Jassi Sidhu over the past 10 years has became a household name, and a massive sucess on the international stage. After leaving one of the most sucessfu bhangra bands ever; B21, he went on to go solo and cement his name as one of the major bhangra artists worldwide.
Rohit managed to catch up with him as Jassi is just about to begin recording for this third solo album.
So for those people out there who have had there head in a hole for the past 10 years, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I hate answering this question! Ok here is the really quick version lead singer of boy-band B21 from 1996 to 2002 after which went solo releasing 2 albums Reality Check in 2004 and No Strings Attached last year.
After a long wait you released your follow up to your debut album ‘Reality Check’ in early 2006, how was the feedback you got from ‘No Strings Attached’?
The feed back was good internationally although the album was not as big as Reality Check it did help cement my name worldwide. We toured 11 international cities this year so at least I know the album was heard worldwide! I think one of my biggest problems is I’m always competing with myself so I must always strive to be better then the last album and although NSA (No Strings Attached) didn’t do as well as Reality Check it was still positive.
You’re one of the very few UK born vocalists who has been able to make an impact in the Indian music scene, how important was it for you to be able to go back to Punjab and get such a massive response from the people over there?
To be honest at fist I wasn’t too bothered but its only once you see how much the Indian public appreciate you that you realise how much of a huge thing it is for your work to be recognised in India. Im still shocked at the response my music has had there and winning etc Punjabi music awards just further amazes me. I think as a Punjabi artist to break India can be compared to a English artist breaking USA its our mainstream so it does mean a huge amount to me.
Some would say that you’ve now come at a crossroads as a Bhangra artist, how would you consider your status as an artist currently? Do you feel there’s a need for you to re-invent yourself?
I don’t think I have to re invent myself at the end of the day I’ve been around 10 years and that speaks for itself. There are not many artists who perform worldwide and to be 1 of around 10 who do it shows I’m doing something right. I hear people wanting me to work with other producers but I’m sure if I flipped my sound those same people would say I’ve changed too much. As an artist it is about evolving so I’m sure you will see that from me in the future. Also B21 will release something this year which will help as the public will finally be able to stop reminiscing about how we used to sound and come to terms with 2 separate acts and 2 separate sounds.
Your past two albums have been entirely produced by yourself, have you ever considered yourself going into fulltime production, producing for established or up and coming vocalists?
No thanks you, producing is really difficult and the way I produce suits my voice I don’t think I could do justice with other singers. I do the odd track here and there for friends but I don’t think Jassi Sidhu productions are in the pipeline!
I hear work on your third album has begun and names such as Rishi rich & Aman Hayer have been branded about as possible producers this time around. Was this a conscious effort by you to try and bring a new flavour to your album, as many did consider No Strings Attached very similar to Reality Check?
Yeh defiantly this album is going to be different, as I said I’ve now stamped my sound around the world people know my brand which was always going to be very important seeing that I had to create a name for myself away from B21. If you look at how many artists go on to be successful after leaving a boy/girl band there not that many Robbie Williams, Beyonce? After that most of them vanish so for me to establish myself as a solo artist was a huge deal and don’t forget I’ve only released 2 albums so the best is yet to come.
So when’s it coming out... give or take a few months here and there due to delays (lol)?
It will hope fully see light of day around June 2007 around 18 months after NSA you can never say exactly but I’m hoping for this date.
Your last album saw collaborations with a few rappers, Maximus and Sunny, Which artists are you collaborating with this time around and is there any truth in rumours that a duet with you and Malkit Singh is on the cards?
Yeh I’ve heard the rumours too! I don’t think there will be any rappers on this album but I decided that if I was going to work with other producers I wanted the best young producers around so to get Rishi Rich the best western style producer in the UK and Aman Hayer the best Punjabi style producer in the UK to appear on 1 album is in my eyes an amazing feat these 2 guys sell albums off there own names so to work alongside them really excites me
As for the Malkit Singh rumour well you’re just going to have to wait and see but it would be something special if it did happen.
You did a song on the new Rishi Rich album titled ‘Maar Sootiya’ Would you ever consider doing a “Lehmber” so to speak and allowing your vocals to be used by different producers on there respective albums?
Defiantly not I wouldn’t trust many producers to work with me and for all the huge hits that Lember has had there have been just as many poorly produced tracks so I think I’l just keep my voice to the 1 album every 2 years!
You’ve set up your own live band, how important do you think it is for vocalists of today’s generation to play totally live, much like the bands of the 80’s and early 90’s were able to do. Any plans for an album using the live band? Or acoustic versions of your songs?
Going live is the most amazing thing in the world I love playing with the band and I think as a singer you’re never fully respected until you perform with a full live band. Don’t get me wrong pas are fun and I pride myself on doing a great PA (as opposed to the many poor ones out there) but there’s something special about the band.
I don’t think there will be an actual album with the live band but hopefully on the next album there will be a DVD showcase of the band performing.
A DVD was supposed to be coming out with a collection of live shows and performances you have done? Has it been put on the back burner or will you be following the MovieBox trend of releasing it with your album?
The initial idea was to release it separately but as always what with my touring schedule I just couldn’t fit it in there’s so much footage from USA, Canada. Singapore, Africa, Europe and UK alongside the fact that I wanted to record the band live in concert that I will hope fully have it ready as part of the album its almost a 3 hour DVD so it is a lot of hard work.
Your good friend Simon Nandhra has just released his third solo album titled ‘Silent Tears’, do you have any input in his work or vice versa?
Yeh me and Simon are always talking and bouncing ideas off each other but I think were both so focused on our sounds that we know exactly what were going to do so work wise its pretty straight forward but were always there to share ideas and thought about work.
We asked our forum members to contribute to this interview, and here are some of the questions asked:
Any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who’s listened to me over the last decade still find it hard to believe that I’m still able to do this after so long it still is a dream come true and I hope that I can continue producing music that you want to listen to in the future.
A big thanks to Jassi from taking time out and giving this interiview, his third solo album will be releasing Summer 2007.