By Ninder Kaur
He has had over a decade’s worth of success in the music industry and has brought us some of the biggest dancefloor anthems to ever hit the bhangra scene.
He is a producer, singer, songwriter, mentor and what he likes to call an all rounded ‘music artist’.
It’s been a year since his last release but PBN and his team are back with their latest single, ‘Jatti Nachdi’, which features new female addition Serena.
I caught up with the ‘Hitmaker’ to talk about his latest single, Team PBN and what we can expect from him this year.
- Tell us about the new single?
The single is a feel good Bhangra track about a girl dancing which now features all four members of Team PBN. Its music that the fans want and hopefully it will be big this summer.
It was in June 2014 that we released our last Team PBN single. We have been away for a while doing non-stop gigs in Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Europe, India, and all over. It’s a signature PBN track that features my recently signed artist Serena. Rather than chucking her in the deep end on her own track, I wanted her to have a little feature on the single.
- Who are Team PBN?
The collective consists of myself, Raj Bains, Bambi and the recently signed Serena. We all bring our own individual styles and sounds to the group, which is what makes us so unique. Raj Bains is a more traditional Punjabi folk singer, Bambi is a more commercial soulful artist and Serena brings the soulful Hindi pop sound. I started Team PBN in May 2013 with the single ‘Superstar’. I thought the industry needed something new and a lot of people were talking about how we should support new Brit-Asian artists so I decided to do it.
- How is it being part of a team and creating Team PBN?
It is a learning curve because I have gone from being a solo artist to having to manage and mentor these guys. We have had 4 singles and 4 number ones. We have headlined nearly every main stage, internationally. I have seen them grow into actual artists and performers. Not only that, but I have managed to bring in another female into the much needed Asian music scene.
- What has Jatti Nachdi’s response been like?The fans have been great. The single has only been out two weeks and already it is receiving a huge response. It’s exploding all over Twitter and fans are already calling it the big dancefloor hit for this summer.
- Who are you musical influences?Everybody around me- even people on the street inspire me. Music artists I look up to are Punjabi MC, Partners in Rhyme, Bally Sagoo.
Also, the big time bands including Heera, Alaap, Premi, Apna Sangeet and obviously the legend Gurdas Maan.
- Would you want to pursue any other music genre?
I listen to mainstream music like RnB, Hip Hop and even Bollywood and Hindi music. Everybody wants these dancefloor bangers from me and I love making them. This year now, I want to be more experimental in terms of music genres. One thing I am working on right now is a Bhangra RnB track, where the production is all RnB, I will be singing in Punjabi and it will also feature a rapper.
I know that Serena wants to do Hindi song with Punjabi lyrics where the production would be more of a Bollywood style. Raj Bains has said that he wants to do romantic/sad songs. Also, I am looking to do a collaboration with a mainstream Reggae artist and I am hoping that that pulls through. But for now, it will be Bhangra because that what the fans want.
- You have had so much success in the industry, what is your secret?
There is no secret. There’s a saying in the Sikh faith to always stay grounded. If someone gives me one second, I try and give two seconds back. I always get excited when it comes to releasing and composing music and as long as the excitement is there and the creative juices are flowing then I will continue to do what I do.
- What has been the most difficult part of the music industry that you have had to face?
Starting out has been the hardest. I have climbed the ladder step-by-step and it’s taken me a decade to get to where I am. My new artists are very lucky. They have had everything on a plate. I was already established, I produced composed, invested every penny into them and took them onto a big stage.
They didn’t have to do local park performances or bar performances. That wasn’t there for me; I had to be the smallest text or picture on a flyer.
The hardship was climbing the ladder but its been so rewarding and now I am the huge guy on the poster. If it weren’t for the hardship I wouldn’t respect where I am today.
The most difficult thing was actually making a name and getting a fan base to actually continuously support you.
- Where would you like to see the Bhangra industry in 5 years time?
Thriving, because India right now, they are killing us in terms of music, videos, singers and their swag. There are still so many guys in England that are flying the flag here like Jaz Dhami, Jazzy B and Dr.Zeus but I want that boom back that was there in 2009. There were so many artists that were on it and delivering.
- What’s next from you and your team?
I’m going to reach out to the fans. I don’t know whether to do a Team PBN album or an actual PBN album and go back to my Homegrown days and feature Team PBN as well having some exclusive collaborations on there.
For now, the next single ‘Thori Thori’ will be out at the end of June and will have lead vocals from Raj Bains. The forthcoming single is on par with my first ever release 10 years ago ‘Aaj Main Peeni’, so that’s something to look forward to!
Jatti Nachdi is available now for download.