Riding high on a Number 1 single, we talk to Mehi about the shape of things to come…
Hey guys, I’m Mehi! A Punjabi vocalist and songwriter from London. My passion for music has been a blessing since childhood and my parents surrounded me with amazing artists such as Nusrat saab, Ghulam Ali Khan saab, Sardool paji, Hans paji, to name just a few. This experience and musical exposure have helped shape the music I’m making today.
“Pyar Diyan Gallan” has become one of the surprise big hits of the summer, spending 2 weeks at # 1 on the official Asian Download Chart and still sitting comfortably in the Top 3; did you expect the track to do so well?
I’m truly humbled and very thankful to everyone who has embraced and supported “Pyar Diyan Gallan”. The whole team and myself worked very hard on making the track sound just right. It took time but we definitely got there in the end. The track is of course a love song, and as they say, true love conquers all– so I guess that’s what must have happened.
The original track was produced by Shakti Perkash; what can you tell us about him?
Shakti is an amazing London-based musician and producer. He has a wealth of experience producing musical scores for theatre and dramas and with these skill sets he has made his mark on “Pyar Diyan Gallan”. I think he’s really given the song an ‘international film score’ feel, which will definitely be appreciated by different types of listeners.
Was it your choice of a track or your record label, Organised Rhyme?
My Organised Rhyme team & I decided together to launch the new chapter in my career with this specific release. I’m a huge fan of romantic songs and so this felt very natural to me as an introduction to me as an artist.
You’re a classically trained artist; do you think that’s important in today’s pop climate?
I’m very thankful for being born in a very musically oriented family who are the core of my inspiration. I personally think that for an artist, whether you’re a vocalist/musician/producer or writer, it’s very important to have a good core foundation in music. Such a foundation is helpful in whatever field you are in. I have found that being classically trained has been very beneficial to me when it comes to making melodies or composing a song, for example. It has helped me experiment in different scales so that I can do justice to a song and most of all deliver it well vocally.
You’ve guested on a few artists’ tracks, the most famous probably being Northern Lights’ “Do Some Bhangra” a couple of years ago, can we expect further collaborations with Tarv (aka Northern Lights)?
“Do Some Bhangra” was my first feature with Organised Rhyme and it was a pleasure working alongside my big bro Northern Lights– it was such a fun and amazing experience! Northern Lights also, in my opinion, really showcased his versatility by producing an awesome remix of “Pyar Diyan Gallan”, giving it reggae feel and which has also been picked up by radio stations alongside the original. So do check it out, if you haven’t already. There are definitely more tracks to come by Tarv and myself. Watch this space guys!
Ash King has done it recently; do you think Bollywood could be an achievable goal for you as an emerging British Asian singer? And is that the route you’d ultimately like to go down as a recording artist?
I personally think that determination and effort to achieve something whatever it may be opens many doors in life. Having said that, if given the chance, I would definitely love to record as a playback artist for Bollywood film. Let’s see what the future has in store!
What’s playing on your iPhone these days?
I usually try to surround myself with music that will inspire me. I’ve been listening to a beautiful ghazal, “Main Hawa Hoon Kaha Wattan Mera” which is in raag darbari – one of my favourite ragas. I also have a private live mehfil recording of Shokat Ali Matoi who has an amazing qawwali group from Malerkotla, Punjab, which I listen to regularly to pick up vocal techniques – such an amazing inspiration. Last of all, I’m still listening to Adele’s Bond theme “Skyfall”, it’s such an amazing piece of work both vocally and musically which at the moment is inspiring me to create cinematic style compositions for my songs.
You’ve been around for a handful of years and even released a full length album, Exposed, in the past but real success is only happening now; would you agree with that statement and why do you think that is?
I have worked on very selective projects before signing to Organised Rhyme. It’s fair to say I was still experimenting with myself and trying different styles/genres of music. I think is a learning process every artist goes through. I have been very patient, and I guess you can say that I was waiting for this opportunity all along. I feel very fortunate to be representing both my team and my current label Organised Rhyme who have been key in shaping my current projects.
As a native Londoner, how do you enjoy this great city in your time off?
I really love being in London, it’s my birthplace so I have a very special connection to it. Life being so hectic in the city of London; on my days off I usually try to surround myself with rehazz which is an awesome feeling– singing for hours on end really nourishes the soul and my spirituality. In the evenings it totally depends on my mood if I just want to chill, then spending time with family is always amazing; or if not at home, then I do enjoy spending time out with my close friends.
Have you performed live in India or Pakistan yet? And is success in these territories something you aspire to?
I studied music in Punjab for two years and throughout my stay I was fortunate enough to be a part of some amazing events– I still try to go back every year to learn more. I have also had the pleasure of doing live home mehfil‘s in Punjab, which is very different to a normal stage mela. In the future I’d love to perform at large scale events in India and Pakistan; that’s exactly we are working towards.
Finally, how to plan to follow up such a big hit?
My main focus for the moment is to bring you amazing songs as singles. My team and I have been working very hard to maintain a high standard of vocals, music, lyrics and videos for my upcoming releases. I’d like to keep my forthcoming releases a surprise at this point. What I can say, however, is that I’m very excited about sharing new songs with listeners regularly over the next year so expect more in the near future.
Watch the full music video to “Pyar Diyan Gallan” here
The single is out now on Organised Rhyme. Click here to buy