The self made, Singer/song writer ZeeKay looks set to take the music industry by storm with the release of his debut single My Moment (3rd Myspace R&B charts) on August 11th. The single which is available at all major digital retailers includes the bass line remixes and ‘sos’ a bonus track which was recently featured on channel U. We caught with him recently to bring you this interview.
For those that don't know, could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get all into the music business?
I’m a 20 year old of Kashmir / Punjabi origin from Sussex. I’ve been singing as long as I can remember to be honest and writing / composing songs since I was 11. At 19, I finally met the right people at the right time and signed a production deal with Mr Skillz the man behind Big Brova’s, and producer for Jamelia/Lemar, where we began composing an EP (album).
He became a kind of mentor and guided me on how to manage myself independently and offered me lots of advice along with Yousef Filali (co-manager). From there I began my journey into the industry, being a relatively new artist I still feel like I’ve been doing it for a long time!
How unique and innovative do you think the music scene is at the moment?
In my opinion, current music follows a certain trend.
My new single “my moment” is an epic r&b track, so I had to get a bassline remix made for the clubs and its getting more plays than the original, even on the radio!
Right now anything with a catchy hook and a bassline / dubstep beat will be popular to an extent. These day’s nothing ever is original or innovative in its entirety; bassline has all been done before in the form of garage music. Needless to say, I do love my dubstep!
Many artists in the industry have professions outside of their music career. Do you have a career outside that demands your time or is music dominating your life?
Well you always need something to fall back on when you’re pursuing any career in the entertainment industry. I was actually at university studying economics before I had to take a break to fully concentrate on the music. Right now that’s my main priority, but I will definitely go back to university to finish my degree just in case things don’t work out ;)
How original do you think the Bhangra scene is at the moment? Where do you see it going?
I’ve grown up listening to Bhangra music and I think the basic principles have always remained the same. There have been many stereotypes about the genre however I do believe it’s a matter of time when mainstream audience’s start to appreciate it, not just on a talent show level.
I think Imran Khan and Rishi’s artist H-Dhami has definitely changed the face of Bhangra acts with a more contemporary look and sound.
If you had the opportunity to work with any artist/ producer either from the Bhangra or mainstream industry, past/ present/ future, who would it be, and why?
I love working with new producers/ artists all the time who share the same passion as me for music. In the Asian scene, theres no-one like Rishi Rich. Other than him I think it would be a dream come true if I could work with the likes of Michael B Cox, from the US. He’s known for his ballads and smooth R&B.
It is becoming very difficult to find sites that offer mp3 downloads, simply due the effects the hard working artists and musicians. How does it feel to know that people from different parts of the world are accessing and downloading music?
I think it’s brilliant that the whole world can access your music; the fan base is automatically multiplied. The obvious draw back is that record sales drop considerably so most artists can only really see the benefits by performing at shows.
Although there are still people who download music legally, which allows for independent artists to release music without having to pay out for physically distribution fee’s?
What do you think are the biggest factors that are holding back the industry, and if you had the power, what would be the first change you would make?
There is so much talent out there which isn’t being acknowledged. Most major record labels take advantage of their economies of scale and shape our music preferences with huge PR campaigns.
Talent shows are fixed, and the ones that aren’t are filled with clauses that oppress artists. The other problem is, very few are signed in the urban industry by major’s as it’s cheaper to licence music over here by previous successful singles from the US.
If I had the power, I’d like to eventually set up a label where we have direct access to international record labels and sponsor artists.
So what you working now? Any new albums, gigs coming up for you?
I’ve got a busy next couple of months, touring and performing to promote my new single and then I have another single that will follow and it starts all over again!
Who are your role models or mentors? Why?
My DAD because he has always believed in me and encouraged me to run with my ambition. And if it wasn’t for my cousin Fiaz, I don’t think I’d have got a break. He helped fund a lot along with my parents to help launch my music. Harry and Kazz from the Sona Family have always inspired me, having built all their success independently and tour the world.
Yousef Filali who I mentioned earlier has always motivated me every step of the way and I don’t know if I’d have made it here without him.
Have you got any messages for all the aspiring individuals wishing to enter the industry?
Well, every artist has a window of opportunity at some point or another. From my experience, ive learnt not to rush things as I believe everything happens for a reason. Don’t hesitate to develop yourself as an artist, which means investing on studio time / photoshoots / video shoots etc
Most established artists will agree that part of taking yourself seriously as an artist is investing in yourself.
Any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
( Our special thanks go to Shaziya Ramji who followed up the interview and conducted it - Check out www.shazdesigns.com, offering Unique Creative Designs )