Having interviewed Jaz Dhami in-depth on the release of his previous album, we felt it would only be right if we discussed his latest releases and what his immediate plans are for the next few months! Check out what went down!
Having interviewed Jaz Dhami in-depth on the release of his debut album and once more when High Heels dropped (Click Here), we felt it would only be right if we discussed his latest releases and what his immediate plans are for the next few months!
It’s been nearly 4 years since your debut album. How much of that time have you spent training and progressing your vocals?
Most of my time is spent improving myself as a vocalist and progressing/maturing as an artist. Practice and training my voice is the most important part of what I do – so that never stops and it never will. That’s the only way I can add variation and different styles to my singing.
High Heels left a massive mark on the global scene, specifically in India as one of the most viewed videos in India of 2012. Is it safe to say you are one of a handful to have ‘Broken India’?
I’ve been really fortunate to have a record like High Heels, it really has put me on the map internationally. It’s huge everywhere in the world including India but I honestly believe that this is just the beginning of the new me I’m really looking forward to giving my fans something new everytime I put my name to something.
How much of its success do you put down to the fact Honey Singh featured alongside yourself?
The whole project was a joint effort and we equally worked hard in perfecting it. The music parts, the lyrics and the rap really complimented each other. We both brought different sets of fan bases to the track. Of course Honey was riding high off the back of his song in Cocktail doing well so it generated a wider interest from the beginning in areas he was well known. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
On to the current release, Meh Punjabi Boli Ah features music from Jatinder Shah, how did it feel like working with such an illustrious name?
Amazing! He’s such a passionate and knowledgeable music director and the best part of it is that he knows what he wants. When we started this song Jatinder knew how he wanted me to sound and he didn’t stop until he got it. It felt so refreshing working with someone who was keen on developing a new sound from me, he made me work and I felt challenged. That’s the most exciting thing as a singer, collaborating with someone who has a similar fire in their belly as yourself.
Your press release states that this is ‘Jaz Dhami like you’ve never heard him before’. How does this track differ from your previous work?
I think style of the song and the vocal answers that question in the first few lines. That’s because there’s such big difference in how I sound on this record compared to Theke wali, High Heels and my previous songs.
This song has completely changed me as a vocalist, it gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and attempt singing in a folk style and applying a touch of classical which is something I honestly thought wouldn’t work with me.
I’m really happy with the result of this song and its gonna stay with me for the rest of my career. The kind of response I’ve had has been immense, I’ve never felt so much love for my vocals before.
Do you think tracks that make social or political statements have a bigger affect on the industry than tracks about partying and drinking?
Most definitely! Meh Punjabi Boli Ah is a statement track and anyone that listens to it and understands it will feel the same about it. Majority of artists don’t even attempt these kind of songs because they feel their isn’t a place for them or the financial benefits aren’t there, but the satisfaction of doing something for the language you speak/sing in, and representing it is on another level. Being an artist isn’t just about making ‘a club banger’ a ‘ wedding song’ its about being real to who you are and speaking about personal experiences and sharing your thought process. An artist can be so influential with their lyrical content and I think we should use this and address what we feel.
This song is soul food for me. Popularity comes and go’s, but the ability to touch people is something I cherish. I’m definitely going to continue doing this in my albums just like Bari Der was and now Meh Punjabi Boli Ah.
The artwork on its own is quite mesmerising, having teamed up with Inkquisitive Illustration. How much importance do you give to the marketing of your music?
Yeh big up to Inkquisitive he’s a real Artist! Capturing someone’s imagination is something only real people can do and he did that by understanding the passion I have for this song. Marketing is obviously a massive part of any product in today’s day and age but for this song it was extra special for me because I wanted the front cover to capture the essence of the song. I didn’t just want another regular shot of me. I wanted every element of this project to be special and have the ability to convey a message as a stand alone piece.
The artwork alone says so much, the Punjab maps divide through the image of my head, the alphabet fading, the takht at the bottom. The cover itself is a statement. Then there’s the song, from the angle of Punjabi language its hurt, angry, broken but also hopeful.
The last part of this was the video. It had to be special. For me I wanted something that would touch people the way the lyrics of this touch me. If you don’t even understand the language of Punjabi the video still moves you with its visuals. It could be muted and you’d still feel its essence – that’s the impact I wanted to make with this whole project. Its the most satisfying song I have ever done and I’m so glad I was able to execute all the elements so well.
Having toured North America and Australia recently, where will your music take you next?
Hopefully straight to Bollywood! Its been a goal of mine since the age of 9 and I hope to get their real soon. On the way to Bollywood wherever it takes me I will welcome it. Appreciation from any part of the world feels great. Whether it be my hometown of Birmingham to Delhi to Sydney. As long as my music reaches out in some form and I’m invited to perform I’ll happily go.
How did you hook up with French Montana? Do you think the track will get the mainstream attention that our industry is thirsting for?
I’ve been working on concepts/songs with Steel Banglez for the past year, initially the plan was to do a song with just me but when we finalised the beat, Banglez suggested we use a rapper. From there we approached French’s management and flew to New York and recorded him.
With regards to mainstream attention, to be honest my biggest reason for pulling together this collaboration is to once again push my boundaries as an artist and work with people from musical backgrounds and genres that I’m not familiar with.
The Rap scene in America is a whole different world, the way they work, record and put projects together. I wanted to get a taste of the way the urban musicians and producers like Steel Banglez put together their tracks, and get to grips with how the vibe in the studio differs to my methods of working. Its been an exciting and once again challenging experience. If any mainstream recognition comes with that then its a bonus. I’m just concerned with getting my product right and pushing the boundaries when I can.
Do you think Steel Banglez deserves more attention from the Asian music scene for his quality production skills?
Most definitely! His vision and sound is so fresh and I think its something our scene needs. I’m confident that people will see that quality and respect him even more when they hear this record. Steel Banglez can’t be pigeon holed, the guy deserves recognition from all scenes, not just Asian. He is one producer who’s creativity will lead to big things.
You’ve also got plans to work with big named producers such as Eren E, Kaos Productions and Dr Zeus. Did you hand pick these names? How will this album differ from your debut album?
Of course! Choosing producers and song selection is a creative decision because only I know what I want and what I can achieve with a producer. The main reason for working with so many producers is because I feel challenged and try my best to introduce a new me. The more people you work with the more versatile it allows you to become.
I’m confident that the new album will show a different me, a growth in the artist I was in 2009 when my debut album released to now. You’ve already had a taster for it with my first two singles, with both I’ve heard its a me that no one has heard. I hope to continue that to a degree throughout the album in some form. I’m really excited for it.
Has your album been completed and do you have any potential release dates pencilled in?
No it isn’t completed yet I’m still working on getting everything right, so I can’t even give you a rough idea of release dates. Every track feels like an album to me at the moment, I’m working very hard on keeping my standard high.
Finally is there anything that you’d like to mention before we depart ways?
I’d just like to say thank you to you guys for the opportunity of connecting with my fans and expressing myself. Chakdey have always given me a great platform and I fully value the honesty and passion of the guys working on the site. A site run by proper music lovers. I hope you guys and all the fans enjoy the new single. I want to thank the fans, supporters and well wishers for all the love and support you’ve given me over the years.
Thank you once again for taking time out to answer our questions, best of luck on the promotion of the release and your work in progress!