SimplyBhangra's Kulwinder caught up Biti whose Urban swag and sweet voice make for her unique and genuine persona!
Hey, How's it going?
Going good thanks
First of all tell us where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Bedford in the U.K.
How did you get involved in music?
Music has always been a big part of my life since an early age. I've always loved listening/singing along to all kinds of music. I used to make frequent visits to the Broadway in Southall or Soho Road in Birmingham especially just to go and purchase the latest releases from both the Bollywood and Bhangra scene!
Even when going on trips to India, a large part of the excitement was to get new music from there and I would always come back with a new musical instrument each time too!!
Everyone can sing; so did I and used to hum a tune or two back in my school days. In my early years my parents and those around me used to remark that my voice was quite shrill not knowing that one day I might put it to use for singing. I always wanted to sing and record a song of my own and was lucky enough to have been introduced by a friend, to a local music producer who was looking for a female vocalist to feature on an album he was working on at the time, and that's where it all started off!
When did you begin singing?
My first recording was back in 2004 when I recorded a song called 'Shad Gaya Channa' which was my first ever song to be recorded and that appeared in “Our Destiny” album along with some very good tracks from other artists. In this album there was another song ‘Nachnay Nu Jee Karda…’ and that also was a very popular song on radio as you all might know.
There was a great video done on ’Shad Gaya Channa…’ and it was played on most Asian TV channels though edited to avoid a ‘violent scene’ in its end. It is shame though that the viewers could not see this video in its original entirety. The video-song receives very good responses even now.
In 2006 I was approached by Manchester duo called ‘Jinx’. They asked me to sing in a duet called ‘Gal Sun’ for their album “Culture Shock”. Everyone thought it was an average slow ballad and no one expected that it could be designated as the ‘Song of the Year 2006 on ClubAsia Radio’. I thank the Lord for His grace to have uplifted my humble spirits.
What is it like seeing and hearing Sur te Taal, played on TV and radio?
It feels great! It's just nice to be able to be a part of the Music scene as it has been a passion of mine for a long time.
Tell us more about working with Fire-tiger on your track Sur te Taal?
It has been a good experience as always, when working with Fire-tiger. Initially there was a different mix to 'Sur te Taal' which was a version solely recorded for a performance at the UK Asian Music Awards. Then we went on to completing it into a full song.
Its great working with Fire-tiger, his music always comes with a fresh sound, one with a difference.
Since releasing your single, what has the support and feedback been like?
Feedback & support has been mostly great. I'm really happy to say there have been a lot of positive messages coming through from the listeners, which I am so grateful for.
There will always be people who don't really like what you do or it's just not their kind of thing, but we can only take on any kind of criticism and use it as a positive learning curve for any future works.
There aren't many female Punjabi singers in the industry. What are your views on this? Do you feel any pressure as an artist?
There is definitely still a big lack of female Punjabi singers, but in my opinion it seems as though producers & record labels are becoming more and more aware of this as there seems to be more female artists coming through.
It is great to see that there are more artists but there needs to be a lot more support and promotion to help gain confidence in working in this music industry.
I think that the pressure is on, not just for female singers but artists on a general level. These days there seems to be a lot of emphasis on image and visuals rather than appreciation of the music and talent for what it is.
Is there a song which you wish you had sung? And why?
For me it is more that I have sung and recorded a song but just wish it was officially released! It's a song called 'Samne Jad aavein' feat. Zide Zed and music produced by Marcus James. It is a simple but meaningful song that is very close to my heart.
Apart from singing, what else do you do?
I work as a nurse which is my main profession.
Your video is clean, traditional, how important is this to you?
This is quite important to me as I have been brought up in a fairly traditional way and like to keep within the limitations of my culture as best I can!
Who would you say your audience are?
I'd like to say everybody, but as I sing in Punjabi I guess my audience is slightly limited. Saying that, my aim is to cater for a wider audience that simply includes anybody and everybody!
Who is your inspiration?
I have grown up listening to various artists and singers so I am inspired by many. Lata Mangeshkar Ji, Kishore Kumar Ji & Gurdas Maan Ji are my main inspiration. Not to mention my Mum, and watching her singing at weddings with her partners in rhyme!
Who will we see Biti collaborating with?
There are no plans to collaborate with any particular singer or producer at present. However there is a song being released very soon. It is a well known song by one of my favourite singers 'Noor Jehan ji' which I used to sing as a youngster, but I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to record it again with Asif Khan on the production.
Where do we see you in the next 5 years?
Not sure, let's see. I would love to do playback singing but I'm just going with the flow at the moment.
Lastly, what are we expecting from you this year?
Hopefully more single releases later in the year. Might be performing at some of the Mela's during the year.
Any messages for the viewers?
I just want to say thank you all for the love and support and I can only hope that I continue to make songs which you will enjoy!
Interviewed by Kulwinder Kaur Kainth