Simply Bhangra recently caught up with En Karma, the ‘Bhangra Rockstars’ to find out the latest on what’s been happening with the band.
What inspired you to form a Bhangra band?
We can’t say that there was one sole source of inspiration. We basically came together for a friends Christmas party in 2006 and soon realised there was some serious chemistry between us. We have been creating and performing together ever since.
Why did you decide to call the band ‘En Karma’ and what is the significance of this title?
En Karma is quite simply translated as “In Karma”. We decided that this is a unique, yet meaningful title for us because karma has played a major role in how our story has unfolded. Some things were just meant to be… there is no explanation… just karmic factors.
What is the Bhangra scene like in Canada?
We are very excited about all the South Asian talent emerging from Canada. Things had been stagnant for quite some time; with the music we are creating and what some of the other artists are doing in the area, we hope that Canada will create a buzz around the world and no longer take a back seat to other countries.
Canada has never really been exposed to the proper live Bhangra scene. So the advantage is that it’s something new, opposed to the UK where they've been doing it for decades.
The Bhangra band phenomenon started way back in the 70’s in the UK. Why do you think it has taken so long for a successful Bhangra band to emerge from North America (USA/Canada)?
Canada has always been a breeding ground for great Bhangra music. Just look at Jazzy B!! The Bhangra band thing is something that has always been alive but somewhat underground, maybe due to the domination of digital music and DJ`s/ artists that emerged during the early 90’s.
For many artists it is simply a lack of available resources (musicians) for making live music. We are not pioneers, just guys who believe in taking Bhangra back to being composed and performed by the artists themselves.
Your sound is reminiscent of some of the 90’s Bhangra bands. To what extent have such bands inspired you?
UK bands are definitely sources of inspiration but we have never consciously made an effort to recreate their style or music. Having Nick and Pip in the band and coming from those similar British Bhangra roots, it makes sense that we will have some similarities in sound. En Karma has its own versatile style.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any other band which one would it be and why?
We would probably say DCS because they have been a huge inspiration for us and because we are still in awe at how great there musicianship is. It would also be amazing to collaborate with bands like the Asian Dub Foundation, Swami, or on more tracks with our friends Delhi 2 Dublin.
Congratulations on the success of your album. Why do you think it has been so successful?
Thank you! We think it’s integral to keep things real yet fun. We feel that people can relate to our energy whether they understand the lyrics or not. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and the success is quite simply a by-product of our hard work and persistence.
At the end of the day we are just six guys who enjoy writing and performing Bhangra music, and people can identify with that.
How did the collaboration with H Dhami on the track ‘Tere Bina Nahin Nachna' come about? What was it like working with him?
As a band we find it important to keep things fresh and inspiring. We love to make music but we also take the time to learn about and enjoy the music of other artists. We met H Dhami at a festival in Vancouver last year and we all instantly hit it off.
His charisma on stage and in the studio is quite inspiring, so we tried to bottle it in this song. This song was not contrived or overly produced. We wanted to keep it raw and edgy much like the other tracks on our album.
H Dhami, much like us, is driven by exploring the boundaries of music and visual arts and that is why we all work so well together. This song was a result of 7 guys coming together with a collective vision and putting it in a form that listeners/viewers would enjoy.
You performed at three shows at the Winter Olympics. How was this experience?
This year we could easily say that performing at the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics was definitely the main highlight. Not only was it an amazing opportunity to showcase our music to people from around the globe, it served as an important catalyst in solidifying the true En Karma sound.
The Olympics also gave us the opportunity to perform with legendary singer Shin, of the Bhangra band DCS. We had an amazing time.
What are your plans for the future?
We are excited about the release of our new video entitled “Anakh Naal Din Kattiye” which features a duet with K.S.Makhan. The video is out now, so do check it out. ( En Karma ft KS Makhan - Anakh Naal Din Kattiye (Video)
There is also an Asia/Europe tour in the works for this fall. The plans for the immediate future are to keep releasing hits and igniting stages around the world with our music.
Will you be visiting the UK in the near future?
Yes indeed! We plan to be in the UK to do some shows around Dec or early 2011. There are also talks of an En Karma New Year’s bash in the UK! So keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Do you have any final words for your fans?
Drink responsibly; floss your teeth and keep in touch through www.enkarma.ca