We caught up with Dr. Subaig SIngh Kandola to discuss his latest release, whats planned and more.
A Medical Doctor by profession Subaig Singh has never forgotten his Punjabi roots and culture. His debut single release ‘Tere Jhoothiye Ni Laare' proves just that its folk, it's vocally challenging and very different to your usual repetitive "bhangra" that is predominately mass produced within the Asian music industry today.
As a new artist how do you feel about the relative death of albums and the single nature of the industry today?
To be honest, I prefer the idea of releasing singles over albums because most albums only have one or two decent tracks on them anyway and most of the material is just filler. I like the idea that you can focus on one song at a time and put all of your effort into creating something beautiful before you release it.
Also singles can be released more frequently than albums so you if you always have something coming out you are constantly keeping your fans entertained and they will eagerly await your next release.
Moving onto your new single. How did the concept of this song come about it?
Singing has been a passion since the old Tabla and harmonium lesson days when I was a kid. My brother and I love making music together as we have the same taste. We even had a band whilst at Uni called 12 Bore! The music fell by the way a little bit when I went into MMA.
I was lucky to have a bit of a fan base because of MMA and I like to keep in touch with all my followers by posting my comedy skits and singing videos on facebook. Basically, I would sit in the car and record myself singing old folk songs on my camera phone, with no music.
Surprisingly, I received a really good response from everyone. I couldn’t believe my luck when Popsy randomly contacted me on Facebook and asked me if I wanted to do a track together. We both love folk songs so we spent quite a bit of time looking over old Surinder Shinda songs and found an old melody that we both loved. We decided that we would stick to old school Charanjit Ahuja style music, as we wanted our sound to be distinct in the current market. We both agreed that ‘they really don’t make music nowadays how they used to’!
Singer - Dr. Subaig SIngh Kandola
Music - Popsy - The Music Machine
Producer - KulbirKandola
Director - Amrinder Goraya
Label - Mahaveer Records
You have Popsy providing the production on the single – What made you choose him over the many other producers in the industry?
The response to that question is quite simple in that Popsy was the first legit music producer to contact me! I had heard of Popsy before he contacted me, mainly from his most famous tracks, Naag 2 and Singhan diyan gaddiyan that he made with Jazzy B. It was only after starting work with him that I started to research his work properly and realised how good he actually is!
What I saw was someone very highly skilled, professional and extremely versatile. Popsy can make any kind of track from pretty much any kind of era, from old school Punjabi folk to writing orchestral scores. He is a perfectionist and I have huge amount of respect for him.
I honestly think that someone with that kind of ability should be producing music for Bollywood!
You’ve literally come out of nowhere - How is the response to your debut single?
I’m very pleased with the response as it was a bit of a gamble in terms of going old school. All the feedback I’ve received from all over the world has been very positive and encouraging. This has given me the confidence to present even better work to the fans of Punjabi Folk.
As a new artist, you have released with your own label. Why did you take this path instead of using a well known label?
I did consider going with an established record label as life would have been much easier and less expensive! However, I love the whole industry and saw it as an opportunity to learn the music business inside out. After discussions with my family I teamed up with my Mum, who is already an accomplished businesswoman, to set up our record label.
As I’m here to stay it seemed the best option to start as we mean to go on. We have been on a very steep learning curve not without hiccups I must add! All good fun though as I have enjoyed every bit of the journey. Mum always says you I never complain about anything to do with my music business!
How do you view the infrastructure of Asian music here in the UK?
The infrastructure of Asian music in the UK is pretty good and it is getting better. The only issue is that the Asian population is relatively small hence the Asian market will inevitably be very small. I have and will continue to market my music for the global Punjabi market, which is of course biggest in India.
As an artist who doesn’t do things by the norm, do you think there’s enough support for creatively expressive artists from the media?
I guess the media and record labels are all businesses who are there to make money. I’m sure if they see creativity in artists which they believe will appeal to the public then they will support those artists. It may be difficult at the beginning and if an artist wants to succeed they will have to do it off their own back using the force of their own will.
Rome was never built in a day. It can take a while to develop a name and a brand. It’s a learning curve where lots of mistakes will be made and lots of experience will be gained along the way. I have an eclectic taste in music and I want to do things I enjoy as I already have a day job. I guess I’ll review what I do along the way depending on what opportunities come my way.
You have labeled your single as being "raw folk" - why have you chosen this style of singing as compared to what is mainly seen in mainstream Bhangra?
I actually like all kinds of music. I can sing in English and Patois as well and will release stuff in other genres as well as traditional Punjabi folk. I have always been a fan of soulful folk music from around the world rather than just music that has just been purely designed to ‘sell.’ Music needs to evoke emotion and connect with the soul. If the music can’t do that, I can’t enjoy it.
Raw Punjabi Folk music is deeply rooted in the soil and culture of our homeland. It represents the spirit and consciousness of my people. What other reason do I need?
What else can we expect from you within the coming months or in the future?
Lots of ideas coming your way! I have a second track ready to be released in July/August, again working with Popsy. I’m working on the third track which I will release later in the year. At the moment, I am sticking with a traditional flex, but I am versatile, so don’t underestimate my ability to throw a curve ball at you ;)
Music nowadays is not a career pathway; you already have a successful career in Medicine. Why did you decide to sing? What gave you the motivation?
I don’t think I ever ‘decided’ to sing. I’m a natural performer and every time I sing, it feels good and I enjoy it. I will continue to do it as long as it feels good.
Can you share with our readers what they can expect from you next?
Next track called Nazran Fer Ke is a traditional Punjabi power ballad and is going to be a very BIG track. Even Popsy admits that it is one of his finest pieces of musical work. We are both tremendously excited to drop this track sometime in July/August!
After that we will drop a retro dancefloor banger, Munda Sardaran Da, sometime in September. We have lots of material waiting to be unleashed upon the world!
Any message for the SimplyBhangra.com readers?
Thank you so much for reading and thank you for all the love, support and positive feedback that you have given me for my debut Tere Jhoothiye Ni Laare. Please follow me on Facebook and on twitter to stay updated about future releases. This is just the beginning!
Before I go, Id like to give a quick shout out to my Mum, Popsy, my little bro Suroop, Amrinder Goraya, Right Way Media, Laddi Gobindpuri, HY1 Entertainment, Simply Bhangra, Bhangra Media Group and all the people who have helped and supported me up until this point.
** Follow Subaig Singh **
Facebook: - https://www.facebook.com/DrSubaigSinghKandola/
Twitter: - https://twitter.com/MahaveerRecords