Exclusive: The Bilz and Kashif Discuss ‘The Trinity’

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The Bilz and Kashif first won over the masses with their collaboration “2 Step Bhangra,” which led to the solidification of the Canadian group. The then released their album follow-up album Breaking Barriers providing us with hits like “On The Dancefloor” and “Single.” Now the group is back with the new album The Trinity and we caught up with the group to get some inside scoop on the release!

The international success you’re enjoying now must be so overwhelming. But one of the subjects you touch on in your music is that of struggling and paying dues. What were the challenges and struggles that you had to overcome to reach the point you’re at now?

We're very proud of our story because we really "started from the bottom". Today's generation sometimes forgets that success comes from years of hard work. I remember when The Bilz & Kashif first came on to the scene people would think we were overnight successes. That would make us laugh so much because that wasn't our reality and besides even overnight successes aren't overnight. We were all on our individual grind for years until we decided to grind together as a unit.

Our challenge was to help to create and build the industry, and make our mark and take our place in the urban desi scene as a legendary group. Back then it was Rishi, Jay Sean & Juggy D, Raghav, Sona Family etc. We helped create the movement in North America. We made sacrifices, we put in the time, we put in the hard work, energy and passion to get where we are today. In addition, we’ve actually paved the way for alot of new artists to be a product of North America and showcase that talent. Watch our video for Against All Odds from our Breaking Barriers album, it paints the story to our journey and have a listen to Rags 2 Riches to understand where we're coming from. :)

Kashif, you’re a singer-songwriter formerly of a boy band, Master D a producer, and Vicious a DJ. How do you feel you complement each other coming up through these different areas, and what do you bring out in each other?

The reason why we decided to unite, come together and create The Bilz & Kashif is because we felt our experiences would complement each other. Having singers, a songwriter and a Dj/Rapper MC in the same team felt like we were putting together a super-group. When you're putting together a championship winning team you look for people who are incredibly committed, persevering, talented, great listeners, and have the same goals and dreams. We had that. This is why it works. Many have copied our formula since then.(lol) As Vicious says "Copycat's a flattery" in our song "Ain't Gonna Stop" from our brand new album The Trinity releasing on april 23rd 2013 so we just keep grinding!

Is Asian influence in mainstream music seen as too ‘different’ and novelty? Is the industry unwilling to take a chance on it?

This is something that always really puzzles us. Back in the day we had the Latin Reggaeton Explosion. We recently had Psy with Gangnam Style that broke all kinds of records. Anything can happen in the mainstream music industry it’s just a matter of the mainstream industry to hop on to it. Who knows maybe the Indian sound is next but we need to constantly have the support from our community and work together.

Have you ever been pressured to make music that is more primarily Desi instead of primarily Urban? What are your views on that type of pigeonholing?

We just do what we do. You know, we get comments like “make another 2Step Bhangra”, but in reality that’s a classic. Just like Jay-Z once said “Hov' on that new shit, ni***z like, "How come?" N**gz want my old shit, buy my old album”. And he said it right. We've never ever really cared about anything else but making music that the three of us would be proud of. Period. Being an artist, you need to re-invent not saturate. We just go with what feels right to us for the song and project. We've always said that we are an urban desi fusion group and we continue to bring new sounds to the table. We've always experienced with different genres on every single album. For example “Jump” on our new album, alot of the desi fans were confused with that song, but that’s all because they have no idea what “Soca” music is and that influence came to us while touring the Caribbean. We created an “eye opener”. That song was on heavy rotation in Trinidad & Guyana and all our fans in South America were blown away. This is what we do. We don't let anybody pigeonhole us instead we expand our horizons.

You’ve spoken in the past about helping Asian sounds become as familiar to mainstream audiences as, say, Dancehall or Raggae. How do you feel that would help our community and how it’s viewed?

