SimplyBhangra.com Presents the Exclusive AMX interview
For those who don’t know about Amx give us a brief introduction about yourself and your work.
Big hello/Sasriakal to everyone. My name is Amrit and I go by the musical alias of AMX. I have been involved with music in some shape or form for the past 7 years and have approx 6 years of industry experience.
Firstly, who / what was your influences as a kid growing up, and progressing into the Bhangra industry... [Artist Wise]
Everything and anything back then, because I didn’t really listen out for who had done what, but just went by what sounded good and had bounce to it. Obviously as I started paying more attention I basically went through all my families old vinyl collections and listening to influential artists such the legends, Kuldip Manak, Surinder Shinda and of course Gurdas Mann Etc. I really admired a lot of Sukshinder Shindas old school stuff back then along side artists like Skillz Inc’s first Put Sardaran De (Surinder Shinda) album and of course a lot of material from PMC./ DCS / Premi / Heera etc
Who / what inspired you into the production scene, especially Bhangra music??
No one did to be honest with you, it was more of a personal choice because back then there was nothing wrong with sampling, in the eyes of both artist and consumer, but I just felt that it would be more beneficial if I was to create my own music because not only would I get more fulfillment from my material, but I could also try and make the best of the singers efforts.
We have seen many delays on the releasing off your album Hybrid Traditions and now it's been said that HT has been scraped and tracks are being used for Broken Silence another project which in fact is long overdue as well. What has influenced your decision on this matter?
Well the initial structure of Hybrid Traditions got dismantled due to Folk Magic taking some of the tracks. So I thought it would be better to put some of the bigger tracks remaining from Hybrid into Broken Silence, but its not 100% confirmed yet. Either way, Broken Silence will have no fillers!
How did you go about to work with the artist... That has sung for you on your fourth - coming album ??,to my knowledge most off the UK producers know close to nothing about the singers they have on their albums, they usually resort to buying vocals off album coordinators or websites available to public. What methods do you practice in getting your tracks together??
For most of the tracks on these forth coming albums the way I have gone about it is, first I would receive guide vocals from the singers and then do the initial music, and then get feedback etc from the singers, then when they re-sing their final vocals for the track I tell them how to go about a certain way with the song. This method helps because not only does it save hours and hours in the studio but then the singers also get a chance to change the style of the vocal sometimes according to the music.
It's funny how without any official word on HT and Broken Silence, another project popped up "Folk Magic', you must be having a laugh at us(the consumers) and coming out with new projects un-announced, care to tell us more on this?
It wasn’t a bad thing, I just wanted a more traditional kind of album to be released first to give a little taster of things to come, and the album has been aimed at a more traditional folk audience. As for the announcement part, I’m not too fussed with all that; I do music for music not for the fame or the money! I would normally just update my site and give a few sites the info, everyone else normally promotes my material out of courtesy because they either have nothing else to put up or they really like my stuff, either way I’m grateful for any ‘genuine’ support.
Manjit Upplanwala solo album...Ring a bell? No. Tell us more on this collaboration and this singer?
Manjit Upplanwala comes from Canada and his been in the industry for years and years, and I consider it a privilege to be working with him along side my very good friend Shangara Bilgiya who is a totally amazing lyric writer and has written every song for Manjit’s Album and also the majority of lyrics from Surinder Shinda’s solo album. Manjits voice is like a more powerful version of Janjuas voice – and as you all know Janjuas voice is already powerful!
How have you managed single handedly with no prior releases in the market to secure many album deals with various Artist like Kaka Bhaniavala, Manjit Upplanwala, Surinder Shinda,etc.???
Well I don’t think I will be producing all of Kaka’s solo album which isn’t a bad thing from my perspective either, I’m sure Specialist and Tru Skool will do some kicking tracks for it too! As for Shinda and Manjit, they really liked my music and attitude so it all went ahead. Of course I can’t take all the credit, I do owe a lot of to Shangara Bilgiya who has given me his blessings and support with Manjit and Shinda’s musical venture.
This is a famous questions nowadays, what is the amount off input do you have in your work, as in do you play any instruments on your tracks yourself, do you engineer them or leave it to the gora at the backline (jokes!). Please shed us sum light?
I can see why you would ask that question with so much material coming out nowadays sounding “alike” – no names mentioned! Besides the vocals/lyrics, which of course is the singers/lyric writers effort – musically I have close to 80 – 100% musical input depending on the song! Instrument wise I wouldn’t call my self a master at any particular one, but I can do what I need to do on each one, my cousin Chan Kudhal also lends a big hand with percussion seeing as his been playing many instruments from a young age. But for example, even if I get Tumbi or Algozey recorded from someone else – I would never just simply throw it into the track, I would load it up and program/re arrange it so that it fits the singer’s vocals perfectly and that everything has a proper melody to it. Same goes for percussion, everything has to be tweaked and made crisp as possible before you can work with it etc. Of course I’m still learning new methods as I grow older so my sound will gradually evolve too.
Lets flashback for a minute, when u were Sweet 16(lol!), The Envy days. How come all your tracks were heavily based around samples and now you have pretty much shifted course and everything off yours has originality written all over it?
I kind of answered this earlier, but it was basically because I personally didn’t get much joy from not being able to make the track sound how I want it to, I mean there’s only so much you can do with samples. And if you look at how long its been since the project 9 albums and stuff in between, I’ve come along way and had to learn everything I know my self – I didn’t take no short cuts or visit any ‘infamously famous’ studios in Birmingham for some “special help”! The way I see it, the faster you want to enter this ‘industry’ – the faster your going to end up flat on your ass!
