To kick off the new year, SimplyBhangra.com have managed to finally track down one of the biggest names in the asian music scene. In a rare interview, Sukshinder Shinda spoke to Sukh about his new album 'Collaborations 2' and other projects in the pipeline from the Music Man!
Let’s get straight into the deep end, ‘Collaborations 2’ (More Info) is releasing soon, it features some interesting names alongside the usual suspects. What can we expect in terms of sound? Any low down on the Jazzy B collaboration?
Sukshinder Shinda: Yeah, Collaborations 2 is coming out really soon, February 20th is the confirmed release date. It’s going to feature some really great singers, you’ve got Jazzy B, Amrinder Gill, Nachatar Gill, Shazia Manzoor, Manjt Papu Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. You’ve got new melodies, new styles of singing such as Quwali, Hindi vibe, and more traditional dhadi style. A much larger variation of music & singing styles. The Jazzy B track will be a full on Bhangra track titled “Yaariyan baneye rakhi yaarian”, its aimed at the family and mentions all the family members, so hopefully it will be a big song.. I’ve actually had this idea of the Yaariyan track for about two three years now and I had given it to a lot of writers trying to find the type of songs that I was looking for.
The lyrics on collaborations are on another level, it’s not your usual Bhangra tape, its got much more variation to it. I want to take my music to new boundaries, such as the Hindi film industry. But I’ve still got traditional Punjabi songs like the Nachattar Gill track which is a real dance floor song its titled ‘Mul ne lagda nachne da’.
For me working with Rahat Ali Khan was amazing. I remember seeing him on stage with my brother alongside the great Nusrat fateh ali khan, and now I’m making a song with him, it’s a dream come true.
You’re always constantly working on new projects but you have stated that you never work on more than one album at a time, how long would you say a normal project take you to complete for lets say Rambo or Collaborations 2?
Sukshinder Shinda: It doesn’t matter how long I work on something. For me I love working, I love making music, So I’m always thinking of new compositions melodies and song ideas.
I might have an idea in my head now, but use it in two years time. An album for me doesn’t have a ‘start’ or ‘end’ because I’m always working. But the main thing is the compositions and the lyrics, they are the most important aspect so you have to concentrate on those things more. Anyone can really go in a studio and make beats, but the difficult part is creating compositions and having good strong lyrics.
With me, sometimes I might work on a song for a week, but then I’d leave it and come back to it
India has now become one of the main markets to crack as an artist, a decline in sales in the UK means that a lot of artists are now looking at India for big sales. Do you make your music with this in mind?
Sukshinder Shinda: You’re right, there are no sales left in the UK anymore, India is the main market were your cd will sell the most. But I’ve always made my music for all the fans all over the world; I just don’t want it to be in the UK playing in a few clubs. All my releases are international so I have to cater for all my fans. When you have such big budget videos you have to try and make sure it’s shown worldwide and to all the fans over the world.
You produced the ‘Rambo’ album for Jazzy B, how successful did you think that album was compared to Romeo?
Sukshinder Shinda: The Rambo album did good, but as you said before the downloading is killing the industry. If an album was released three years ago (Romeo) it would have sold more than if it was released today. But people are liking it and appreciating it, when you go to show people are requesting it. If you go by sales, there’s not much sales as there used to be.
I hear you have an album out with Nachattar Gill soon?
Sukshinder Shinda: Yeah, the album is out January 23rd, its got a lot of variation in it much like Collaborations 2, it’s a really nice album. Both this album and Collaborations 2 concentrate a lot more on strong melodies and lyrics.
Your last solo album was ‘Living The Dream’, it was a massive success worldwide, what was your reaction to it?
Sukshinder Shinda: That album was an amazing success for me, it broke records. The lyrics on that album were very strong, songs like ‘taara’ had different lyrical content compared to other songs, that’s what I always try to do. You’ve got songs like aao giddah palay, jaan jaan wanga and chardi kala that are dj favourites. Usually an album will have one song that’s popular with the DJ’s this album for me had 4 or 5 songs that have done well.
Songs like vaada and tere naal, you will hear the same kind of tip with Shazia Manzoor on Collaborations 2.
I understand you and Jazzy B are also going to release a Dharmik album shortly after Collaborations 2, very few artists these days take time out to create such albums, what was your motivation to fit a Dharmik album into your busy schedule?
Sukshinder Shinda: Yeah definitely that’s what I’m working on currently as my main project, it’s a dharmik album. We’re hopefully looking at releasing it in April in time for Vasisakhi. I’ve been wanting to do a religious tape for many many years now and I’ve been thinking about it since Living the dream. I don’t make dharmik albums very often and I want all the fans to know that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to-do this album. I’m spending the same amount of time and effort as I would with a Bhangra album. I’m not trying to cut any corners but try my hardest on his dharmik album. Devotional tapes are very hard to put together, so I’m giving this album my 100%.
The process of putting together these types of sentimental and devotional albums is very difficult; you have to find the right writers and lyrics for songs. I’ve got Jazzy B singing four songs with me on this album alongside four solo songs from myself.
What else will Sukshinder Shinda be producing in 2009 going into 2010?
Sukshinder Shinda: As mentioned earlier I’ve just finished the Nachattar Gill album and that will be releasing very very soon. The new Amrinder Gill album which will be out next year. I’m also working on a new film soundtrack for the ‘UK Mundeh De’ which is Amrinder Gills acting debut. Hopefully once I’m done with this Dharmik album and Amrinder Gills release I will start work on my own album, but there are no dates for that yet, I am always working.
It’s a concept of a song, sometimes I’ll think of something now and use it later, I’ll have ideas in my head and then discuss these with the writers, sometimes songs can be done in a day sometimes they take a month. The most important thing is lyrics, there are thousands of songs that sound the same, you need variation. I tried that with tara on living the dream, it had fresh wording and a new concept. You can’t have songs about lakh Hilda or koka chamkda because it’s not new anymore; it’s been done before so many times.
I’m also very busy with my band, so I don’t get the chance to work on that many albums; the live scene plays a big part today
Thanks for taking time out for this interview! We wish you all the best for Collaborations 2. Any final words for your many fans and the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
Sukshinder Shinda: I’d like to thank all the fans who have been supporting me. I really hope they like Collaborations 2, I’m just trying my best to bring out good quality albums. There are no guarantees that this album will be a hit, but you have to try your best. I’m just trying to introduce more melody to Bhangra music and more variety. I’d like to wish everyone at SimplyBhangra.com and its readers a Happy New Year.
SimplyBhangra.com would like to thank Sukshinder Shinda for taking time out to conduct this interview.
Sukshinder Shinda - Collaborations 2 will be releasing February 27th