We think that’s exactly what we need. Last night we turned on ET Canada, and it was a desi chick as the main host! You see tons of desis in mainstream media now it is starting to help shape the stereotypes of what our community is. Lawyers, Doctors and Engineers are perfect, but now actors and entertainers are getting creditability. We’re proud to see that and eventually, when labels realize that our music is so rich, they’ll jump on it. Or even better, artists who have paved the way into mainstream should start to influence that culture to mainstream. It surely makes sense but we’ll have to wait and see. We had a conversation with SKP Filmz who now also shoot music videos in LA and is managed under Interscope’s top A&R Gerardo Mejía, saying “How come ya’ll ain’t on Interscope yet with 18 million views but Priyanka Chopra is?” We told him, it’s because she’s got Bollywood behind her! He said “I’ll need to speak with Jimmy really soon!” So we just continue to grind to showcase South Asian culture.

You’ve done a lot independently, but also dealt with labels in the UK and Canada. How would you compare the two scenes in that respect?

To be honest we've always done absolutely everything independently. We had a few deals on the table for this album and tried to work with different labels but at the end they all flaked. It’s funny, we had also had a meeting with Universal A&R in Canada, and he was blown away with all our independent efforts. That’s when he literally said “Why do you need us? You’re doing better than most of the local acts in Canada!” We were speechless and realized that we always felt like we would do a better job ourselves. And that's exactly what we did. If you want something, go get it yourself. The reward is so much more gratifying.

Now this is something which I have to ask everyone I interview? What are your thoughts on piracy? Do you honestly think it’s helped or hindered your career as an artist?

If you're taking something from someone and the other person doesn't get anything in return for it, then that means you just received a gift or you're basically stealing. Unfortunately, people don't realize that music is food for an artist and a lot of people tell to your face asking for everything for “free”. What they don’t realize is the costs involved in making music, time and efforts that go into it, and they take that passion for granted. On the other hand, the digital age has allowed us to travel around the world and performed in hundreds of cities. The reality is that we owe our success almost entirely to the web as that’s where everyone is these days. Internet changed the music industry and permitted us to connect with our amazing fans all across the globe. Our bangin' music, word of mouth and viral distribution is what did the work for us. Do we promote piracy? No! But we're very aware and understand that it is somewhat part of being in the music business and it’s all because of the internet that created the accessibility for us. With that being said, piracy will continue to thrive, hence putting out quality albums, videos & shows is what will help you stand out and gain real loyal supporters so make sure you please do that buying our brand new album The Trinity legally on iTunes on April 23rd 2013. :)

So you have your next album in sight? What can we expect from that?

The Trinity is where Breaking Barriers left off. A collection of club bangers, beautiful heartfelt slow jams, feel-good mid tempos tracks which we think are great fun pop tracks. We believe that you need to innovate the music scene, and these days feel very repetitive. So far the response from fans who have pre-order the album in advance has been outstanding as they cannot get enough of the album. There are tracks that no one in the game has experimented with. When you pick up the album you’ll understand with tracks like “Su Kare Che”, “Deewana” & My Ride”. We actually also just shot the video for “My Ride’ which will drop the same day as the album exclusively on our YouTube channel on April 23rd. It’s a real rugged video so make sure you log onto! We’ve also teamed up with KatEyez on a track, called Mera Dil, Meri Jaan which is another dancehall club jam and we’ve given ya’ll a sneak peek with all our studio sessions on Youtube. So we’re really excited, and we’re looking forward in touring all over to meet our fans one more time!

Guys, we really appreciate your time and your insight. Finally; what message would you like to extend to all of the readers?

Thank you Simplybhangra and all the awesome readers for all the support thoughout the years. We truly appreciate your love and no matter what negativity that comes our way, we’re gonna make it happen! And no, just because you’ve heard too many desi songs with autotune, doesn’t mean everyone uses it ;)

You can add us on Twitter (@BilzMusic, @KashifOnline, @MasterDOnline) or on Get The Trinity on April 23rd, and check out the video premiere of My Ride on April 23rd on our YouTube page!



-2 #2 Fidaz 2013-04-24 19:12
Wannabes, failed burban artists. Nothing else
0 #1 Gsstar 2013-04-24 19:00
Its the day when I bought Breaking Barriers, thinking in ma mind should hit this new in hand album, the new guys, the Canadian trios.. Since then I kept it played for many times & so is playing. All the tracks are unique & amazing. I am Gladly following their new music & deffo will buy The Trinity. Always support & Buy Original Legal Music :-)

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