RISE TO THE TOP A FULL PAGE INTERVIEW WITH THIS WEEKS STAR: SHERIFF
RIF TOU F’S SU R IN MM SID ER E
THE ULTIMATE COUNTDOWN FIFTY GREATEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME
IMRAN KHAN ANGREZ ALI dj gurps DJ COBRA
ALL THE NEWS AND INTERVIEWS INSIDE THIS EDITION
THE NUMBER 1 ASIAN MUSIC MAGAZINE
WWW.AMPLIFIERMAG.COM SHERIFF: “MY LIFE TURNED UPSIDE 19 DOWN” IMRAN KHAN: “A LOT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2010” 1 2 DJ GURPS MEETS AKON 22 ROMAN’S REVIEWS 36
AND MORE ALL PACKED IN 40 PAGES
13 ANGREZ ALI FT. MC.B NEW TRACK: DOWN
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself – your name, where you’re based and what got you into music. My real name is Sohail Shariff, but I prefer to be known as Sheriff – it’s a name I grew up with around my childhood friends. I live in Birmingham and have been there all my life. I loved listening to music, some of my favourite artists being Akon, Jay Sean and Imran Khan. People told me I had a good voice, and that sort of got me into singing and making tracks. What did you do to get yourself into the music industry? Tell us your story. When I was younger I used to have rap battles with my friends and I found out I was sick after demolishing many of them. I then started writing lyrics at the age of 16 with an Indian theme to them, a bit like Imran Khan who was my inspiration. Some of his songs that I got ideas from were Amplifier and Pata Chalgea. I wanted to adopt his sort of style but be even better. I recorded my first two tracks by 18 and gave them out to my friends as free CD’s, and even put them on YouTube to make myself aware to people. Everyone loved my music, even Imran Khan himself! He contacted me and told me he’ll manage me and get me to the top. I signed up with Prestige Records who took me on, and I wrote three more songs by the age of 20. I published them all in an album and sold them
as CD’s in many shops, while also offering them for free streaming on YouTube and also selling them on iTunes. It was very successful and the money started coming in. Now, I’m being asked by many companies to perform live on stage, which I am currently sorting out so you may see me live soon. An article was published in the Birmingham Mail recently about your charity work, however it was very brief. Can you explain more? I really don’t like it when someone leaks a story like this and it goes public, because not everyone can give charity and I don’t want to show off – however at the same time, I want to show that I am doing what I’m doing purely because I love music, not money. BRMB are holding a live concert in Birmingham City Centre, and they want me to be one of the performers. I’ll probably do two songs – and get paid a heck of a lot. I am keeping aside some for me, my family and my parents, and giving a big chunk to poorer places around the world such as Gaza. I believe that music is worth a lot in the eyes of fans, but to me it’s something I just love, so why have that extra money when I can make a better use of it? How is your friendship with Imran Khan going along ever since you have taken all the plaudits away from him and brought them to you? That’s one question that is probably on so
many minds. We’re best friends, now and forever. He knows that my music has overtaken his, but there are still millions who adore his music. We’ve both got the same genre of music but our style now is different and people go for what they prefer. Most prefer me, but that doesn’t mean Imran and I aren’t getting on well as we did before. He understands I’ve just beaten him – he even dared me to try a few years ago! And I’ve done it. But my inspiration was Imran and really, my music and my success is partly down to him. What are your plans for the future up until you retire? Well I plan to go on for a really long time, releasing many tracks along the way and performing live as much as I can to raise a lot of money. My aim is to be on everyone’s iPod, and create awareness to the whole world that Western music and Asian music can mix, as I have probably already proven. It’s going to take long, but I believe within a few years I can be the biggest hit in the UK rather than the biggest amongst Asian people. That’s my aim. I also hope that people can listen to me, and pay for my music rather than illegally download it, as all the extra profits are going to a very good cause.
Roman at Amplifier caught up with Sheriff last week and he brings you this EXCLUSIVE interview with the star.