Chakdey.Com got in touch with man of the moment Jaz Dhami discussing the huge success of High Heels, the track, the video, working with Honey Singh, the response and his plans for the forthcoming album release!
Me and honey have worked really hard on perfecting this song musically and I was keen that the video reflected the enormity of the song. It’s been a lot of hard work. The response we’ve had has been overwhelming, I’m getting messages from all over the world, I don’t think you can prepare yourself for something like that. We wanted to put out a top quality package and let the audience be the judge. I feel humbled to see people taking to it like they have.
Your track exceeded standard Asian releases in the iTunes charts by entering the mainstream top 200, how did that make you feel?
Its always good to know the efforts you have put in are being appreciated, that appreciation is shown by fans downloading my music. It feels nice to know that people are buying my music legally and supporting me.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/JazDhamiInterview20121.jpg” width=”600″ height=”294″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
You took the decision of focusing your High Heels Tour mainly on the younger market; does that mean your music from here on will be solely targeted towards that audience?
No not at all. The High Heels School Tour was a way of reaching out to the kids who don’t get to come to my gigs, but are still avid followers. It was so much fun being at all those Schools and just getting the kids to jam alongside DJ Harvey, Samar Sidhu and myself. I like to try different styles of music and I don’t like to pigeon hole tracks for age groups – I think if a song is good it caters for everybody. My target audience is everyone who listens to music.
What made you team up with Honey Singh? How did the collaboration come about?
Early last year Honey asked me to work on International Villager as he heard my first recorded track on Aman Hayers Groundshaker 2 album and told me he was a fan of ’Jind Jaan’. He even sang it down the phone to me. The feature didn’t work out, but when I was in India last winter, we met up, shared ideas, developed a good understanding and it just happened from there.
Do you have plans to work with him again?
I’d love to work with Honey again, his style of production is really versatile and he’s always thriving to create a sound we’re not so familiar with in the UK Desi scene. I think it’d be interesting to see what else we can create in the future.
You’ve shown in the past you can sing slow ballads, upbeat Bhangra tracks and now you’ve gone for the popular route. Is it only a matter of time that Bollywood will come calling?
That would be a dream come true for not only me, but my dad too. I’ll just keep working hard and making good songs. I think it’ll happen when the time is right.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/JazDhamiInterview20122.jpg” width=”600″ height=”400″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
You mentioned in the media that when you first made the track you didn’t like its style, but Honey Singh encouraged you that it would work. In hindsight would you have gone back and changed anything?
We worked on a couple of songs before creating ‘High Heels’. We had conflicting opinions on those, as you do when making music. We both had a vision and it wasn’t being fulfilled by those ideas. So we scrapped them and went back to the drawing board till we finally got to this. It took us eight months to go from initial idea to final song, and it definitely felt like worth the wait. I think the feel of the song works for me so I wouldn’t change anything, I wouldn’t release any song until I was 100% sure.
Many people have picked up on the similarities with ‘Jab Bhi Koi Ladki’, who decides the melody of a track once you’ve written the lyrics?
We collectively made the decision to go with this composition as we felt it flowed well with the beat Honey was developing and the final lyrics. I think it works really well and similarities have there good and bad points. The song has its own style, I appreciate comparisons will be made, but the two songs are very different in terms of production.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/JazDhamiInterview20123.jpg” width=”600″ height=”400″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
We love the fact you have gone outside your comfort zone and dropped a track with Latin American trumpets. Do you think more artists should venture out and explore different genres?
Most definitely. Music is an international language and I think merging different sounds and styles is really important for the scene to progress and expand into wider territories. We’ve got to remember as British Asians we consume all kinds of music, not just Bhangra or Rap or House So why not bring together the styles on our own playlists instead of segregating the sounds. I do think we need to continue making Desi music, its who we are, but we shouldn’t be afraid of challenging ourselves with different genres.
Another achievement was your magnificent performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the London Mela. It seems whoever is guiding you is doing a great job! Who are your key advisors when it comes to music?
Wow London mela was amazing! Probably the most challenging performance of my career, but also one of the highlights. Being on stage with 71 World class musicians is a buzz that’s impossible to explain. My backbone has to be my dad but not forgetting the team I work with. Having a great team that’s passionate about what you do and understanding your vision is very important an I feel blessed to have that. For this performance I have to thank BBC Asian Network and Zab Khan in particular as it wouldn’t have been possible without his belief in me as an artist.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/JazDhamiInterview20124.jpg” width=”600″ height=”400″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
When can we expect the release of your forthcoming album and will we get any further collaborations of note?
The second album is due to release next year. I feel really excited about the collaborations on it, it’s difficult to pick one as I’m working with such a vast range of music makers that they’re all collaborations worth noting. There is one song that’s particularly special to me, ‘Punjabi Boli’ its produced by Jatinder Shah – he’s the guy behind those breathtaking songs we all love by Satinder Sartaaj.
Which producers have you picked for the new release and what style of music have you opted for?
The second album has a number of different producers, some names you may already have heard. I’m working with Eren-E, Tru-Skool, Zeus, Aman Hayer and a very exciting producer from London who goes by the name of Steel Banglez. He’s got some amazing beats and will definitely be someone to look out for, his energy is just crazy. If you go by the names I’ve mentioned you’ll understand that the music is going to vary accordingly too. I’ve gone for a wide choice of songs including dance floor fillers, chill out vibes and thought provoking lyrics. I think as an artist it’s really important to work on and show different styles.
Your forthcoming album has one of the biggest production line-up we have ever seen, how did you choose the producers you wanted to work with?
I wanted to work with producers with different musical backgrounds simply because I want to experiment and be thrown out of my comfort zone to hopefully create a great style of music for each track. Each producer has a quality that challenges me and pushes me to excel, as an artist thats what you want to be doing, they’ve all managed to get my creative juices flowing and made me want to perfect each song.[image src=”http://media2.chakdey.com/Images/JazDhamiInterview20125.jpg” width=”590″ height=”290″ lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
As a musician you have probably watched Coke Studio many times, if you could choose artists to represent the UK Asian scene in its very own Coke Studio, who would you pick?
Of course coke studios is wicked, some of the collaborations they put together are phenomenal, something we don’t get to see enough off. The musicians are also sensational, its an exceptional set up. From the UK I would have to say Mangal Singh and Shin from DCS, both of these singers are inspirational and by far the best singers this country has seen.
On a final note, you’ve done a lot of work promoting Football in the Asian community. We’ve seen Jazzy B wearing his customized Liverpool FC Kurta and Surinder Rattan & Dr. Zeus are big Manchester united fans, which football team do you support yourself?
I’m a Liverpool fan, hoping this season isn’t just another ‘work in progress’ for us and that we bag some silver wear.
Is there anything else you would like to add before we depart ways until next time?
I would just like to say a big thank you to you guys at Chakdey, you’ve always supported me and given great feedback to everything I’ve worked on. It’s great to see people so passionate about the UK music scene. I also have to say a massive thanks to everyone that’s taken the time out to read this article and a huge thank you to all my fans. Their support and encouragement has allowed me to become the artist that i am, It feels so good to be back.