As most people don't know that your also finishing up your degree in university, how important is it for u to balance your time between music and studies...and how do u manage to pull it off without neglecting either??
For me personally, my education will ALWAYS come before my music, that might also be due to the fact that I’m actually doing what I really enjoy (making games) and knowledge of music also helps with that. I know certain ‘famous’ artists – no names mentioned - have commented on people who don’t do music full time lack talent and skill etc, but I disagree, it don’t matter what you want to do in life, as long as your passionate about it you can always make the best of it!
What were the sacrifices you had to make to reach where you have reached, what advice can you give to upcoming artist such as yourself??
I don’t think I have given any sacrifices to be honest, because I became aware of the bullshit and politics in our Bhangra industry from a young age! But a word of advice if you do want to do music, do it for the music and not for the money.
What do you see yourself doing if not producing music??
Making games! – That’s what I’m going into anyway lol
The question of bedroom djs/" producers” flooding the market with talent less albums, in your opinion how important is it for you to prove your stability in this market and how do you ensure creativity and originality within this mass production industry?
On the subject of bedroom DJ’s etc, you cant really blame them, I mean they probably get sucked in by these record labels and then have no support what so ever and end up flat on their back. Regarding my self, I dunno how to really answer that because music will always be perceived differently by everyone, what might sound creative to one person might sound dull to another. I guess the best way for me to put it would be to say I just basically go with the flow and make my track according to how I would like it. If people slate me or praise me, then that’s just their personal opinion and I cant really hold anything against that.
As you know its very easy nowadays to buy vocals online, which directly contributes to the downfall off the Bhangra industry which is practice by many organizations to make a quick buck, it’s exploitation to the next level, what’s your say on this??
It depends to be honest with you. If the singers have knowledge about their material being sold or they have had a certain agreement/contract made, then I don’t see anything wrong with it. But on the other hand, I have sold vocals in the past where a lot of fraud has gone on from the back end of where I got them from, so I do urge people be careful! – Here’s a warning for you all you back home vocal buyers – NEVER deal with a guy named Sanjeev Sood from India (pear records) – previous manager of Lehmber / Kaka / Charanjit Chani / Daljit Mattu and Balwinder Matewaria!
Music is a team effort yes!, music producers are responsible to choose proper lyrics, then work out compositions with the lyricist and singer, but nowadays the producer’s job is too easy they’re given pre-made compositions and raw vocals ready to be mixed. Is that the proper procedure???
It depends to be honest with you, it can work both ways. For example I feel things like compositions should only be changed if its in the best interest for the tracks music, because unless the producer has had proper involvement with the actual lyrics, the ‘tarz’ or composition as you put it should normally be at the lyrics writer or singers discretion. With a lot of the stuff I’m working on now, I tend to work backwards with just simple guides being sung and then the proper compositions being chosen afterwards either by myself / the singer and lyrics writer or just the lyrics writer and singer.
Do you agree that due to the flooding off talent less and un-original albums piracy is on the rise?.. The consumers are afraid to buy an album just to find 1 or 2 tracks which are below par and others sound the same like any other album. Why are these artist complaining when they’re the reason that genuine artist don’t shift enough units to generate this industry??
I think piracy is going to happen now regardless of how good the album is, but I do also feel/hope that people would still buy albums that they do like, but I won’t hold my breath because it is Asians we are talking about – if something’s on a plate for free they aren’t going to pay nothing for it! But before this turns into another moan and groan at the general world of bhangra piracy etc like every other artist has done, as far as I’m concerned as long as people are still representing the stuff then its all good, and if they buy it too out of respect then its even better.
As a Bhangra consumer, are you happy with the state off the industry and the material that are releasing on a regular basis from unknown acts with no prior exposure or experience??
Well I don’t buy every album that comes out every week from the Bhangra industry, just those that stick out, as for the unknown acts with no exposure or experience, well everybody starts from somewhere and I would always have a unbiased ear to everyone’s material, and yeah sure if its worth buying then my 10/5 pound is theirs!
Every Indian is bond to certain type off career as in doctors, lawyers, etc. but making music and working in the entertainment industry just recently has been accepted. What is your point off view in this matter?
Well our parents just want us to do well, that’s all! And there isn’t much money in this industry that’s a fact! And even if you do get lucky, music is a unpredictable thing, defiantly if you’re a family man, so you do the math’s. Like I said earlier if you do really want to do music, do it for the love and not the cash flow.
On Record, AMX is signed on which label or are you a free lance music producer?
I am not signed to ANY record label what so ever by personal choice. However I do work closely with a few labels and perhaps will be signing to one soon as long as I can still retain my current connections with other labels!
What has been playing in your mp3/4 player or car recently??
Surinder Rattan – Akh Largai (The Lick 2) = Awesome track!
What’s in store for the future of AMX???
Only time will tell, but hopefully something people will like!
On a personal level, you have been a very kind and humble person towards me and my team. How do you manage to keep your act together without flipping out and becoming arrogant and proud, which in most cases the artist is usually a pain??
Thank you lol. I’m just a normal guy with a normal life who does music as a passionate hobby, so why should I treat anyone else differently?
Without further pestering, any final words you would like to share with us??
Thanks for reading, if you’re still awake that is! Folk magic should be out on the 26th In the UK, but I know you can get it from ‘other’ sources lol. What ever way you obtain it I hope you all like it and represent it.
Interview By: Rohit Rampal
Special Thanks: Minda