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Tell us about your background, how did you start out?

It started from a young age, when I used to go Gurdwara and learn tabla.  During summer holidays, I used to stay in Birmingham and learn at local Gurdwara's there as there were none in Derby at the time. I started off on the tabla and progressed onto the Harmonium.

How did the DJ'ing start?

I used my pocket money as a kid to buy CDs from the record shop.  Over several years I built up a record collection and when I was 13 I bought my first 1210s.

Is your first love being a DJ, or do find the music producing, music directing and album work more interesting?

I think both, when I was a DJ, I thought I could use my skills on the Tabla to Turntabalism, when juggling beats, its all about beat-matching - the same skills are needed when playing Tabla. I remember as a DJ when Hass Ho Gaya came out and we used to love scratching that.

Since 2008s amplified album, what have you been up to... working on Aaja Nachle and other singles, tracks?

I took a break from the music, recording mostly and being a judge on Brit Asia Superstar, a show that was trying to find talent in the UK.  Juggling everything and finding time was hard. At the beginning of this year, I focused more on the studio and laying tracks down.

What was the experience like of being a judge?

With the panel we had, we tried to get people aware of the pitfalls in the music industry.  What we learned from experience, we wanted to instil in other up and coming artists. We had a whole spectrum of contestants from age 16 to 40 who had a passion for singing.  One piece of advice I would give is that nowadays you definitely need a team, for example this year, Nisha Sahdev has helped a lot with PR, TS Designs for album cover, mastering and distribution with ABC.  Having said that, the whole internet phenomenon has changed the business, opening up more channels and opportunities.

Is the single you released, part of an album that is coming out soon on your new label?

Its part of Laidback records, the single was an EP to launch the label.  It has done really well on iTunes.

You have collaborated with several artists, The Sahotas, B21, Ranjit Mani, Surinder Shinda, Maninder Bajwa, Jay Sean to name but a few... do you have any other collaborations you are looking to do?

It all depends on what's available, at the moment I am really concentrating on stuff I have already got as over the last six years have worked with several artists and there is a hip-hop album with an artist called P-Lim, who used to link with MC Light back in the day. We do the Desi Folk stuff, but also have a passion for R&B and Hip Hop. In the future, I would love to work with Gurdas Mann.

What can we expect of you over the coming months?

With the launch of the label, it has given us a platform to put out new material so I guess it will be watch this space.

Interview and portraits: Nardip Singh

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 05

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