SimplyBhangra.com's Jusi Sahota discets the 2014 Brit Asia Award 2014 Nominations - Telling us his favourite nominees and who he thinks should have been nominated!
After an eventful year in the bhangra industry, the Brit Asia Music Awards returns for another awards ceremony, which is set to take place on Saturday 4th October 2014 in Birmingham, UK. Last week, Brit Asia TV hosted an awards nomination party, in which the nominees for the forthcoming awards ceremony were announced.
I list some my favourite nominees, and some artists who I believe should be nominated, and my reasons to why they deserve to win the award in their specific category.
Best Newcomer: Bambi Bains
Bambi, the leading lady of Team PBN, has been able to secure two huge singles as she marks her presence on the bhangra scene. Mentored by "The Hitmaker" PBN, she has released two separate singles in the last 12 months. Her singles, Zaalma and Nath Dig Pey, have accumulated 484,000 and 293,000 views on YouTube respectively as well as earn herself an impressive chart performance for both singles. Bambi has also accumulated over 17,000 instagram followers, and proves that she is an artist that has kept worldwide bhangra fans talking.
It is no surprise that Bambi is in contention for this award, as female bhangra singers haven't had much of an impact in recent months. Exposure to Bambi's music and social media pages has allowed her to become a successful recording artist and fashion icon for female bhangra fans – something which is very rare in the bhangra industry.
Best International Act: Diljit Dosanjh
By far the hardest group for the forthcoming Brit Asia Music Awards, as it features some huge names in the bhangra industry such as Satinder Sartaaj, Kanwar Grewal, Honey Singh and Miss Pooja. However, I felt as though Diljit Dosanjh was the stand-out artist for this category.
This year in 2014, Diljit Dosanjh had a huge presence on the bhangra scene. After featuring in the movies "Disco Singh" and "Punjab 1984", as well as releasing sound-tracks to the films and numerous bhangra singles, Diljt Dosanjh embarked on his first UK tour for the 2012 album "Back To Basics", creating a huge and substantial buzz surrounding the concerts. The tour featured some of the best UK born musicians that bhangra has ever witnessed, and it was a rare treat for bhangra fans as Diljit proved to the world as to why he is regarded as one of the best bhangra artists of this generation.
Best Music Video – B21 Dil Tharkeh (R&B Mix)
This year marked the return of production outfit "B21" consisting of brothers Bhota and Bally Jagpal. After the release of the album "12B", B21 released the video to "Dil Tharkeh R&B Mix" which was a very creative music video. It features Bhota and Bally Jagpal as well as singer Baljinder Bilga, as they team-up to commit a robbery on a bank. However, they are ambushed by an armed team of robbers and fight their way out of the bank.
They overcome the fight and are later thanked by Shin DCS, who portrays a police officer. The music video consists of high quality visuals, effects and a very creative storyline to grasp the attention of the viewers. In comparison to the other nominees in this category, this music video stands out for its creativeness and superb visuals and effects and therefore B21 deserve to win this category.
Best Male – Raj Bains
A difficult category, featuring some huge names in our industry; which includes Jazzy B, Jaz Dhami, Jay Status and Nafees. However, I felt as though Raj Bains had the biggest impact on the industry within the last twelve months. Raj Bains is the third member of Team PBN – which consists of Bambi and his mentor: PBN.
It is fair to say that Raj Bains is a very unique gem within our industry. He possesses a powerful and raw vocal, which is a skill that is very rare for a singer of his age. After releasing the debut single, "Superstar" in May 2013, Raj returned with the single: "Phatte Chuk Di" in February 2014 which showcased Raj's powerful vocal alongside folk inspired punjabi music.
The song itself became a popular song for bhangra teams worldwide, as well as the dance-floors and proved that there is more yet to come from this singer.
Best Female Act: Kanika Kapoor.
Singer and model Kanika Kapoor has been responsible for the biggest track of the year – the song "Baby Doll" which is from the movie Ragini MMS 2. The film features actress Sunny Leone, best known for her work in the adult entertainment industry.
The song itself has been produced by production outfit "Meet Bros" and has accumulated over 32 million views on YouTube; as well as creating a huge buzz surrounding the release of the track. Kanika Kapoor truly deserves this award, especially as Sunny Leone has mistakenly been identified as the singer of the song, when actually it has been the work of Kanika Kapoor.
Best Live Band: The Legends Band.
Arguably the most talked about bhangra band on the music scene, the musicians involved are the best that the bhangra scene has to offer. Consisting of Harry, Bhota, Pal, Prem, Juggy, Sunil, Raj and Happy – The Legends Band are associated with all major UK legends including Apna Sangeet, Anari Sangeet Party, Pardesi, Saqi, Azzad and many more.
