(Thanks to Tirusha Dave)
A sexy Canadian singer, with a trilingual tongue: fluently speaking English, French and Hindi. Having studied Indian classical music at a young age, he spent his days growing up singing at his local temple, performing in musicals and touring in Canada & Europe. Having studied Indian classical music with Guru Nishi Kant Bali at the age of five, he spent his days growing up, while singing at his local temple, performing in musicals and touring in Canada & Europe. When he was only 15 years old, this amazing vocalist began to write music, which was influenced heavily by pop R&B music from the States. His skills were acclaimed only a year later when he won the National Songwriters Association of America Award for "Top Original Song," not something every 16 year-old can accomplish! With opportunities knocking at his door, he decided to move to L.A. on his own and study with musical master Seth Riggs, who was a vocal coach to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to name a few!
Only one name can stand true to such accomplishments in a short period of time. And we can be certain that Urban South Asian music has taken a complete 360-degree turn since it was first introduced to our ears. It’s no longer the same old; and one name is heard more often than anyone else – Raghav Mathur – yes, Mr. "Angel Eyes," himself. With a seductive voice and looks that can kill, Raghav is more than a complete package. Recently I had the chance to meet Raghav on numerous occasions and sit down with him to discuss his musical past, present and future!Your singing skills are amazing and because of that, you’ve received numerous awards. Fill us in on some of the achievements you’ve attained so far in your musical career!
Raghav: There were a few UK Asian Music Awards. In 2006, it was for the "Best Single." In 2005, it was for "The Best Single," and "Best Newcomer." In 2005, I won the "Best Artist," award in the Southern Asian Music Awards. Then in 2004, I won the Mobo for the "Best Collaboration."
Raghav, we all know that you’re a busy body! Non-stop traveling around! What has been the most exciting place you've traveled to and why?
Raghav: India was an amazing event for me. It's very much a spiritual home for me and it is great having my music being accepted there. I'm proud of my Indian roots.
With all the traveling, you barely have time for yourself. What do you like to do on your free-time, when you’re not writing or recording?
Raghav: Oh man. Well, when not in the studio, I think I told you before; I’m a huge hockey fan. So I’ll watch sports a lot. But generally, I’m just chillin’. Unless I’m in New York, then I like to hang out with my friends.
Now this month’s issue is a special issue because it’s all about sexy, single South Asian men! That’s why we made you the cover of the magazine! With this next question, you’re going to make or break a lot of hearts, so think twice about you’re answer! Is there a lucky lady in your life? If not, what qualities do you look for in a girl?
Raghav: Gosh, I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately! She has to be honest, that’s most important. She has to be beautiful inside and out. The biggest thing is a sense of humor; I have to be able to laugh with her.
You recently performed at the Bollywood Movie Awards! I know I had a great time there, but tell us about your experience! What was it like performing in front of thousands of people in such a large venue?
Raghav: Its fun seeing fans from across the States come together to see their favorite actors and performers. I met some Bollywood actors & actresses there and often you think Bollywood people are hard to deal with. But you learn how they got into the business. Some were born into the business. And you get to share your experiences on getting into the music profession. I met Soha (Ali Khan), and she’s a great person, very down to Earth.
Okay Raghav, I’ve been seeing a lot of you lately, and it’s not some thing to complain about! Recently you and I also met one of Bollywood’s beauty queens, Priyanka Chopra. What was that like? Do you think you might want to make your next video with her?
Raghav: I would totally consider making a video with her. Not sure if she would do the same with me (laughing) because she does feature films! But like I said before, she’s that kind of girl, cool and very down to Earth. I got to see how real she was; she was there with her family. And she’s one of the most beautiful women around.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus on more of your musical side! If you were to collaborate with a well-known mainstream producer, who would it be and why?
Raghav: Timbaland right now is so heavy for me. I love the album. And he just understands things about an artist which are not about him. He can bring things out in an artist which are great. But ultimately, I think the one person I want to work with is Quincy Jones.
How would you see yourself accenting that producers’ style?
Raghav: I don’t think you can accent their style. I think that they bring things out from within the artist. So obviously my background, my music and the way I sing, would be different from anyone else they’ve worked with, and I hope that would be something that any producer I work with would enjoy.
What is your opinion on the newly acquired female vocalist, picked up by Timbaland on his new track, "Bombay,"?
Raghav: Amar! I like the track. In fact, I’ve done some tracks with Jim Beanz, (of Sunset Entertainment Group), the guy who produced it. Those are really great people, who make great music. I’m supporting her 140-million percent!
If you were to start a new trend in fashion, which designer would you choose to rock?
Raghav: Oh! I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to look like Lenny Kravitz, so, whoever designs for him!
You’ve done tours in many different countries. So do you have a different tour manger in each country?
Raghav: No. I have one tour manager and one manager. I go with the same crew everywhere. That sounds exotic though. I think I need to look into that!
Your new album, Identity, is set to release in 2008. Give us a little peak into the album and what listeners can expect.
Raghav: Since I can’t sing for the readers of SimplyBhangra :), there will be a lot of new songs! One is called, "My Kind of Girl," featuring Iceberg Slimm and produced by Mushtaq. And there’s another collabo between Slimm and I called "Lonely." But I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
Raghav, it’s been amazing seeing you over the past few months. First the Bollywood Movie awards, where you gave an amazing performance, then at the India Day after-party in Manhattan, and then finally at dinner in Jersey, with yet another sizzling performance! You’re a great person and a damn good performer! You know I wish you the best of luck with your career! Any last words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com and your fans?
Raghav: Thank you Tirusha for taking the time out. Thank you to the readers of SimplyBhangra for their support. And I definitely want to thank the fans for all their support and love they’ve given me. I really hope they like the new songs, which are coming out soon!