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Exclusive Navin Kundra Interview

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For starters, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself, your background and what you do?

 Well I’m 24 years old and I’m a singer, songwriter and composer based in the UK.  I was born here in England and my roots are in Punjab, India.

 Music has been a huge passion of mine since I was a young kid and I feel lucky to be able to do what I love as a career.

 How did your musical career begin?

 My journey into the music industry began with an appearance on Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa where I represented the UK on my 19th birthday in an exclusive world series filmed in Dubai.

 I was the youngest contestant on the show and it was an amazing experience performing amongst music legends such as Zakhir Hussain Ji, Ghulam Ali Ji, the late O.P. Nayyar saab, Jagjit Singh Ji and one of my favourite playback singers Shaan.  I then went onto win the BBC Asian Network Unsung competition where I performed on the same stage as Gurdaas Mann Ji, Sukshinder Shinda, Jazzy B, DCS and many more.  The show was judged by Nyrone, Rishi Rich, Adil Ray, Mona Singh and Shin from DCS and as well as winning the Judges Choice Award, I also won the public vote to take the Audience’s Favourite Award.

 Thereafter I finished my degree at University and started writing songs with my friend M Johal.  We wrote ‘Tukde Tukde’ together and after a few months, it made it’s way into the charts and stayed at number 1 for 3 weeks.  That really put the wheels in motion for me.

 Have you worked with any other singer/song writers? If so, who and when?

 Well I started writing songs with my friend M Johal – we still write songs together even now.  I’ve also been lucky enough to work with one of the pioneers of the British Asian music industry, Pandit Dinesh Ji.

 Most recently I have been writing with Mushtaq who has worked with some incredible artists including Amy Winehouse and Damage.  I’ve also collaborated with Anu Malik, Rishi Rich and Jay Sean and have some more collaborations in the pipeline.

 I really enjoy working with different people cos it’s a different vibe.

 What inspires you to write, as most of your songs seem to be warm hearted?

There’s no straight forward answer to that question.  Most of the time it’s just real life emotions and experiences, and other times it can be a random thought or even simply the instrumental of a track

 I can pick up inspiration from anything really…for example, I wrote ‘Tere Liye (For You)’ after posting a status message on my facebook profile!

 You had been nominated for the Best Newcomer Award at the 2009 UK AMA Awards. Did this come to you as a surprise? How did you feel to be nominated?

Yes, I totally didn’t expect to be nominated for the award and it felt amazing.  It felt like my hard work was being encouraged and recognized and it was a really inspirational experience.

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me – the support has been amazing.  I was also given the honour of presenting an award to Gurdas Mann Ji who I am a huge fan of!

Just this past Valentine’s Day you had released a new love song called “Tere Liye” – which is a beautiful song and hit the charts at #1. How did you feel about this?

 I’ve been blown away by the response to this song – it’s been awesome!  ‘Tere Liye’ is currently in it’s 3rd week at number 1 in the UK Asian charts and has also topped the charts in Suriname, South America.  I think for any artist, having your song reach number 1 in the charts is a huge compliment and it feels great. 

 Again, the support has been fantastic and people around the world have really taken to the personalized dedication idea which I released the song with. It has become many couples ‘first dance’ song and has also been used to make marriage proposals!

 Many girls are wondering, was this love song “Tere Liye” created for a special someone in your life?

 I’m wondering the same thing!

Are you in the process of releasing an album? If so, when can we expect to see this happen and will there be any collaboration?

I don’t have a specific date for the album as of yet but I’m aiming to release it this year.  There will definitely be some collaboration on the album, but it will primarily revolve around my solo work.  I think that’s important, especially as it’s my first album and I want it to showcase what I’m about.

If there is any person you admire the most in the music industry who would it be and why?

There are so many that it’s too hard to pick just one.  Although at present, I would say A.R. Rahman and Michael Jackson – their music speaks for itself.