The Legends Band have also performed with Miss Pooja, Jay Status, Surj Sahota, Saini Surinder, Sukhshinder Shinda and Abrar Ul Haq in recent months; cementing their place as the leading band in british asian music. There seems to be no other leading bhangra band on the music scene in the past twelve months, as last year's winners look set to win for another year.
Best Single: Tru Skool – Puth Jattan De
Puth Jattan De by UK's very own: "Tru Skool" was a huge dancefloor hit track after releasing in August 2013. The track is completely different from any other bhangra song which has released onto the bhangra market and Tru Skool excels in his vision to make the track a traditional, folk bhangra track. Coming from the film: "Jatt Boys", the track features some of bhangra's most talented vocalists including the incredibly talented JK, Kulvinder Johal, Gurbhej Brar and the Bhangra legend: Surinder Shinda.
After releasing the track in August 2013, the track sent social media into over-drive as bhangra fans were treated to another Tru Skool project which oozes with excitement. There has been no other exciting bhangra release in the past twelve months, except from this one.
Best Album: B21 – 12B
B21 marked their return to the bhangra scene this year with a huge bang, reaching number twelve on the iTunes mainstream chart – an unbelievable first for bhangra and its fans. On the eve of release and based on pre orders, the album placed above worldwide superstars such as Beyonce and One Direction, and was a huge shock for B21.
The album featured twelve tracks, an album which we have waited twelve years for.
Singers featuring on the album are: Bhota Jagpal, Bally Jagpal, Shazia Manzoor, Miss Pooja, Ustaad Kuldeep Manak, newcomer Gurmeet Singh and Baljinder Bilga. Production wise, the album is superb. It is a breath of fresh air for the bhangra industry and goes to show that legends in the industry cannot be replaced, especially Bhota and Bally Jagpal that took their name and bhangra music to new levels that we haven't seen any other bhangra artist achieve.
Overall, the album is fantastic and B21 have carefully crafted their trademark B21 sound with an updated bhangra sound for us to all enjoy.
Best Asian Music Producer
One music producer who I would believe should deserve to win this category is Epic Bhangra, however he has not been nominated.
In the past twelve months, he has released singles with Kay-V Singh, Kaka Bhaniawala, Yugraj, Gurnam and Amar Sandhu – showing that he is consistent in delivering hit bhangra tracks. Epic Bhangra is one of North America's finest exports and is a very diverse producer. Two of his recent songs, Bullet and Mukhada, show exactly why Epic Bhangra is a creative music producer – as they are completely different to anything currently on the bhangra market.
He is a music producer who excels to stand-out and differentiate himself from any other artist. That is why it is a shock not to see him nominated for an award.
Best Urban Asian Act
One artist I believe that should be in contention to win this award is Mickey Singh, however he has not been nominated.
Mickey Singh is a singer/songwriter hailing from North America and explores a musical style that is out of the box. He developed a sound that incorporates south asian music and western sounds. After releasing the debut album "Mickstape", Mickey went onto to enjoy success with the album worldwide and was given the opportunity to collaborate with artists such as Prabh Gill, PropheC, Epic Bhangra, Amar Sandhu and 2NyCe.
The popularity of Mickey Singh skyrocketed and Mickey Singh was recently given the opportunity to embark on a international tour; covering cities in India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. The success of his debut album proves that Mickey Singh is the biggest urban asian artist on the scene, and is an artist that certainly deserves an award like this.
Best Urban Single
For the same reasons, I believe that Mickey Singh should win this category with the single: "Bad Girl". Bad Girl, produced by Waseem Stark, is sung in both Punjabi and English and the blend of languages in the song fit well for the tone of the song. In the past twelve months, there hasn't been a urban asian single that has done better than this one, and is proved by the huge support for this specific song.
Best Club DJ: AJD
From seeing AJD perform live as well as hear feedback from others, many bhangra fans will agree that AJD is one of the finest club DJ's in the country. He excels to differentiate himself from other club DJ's in England. In 2013, it was announced that AJD had joined Kudos Music, one of the biggest roadshow companies in England, proving that Kudos Music were eager for the incredible AJD to join their expanding business – and that their roadshow only included the best DJ's and MC's in England.
Best Songwriter: Taari Banwalipuria
Responsible for some of UK's biggest hits in the last twelve months, Taari has written for some of the biggest artists in the UK. Artists include Team PBN (Singh, Nath Dig Pey, Phatte Chuk Di) Banger (Shikari), Aman Hayer (Takk Ke) Bups Saggu (Battle Giddah) amongst many more. As a songwriter, he has had the biggest impact in the past twelve months.
So above is some of my predictions and some of the artists I believe that should of been nominated.
Do you agree or disagree? Which artists do you believe should win/be nominated and why?
Written By Jusi Sahota - @JusiSahota / @NMKOnline