EASTERN EYE April 4, 2008
act of the week
KS ABOUT HIS MUSIC AND LIVING IN INDIA remember for years to come. Unlike my previous albums, I have experimented with many different flavours that range from hardcore Punjabi folk songs, a very reggae tone style, hip-hop, booty-shaking sounds to some chilled-out, midtempo, ballad-type numbers. My music is aimed at my fans who have been following me from my Johnny Zee days two decades ago. To me music is a universal language and that is why Stereo Nation’s music has always appealed to people of all ages, races, colours or religions. What was the biggest challenge of recording the songs? I don’t make things easy for myself, in that my own expectations and perfectionism very often get the better of me. Recording the album with so many different people from so many different places was a challenge, as was organising and co-ordinating recording while touring.
have your own personal chef, chauffeur, housemaids, servants and guards. And the weather is brilliant and so is the party scene. The worst is that I miss normal British food, like proper fish and chips. The traffic is ridiculous and the odd sewer smell is enough to put you off your food – however, the good and great things about India outweigh the bad by far. What are your biggest unfulfilled ambitions? There are too many to mention, but some of them include getting proactively involved in more charity work, like opening homes for orphans in India and third-world countries like Africa. I would love to perform with a celebrity audience with Stereo Nation at the Royal Albert Hall. It would be a dream come true to appear alongside my hero Amitabh Bachan in a movie, I would love to write and perform a track with Prince. The list is endless.
‘My new album Jawani is one of my best works to date’
Do you have a favourite song on the album? It’s a difficult question to answer – if any one of them were not my favourite, I would not have written or recorded them in the first place. For any songwriter, each composition is very personal and about one’s feelings and emotions, so therefore it’s difficult to be a judge of your own work. I love them all. Tell us about the reality TV show you have been on? I was in the NDTV Imagine show Dhoom Machale, which is a reality competition among celebrity artists. Even though it was a lot of fun, like all reality shows they are fixed and I felt very alienated as I was the only NRI taking part. The show’s teaser was ‘To find India’s Best Live Performer’ so I felt a little odd being from the UK. So why did you do it? The challenge of doing something different – the adrenalin rush was next to no other. All the performers were established in their own right so we didn’t fret as such at first; however, watching the artists behave differently towards each other as the show progressed was amusing. They became very competitive and that’s when I truly realised that I had entered the devil’s den. Feeling the anxiety and the danger was certainly an experience that I won’t forget.
Why are you spending so much time in Mumbai? India is truly the land of hope and glory and the place to be if you want to make noise. Having a very firm foot in the door in Mumbai has enabled me to get a number of major opportunities, so it made sense to have a base here. Out of sight is out of mind and when you are living in England, you are exactly that. To sustain your popularity among Bollywood’s elite, you have to spend time in the city. What is the best and worst part of living in Mumbai? The best thing about living here is the lavish lifestyle. You
What’s next for you? There is a world tour being lined up to coincide with the album release. I’m currently involved in a lot of film projects here in Mumbai and am working flat out to meet the directors’ deadlines. There are product-branding deals being talked about, which is always exciting as they pay very well. On top of all this, I have made a conscious decision never to have such a gap in releasing my albums and therefore I am pleased to say that the next Stereo Nation album is near enough completion. What advice would you give to new singers? In today’s market and with the fierce competition around, I would say that you must put your focus and energy into coming up with something original and unique. You must concentrate on being able to put on a show, entertain an audience and perform live. Looks alone don’t make you a star – you must have a number of other talents and qualities to be one, like being humble, having stage presence, dress sense, the right attitude and vocal talent. Do you have a secret talent? In my spare time I paint, which helps me relax. Apart from that, many of my close friends say that I would make a great artist manager and record label owner because of all my experience. (Laughs) Actually, my best talent is that I’m a party animal – life is for living and I live it to the full.
Give us a message for your UK fans? I would like to apologise for the delay and numerous date changes as regards the release of Jawani. I thank everyone for their love, support patience and encouragement – without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I hope and pray you enjoy the album as much as I have enjoyed making it and finally, God bless you all for not giving up on me. Jawani: On The Rocks is out now.