Many artists are collaborating with Bollywood singers/artists and music directors at the moment. Do you see yourself following this trend?

For sure - I’ve grown up with Bollywood and love it!  Everything is so over the top and in your face! (laughs) I’ve actually already collaborated on a song with Anu Malik, Rishi Rich and Veronica for the film Kambakth Ishq.

I would definitely consider doing more Bollywood collaborations and possibly getting some of my own songs into Bollywood soundtracks.

 What is the most important thing you have accomplished as of today?

I think winning the support of so many people around the world has been my most important achievement – they are the ones who buy my singles, they are the ones who vote for me, request my songs, make fan sites,  write me emails, messages, comments, keep me updated with everything, and I love interacting with them and meeting them at shows or via social networks such as Facebook. 

If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here writing songs…the fact that I’ve managed to strike a chord with people around the world through my music is definitely really important to me.

Will you be doing any performances or going on tour anytime soon?

Yes – I’ve actually just begun touring internationally and over the last couple of months have performed at the Burj-al-Arab in Dubai, New York, Holland and London.

I am scheduled to perform some more shows here in London and also tour in America, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Holland.  All tour information is available on my website at www.navin-online.com and also on my facebook.

What can we look forward to see from you in the near future?

You can expect my next single from the album to out soon called ‘Mehbooba’.  This is an out and out summer dance tune and I’m really excited about it!  I’ve already been performing it live around the world and the response has been crazy! 

And later this year I hope to release my debut solo album so busy times ahead!

Any final words for our SimplyBhangra.com readers?

Well this is where I get to say a big thank you to all of you for your support!  I do read all of  your messages, comments, wall posts etc on my Facebook and try to reply to all of you individually.  You guys are awesome and I hope that you continue to follow me on my journey. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you hit me up on Facebook and Youtube. 

And I’d like you guys to keep supporting SimplyBhangra.com because they’re doing a great job of supporting talent - even if the music isn’t predominantly bhangra like mine! Unlike some other portals, they’re not afraid to step out of the box and expose different types of music – props to you guys! 

Mad love to you all, Peace & love,

Navin

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Comments   

truth hurts
0 #13 truth hurts 2009-07-30 10:43
wrong to make comments as below, not everyone from the mother land is good, most are only after a quick fame and make money and there are loads of them. Navin not has been around for some time, but surely has loads more to offer and gets better everytime, keep it up
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JayS
+1 #12 JayS 2009-07-30 09:48
His not a punjabi folk vocalist tho :sigh:

not everyone can sound like Manak/Shinda.

idiot.
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DEANO
-3 #11 DEANO 2009-07-30 09:19
Why are all these useless singers come out of the UK now? Their Punjabi is terrible, and the lyrics are meaningless.

You people are the demise of Punjabi folk.
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seemaa.
-1 #10 seemaa. 2009-07-16 08:11
seen him live at the mela he is sooo fit :-*
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selina
0 #9 selina 2009-07-14 13:20
a seriously wicked talent! love him! can't wait for more of his work.. an amazing artist!
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a guest
0 #8 a guest 2009-06-17 10:10
wicked interview and good to see that sites like this do promote everything keep up the good work
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singhstar
0 #7 singhstar 2009-06-08 10:21
wikid singer!
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sonal
0 #6 sonal 2009-06-05 10:45
He\'s really grounded and humble and like he says about Rahman, his music speaks for itself. Tere Liye is just bliss!
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Guest
0 #5 Guest 2009-06-04 22:43
very under rated person, cant wait for the album :-)
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sonal
0 #4 sonal 2009-06-04 13:00
Navin is a true talent. Love him and luv his music. It\'s like a breath of fresh air. Good luck xxx
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Guest
0 #3 Guest 2009-06-04 08:16
wicked loving this, thanks
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Guest
0 #2 Guest 2009-06-04 01:52
amazing interview with Navin, you rock!
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