SimplyBhangra.com caught up with upcoming producer Paul Nagra to talk about his career up to now and his new single 'Paranda' feat Sardool Sikander!
Welcome to SimplyBhangra.com – Tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! Ermm well I'm a 22 year old music producer and DJ from the midlands, and an all-round positive optimistic guy!
You're still fairly new to the scene – how would you describe your musical upbringing?
Growing up I was always on the road with my dad Ricki Nagra who was an established wedding DJ and at the same time from the age of 5 I have been under the guidance and teachings of Juggy Rihal for Dhol. I was also very fortunate to shadow DJH for a short while perfecting my DJ skills and more recently I have been extremely lucky to be taught music production by the one and only Kam Frantic, I have been under his guidance for the last 4 years. So for me my to have these 4 individuals play a huge part in my musical upbringing I regard myself as truly blessed.
You released your debut single exactly one year ago today – in that year whats the most important thing you have learnt about the music industry?
One of the most important things I have learnt about the bhangra music industry is that it is very hard to get noticed as so many people come and go, I have learnt that being consistent is very important!
Your first two singles were with Moviebox – What support did a big label give to you as a newcomer? Would you recommend new artists to go with a big label or stick independent?
Releasing my first 2 singles with Moviebox allowed me to showcase my music to a huge audience straight away, and it also gave me the support of a big record label which made releasing songs easier for a new comer. Moviebox took a lot of pain away from me as a newcomer. I would always recommend new comers to choose the option that is best for them, whether that be to release with a label or independently, don't pick one option just because it might be the easiest option.
You're now releasing on 20Two Records – Why did you choose to go this route?
I chose to release with 20Two Records simply for the fact that I wanted more control over my music and releases, and so far, it has opened up new doors for me.
Talk to us about 'Muqabla' – How did you manage to hook up with Master Saleem?
Well I went to Amrit Saab with the idea for Muqabla and asked him to write the full song for me, and whilst the song was being written I was thinking to myself this song would really suit Master Saleem, and Saleem is someone who I have always wanted to work with. So when I went back to Amrit Saab's house to finish writing the song and finalise it, I asked him if he could hook up Master Saleem, and he did!
Your new single 'Paranda' features the legendary Sardool Sikander – Again another stellar name. Is it important to always have a known vocalist?
Sardool Sikander again is a huge name that I have always wanted to work with, so when Paranda was being written and I could hear his voice on the track I just went for it! But I don't think it is always important to have a known vocalist, I think it is important to pick a vocalist who will do damage, whether that be known or unknown.
You're quite vocal on social media about being a 'student of Kam Frantic' – What do you have to say to those who just say your work is ghost produced?
I am PROUD to say that I am a student of Kam Frantic and that he has taught me everything I know when it comes to making music! Kam is an inspiration of mine and I practised very hard to make music like him, so if anyone wants to say that my music is ghost produced they are actually paying me a huge complement by saying that my music sounds like someone who has been doing it for 27 years and in fact they are telling me that all that my hard work of learning is paying off
You've already worked with Lehmber Hussainpuri, Sudesh Kumari, Master Saleem & Sardool Sikander – Do you have anyone else on your wishlist?
Yes! The list of singers I want to work with is huge and I think is a never-ending list! I'm all about collaborating with artists, new and old!
How would you describe UK Bhangra right now? What can be done to improve it?
I think the UK Bhangra scene is growing in size and has come a long way over the last 10 years, there are definitely more artists and more people making music these days and I think that's a good thing! With improving it, I don't think the music itself needs improving, but support artists get could do with some improvement.
What's your favourite release of the year so far – not including yours of course!
Would have to be Inch! That song never seems to get old no matter how many times I play it!
What can we expect from Paul Nagra in the next 12 months?
More singles with more experimenting, work on an album has also begun!
Any final words for the readers of SimplyBhangra.com?
Just want to thank everyone who has taken the time out to read this interview and anyone & everyone including my family, friends and fans who have supported me ! A special thank you to the Simply Bhangra team for taking the time to get to know me better.Thank you all!