In the first of many blogs Nav treats us to an insight into the modern day rise of vocalist Jaz Dhami, charting his successful career, single launches and what the future holds for him!
In the modern day bhangra industry, new singers are a common sight. Unknown vocalists are making their sound heard on many new albums in an attempt to launch singing careers. Of course, some are quickly forgotten, but others catch the attention of record labels and producers. One such singer that did catch attention quickly was Birmingham born Jaz Dhami, whose vocals were first heard on industry heavyweight, Aman Hayer’s ‘Groundshaker 2’ album. The slow, almost reggae style ‘Sadi Jind Jaan’ helped Dhami propel himself to the forefront of UK bhangra.
The following year in 2009 saw him release his debut album, ‘JD’. This saw Dhami win the Best Newcomer award at the 2009 UK Asian Music Awards, as well as a nomination for the Best Album award in 2010. Listening to the album, it’s clear to see why. The lead single ‘Theke Wali’ took dance floors up and down the country by storm, owed to the up-beat, non-stop energy of the song. In the process, it became one of the biggest bhangra songs of the year. Though to single out one hit song would be unfair, as ‘JD’ also featured other brilliant desi tunes in the shape of ‘Gabroo’, ‘Thor Punjabi’ and ‘Lehnga’. However, for the other singles from the album, ‘Roj Miliye’, ‘Tera Mera’ and ‘Bari Der’ were released, showcasing the diversity of his singing talents. Whilst ‘Roj Miliye’ was still the type of track that fans could dance to, ‘Tera Mera’ and ‘Bari Der’ were far more relaxed outings.
Not only did these songs highlight Dhami’s ability to sing different styles, but ‘Bari Der’ even provided somewhat rare subject matter in Punjabi songs; the bond between two brothers. The chorus of the song: “Bari der hogayee veereya, khatiyeh behke peethi nu” translates to “It’s been a long time brother, since we sat and had a drink”.
Since ‘JD’ exploded onto the scene in 2009, we’ve had 3 singles from Dhami. The first of which came in 2010 from a collaboration with producer GV, called ‘Putt Jatt Da’. Being somewhat similar in terms of sound to ‘Theke Wali’, ‘Putt Jatt Da’ didn’t quite reach the same heights. Dhami’s next single in 2011 with newcomer DJ Harvey however, would take weddings by storm once more, albeit in a slightly different way. ‘Tere Naal’, a duet with Bollywood vocalist Jayshree Shivram, was a romantic, almost Hindi style love song, soon becoming a popular choice for many brides and grooms on their first dance. The song only added to Dhami’s musical repertoire, sounding unlike anything we had heard on ‘JD’.
Most recently, Dhami teamed up with producer Yo Yo Honey Singh, and the two released ‘High Heels’ on August 30th of this year, which has once again added to the diversity on Dhami’s already impressive portfolio of music. The instantly most recognisable element of the song is the western style dance beat, with the sound being something you would hear in a night club rather than a bhangra gig or Punjabi wedding. While his newest single may divide opinion, one thing that cannot be argued is Dhami’s ability to adapt to any genre, thus helping to widen the spectrum of Punjabi music.
Given Jaz Dhami’s relatively quick rise to the top, and the number of big names he has worked with, it is fair to say that we will be seeing more of this talented young singer for many years to come. With a scheduled release date for 2012, Dhami has been busy working on his second album, which if as popular as his debut, will ensure he’s one step closer to cementing his place as one of the UK’s finest home grown vocalists.
What do you think of Jaz Dhami’s rise to fame? Does his new single High Heels appeal to you? Let us know what you think by commenting below!