TOP FIVE SINGERS IN TAZ’S CHART Prince: He is undisputedly the king and master of funk. This musical genius has inspired me and an entire generation with his versatility and brilliant song-writing ability. His stage performance is unmatched, as is his dress sense and his funk is like no other. Gurdas Maan: Another genius who needs no introduction. I love him for the outstanding execution of the Punjabi language. I admire him for the way in which he tackles such
They may not have performed live in the UK, but the daddies of bhangra have been performing at venues packed out with ecstatic music fans around the world. We have Malkit Singh, Apna Sangeet, The Dhol Foundation and many more who are making us proud. But it’s not just bhangra – Asian Dub Foundation, Fun-da-mental and Swami, among others, have also been flying the Brit-Asian flag. I am hoping this time there are no debates on who is better – a live band, DJ or a PA. We are all good at what we do so let the music talk.
vast range of subjects that affect our lives in his music. Stevie Wonder: He is a legend and modern-day icon. I love him for his outstanding song-writing ability. He has been a big inspiration to me and millions like me for his soulful vocals and evergreen songs. Michael Jackson: Well, apart from all the scandals he has been involved in and no matter what anybody says about him, he is still truly the king of pop and nobody can take that away
My Top 5, based on requests I get when DJ’ing: 1. Zara Zara Touch Me (remix) from the soundtrack Race (third week) 2. Race Saanson Ki from the soundtrack Race (non mover) 3. Dekhta Hai Tu Kya from the soundtrack Krazzy 4 (non-mover) 4. Judai (kilogram mix) from the soundtrack Jannat (new entry) 5. Mann Tu Talabat (remix) from the soundtrack Superstar (non mover) Unreleased single of the week: Al-
from him. His success is unmatched by any artist and his performing ability and stage presence is undeniably and undisputedly the best. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The original Sufi gave the world a vocal sound that was like no other. His songs have turned heads and the world had no choice but to stand and listen. For me he was our equivalent to Luciano Pavarotti and he had a vocal ability that sent you hypnotically crazy.
ways by Kalia ft Simone – Indian rapper Kalia and Brazilian singer Simone combine their musical influences to create a foot-stomping number. Stop, Look And Listen: Liverpool fan Jassi Sidhu is back with a new album, The Adventures Of Jassi Sidhu featuring production by Rishi Rich, Aman Hayer and a duet with Malkit Singh. Listen to DJ San-j Sanj weekdays 10am2pm on Club Asia 963/ 972AM, Sky channel 0145 and www.clubasiaonline.com
RAPPER and MC Jalporte, 26, started out performing at gigs. The Derby-based musician later hooked up with Dave Rodgers, who produces his beats, and Scott Mabbot, who mixes the tunes. They formed an independent label, Predator Prey, and divide their time between producing songs and hosting their show Predator Prey Radio at www.hhbradio.com on Fridays from 10pm-1am. How did you first get involved in music? I started doing gigs and recording back in 1996 as part of a four-man team in Derby. In 2002, I met up with a genius called Dave Rodgers. He had beats I fell in love with and I had rhymes that worked over them. Together we started the Predator Prey project. Recently we were joined by Scott Mabbott who runs the radio show with us.
How would you describe your musical style? Chaotic! While growing up, both Dave and I were big fans of Wu-Tang, so there is a Wu element involved. But I don’t think we have a particular style. All our singles sound different. If I had to describe it, I would say it is unorthodox, energetic and entertaining. Who are your inspirations? They change daily but if I had to pick three, I would choose Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd, Wrath Of The Math by Jeru Da Damaja and Morning Glory by Oasis. Why should a record label sign you? What we have achieved so far is based on hard work. So if someone signed us, I would like to think it was because we earned it. And also, because we are very good. Honest, we are. Seriously, we are, really! What would you do if a label signed you? Ring Dave and Mabbott and tell them the good news. Then I would change the bit on my myspace profile that says Type of Label. See www.myspace. com/jalporte for gig details and information.
What was the biggest challenge of recording the songs? I don’t make things easy for myself, in that my own expecta- tions and perfectionism...