octane and that was the driving force behind it. In best replicating the entire song, Glasgow’s raw edge and urban environment reflected our lives and the community which exists within the city.
How important have VIP records been in the development of artists in Scotland?
G Town Desi: VIP records have been instrumental in providing Scottish Asian artists with a base in order to push them nationally.
Talk us through the process of making the album; is it a case of buying vocals and slapping a beat on them, or a more complex process?
G Town Desi: When we initially started this was the case. As we progressed our intentions and thoughts changed with regards to the production process. We wanted to represent Glasgow so we moved away from creating the generic Bhangra sound and started introducing local talent on the album. We also co-wrote some songs with them. Once we got involved with the writing process and selecting vocalists everything became much clearer as to the direction we would take ‘1134’. This has also assisted with the concept behind the 2nd studio album.
The single 'Peerh' has been getting a lot of play on the Friction show on BBC Asian Network, what are your thoughts on the stations impending closure?
G Town Desi: It is imperative that people get behind the movement and do what they possibly can to help save the station. Since its commencement, it has bred and helped artists spread the voice nationally whereas as before, such avenues were never heard of. BBC 1xtra has helped to fully support UK urban talent and it looks to be paying off. Asian artists require the same level of support.
How do you see Bhangra adapting to the new digital era?
G Town Desi: It’s clearly the only way forward. Piracy has spread so far, the cancerous traits have been uncontrollable across the net. With artists utilising ITunes, the Bhangra industry has another seed of opportunity to grow from especially with the newly formed download chart.
If there was one individual you would like to work with from the UK Asian music scene who would it be?
G Town Desi: Now that is a question, we have quite a big list ranging of artists from the urban and Asian scene who we would like to work with in the near future.. However we would still like to keep our main aim of introducing new artists on the frontline in the future.
Thanks for taking time out for the interview, any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.Com
G Town Desi: Thanks to everyone that has supported us from day 1. The wait is now over and we hope you enjoy the album. We promise to release the 2nd one a little sooner than the 1st!
The album 1134 is out now on iTunes - Click Here To Buy