Exclusive Interview with Shaan & Verinder

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Jusi catches up with Shaan & Verinder to bring you an Exclusive (their first and debut) Interview taking about their first single Yaar Nachda (featuring Nirmal Sidhu) and loads more!

Shaan & Verinder in a short space of time, as a collective have become natural at playing instruments whilst concurrently developing their capabilities in composing, engineering and music production.

Hello Shaan and Verinder! Welcome to Simply What can you tell us about Shaan and Verinder and how did you two meet?

HI Jusi…Thank you for having us first of all!

We are two guys who met through mutual friends at a young age (not that we are old now lol) with a common interest in music – mainly listening and playing different instruments.

Through various opportunities we were pushed into trying out some production work as a team. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to progress further and here we are today - rather than go with a production name we decided to stick with who we are - Shaan & Verinder.

It says in your press release that you were under the guidance of Juggy Rihal, a high profile individual in the Bhangra industry. How did you two meet him and how has he enhanced your music knowledge allowing you to grow as music producers?

Shaan says: I met Juggy at a dhol competition and from there on would bump into him at bhangra events… you would always see him performing live with numerous bands and me and Verinder decided to speak to him about tabla lessons.

Verinder says: I think we were fans of Juggy before even thinking of learning from him. Seeing him at shows with singers and his unique style of playing would be amazing so you can imagine approaching him for guidance was scary enough on its own lol.

We don’t see him as often as we should due to the commitments we have with all the production work (Sorry Juggy lol) but his guidance has definitely given us an edge when it comes to playing and composing. We do try and practice as much as possible as that’s what it all inevitably comes down to!

Shaan says: We have been very lucky to have Juggy record on our album too. To have someone who has recorded with legendary singers such as Gurdas Mann is a big achievement for us as new producers.

Learning is always an ongoing process and we will continue to do so. Hopefully as our knowledge increases under Juggy’s guidance it shows in our music.

What differentiates you to other music producers in our music industry?

To be fair we are still new to the industry. We still have a very long way to go and don’t really think we can differentiate or compare ourselves to anyone as of yet because there are some talented producers out there and they are far more experienced than us. We have something to learn from all of them.

We do however Program, Compose and Mix our own Music. We also select which specific musicians to record the compositions we feel our own abilities will not do justice – I don’t think many people do it this way nowadays. As we become more comfortable with our instrument playing we hope to do more of the recording work ourselves too.

Although "Yaar Nachda" is your debut introduction to the mainstream Bhangra market, what other projects have you been involved in?

We have been working on projects behind the scenes for a few years... It’s mostly been recording work and mixing work with various artists! It’s helped us learn further and trial different techniques. Which projects … we would rather keep private!

What can you tell us about your debut single "Yaar Nachda".

There’s a lot of history behind the song as it was originally sung by someone else... It’s actually the first song we worked on as a team and wanted to show our own take on the music. It plays a big part in our journey of learning music production.

We felt it would only be right to go with the song first because listening back to the versions when we started… it does show how far we have actually come whilst making the album!

Shaan & Verinder ft. Nirmal Sidhu - Yaar Nachda

The single features the vocal talents of Nirmal Sidhu, how did this collaboration come about?

Nirmal Sidhu is someone we have known for a while now and on occasions we have performed with him at his shows.

Most of the music and lyrics were ready for ‘Yaar Nachda’ as we knew exactly what we wanted from the song and we decided to show him as his powerful vocals fit the script perfectly.

Once he heard the music he was happy to work with us and we haven’t looked back since!

What can you tell us about the debut album you have been working on?

Our album is nearly there!

We won’t give away too much just yet but what we can say is that we aim to showcase songs from completely different ends of the spectrum and that too made by the same people - whether it be hard-hitting desi bhangra or melodious ballads.

We have listened to different genres of music growing up and we want to show listeners how it reflects on us as oppose to go with whatever is currently working.

It’s important to us to show versatility and variation in our work and to do this we are lucky enough to be collaborating with some big names on the album...we will reveal these in due course!

It has been a long process but we wanted to give each track the time and effort it deserves.

The debut album is entitled "Inspired". Is there a reason as to why you have chosen this as the title of your album? And are there any music producers that you are Inspired by and aspire to be like?

Before we thought about music production we were just simply listeners and listening to music is what inspired us to go away and try playing various instruments.

Shaan says: We didn’t really have any intention of becoming producers – the market was already saturated enough – however with the push from people within the industry we decided to give it a go for a laugh.

Verinder says: As the appreciation grew for our music we decided to take things a bit more seriously and do something of our own. We made a decision that if we were going to make an album…we would make the effort to do it to the best of our abilities and aim for it to have a positive impact on the market.

Shaan says: Being inspired by music generally is what bought about the name ‘Inspired’ for the album. We would talk about the work of musicians, producers and engineers from a young age and appreciate the intricacies in their music.

Verinder says: I think we have given character to our own sound with these inspirations in mind so thought it would be a perfect name for the album.

Between us we listen to a variety of music but a few Producers we are inspired by are Sukshinder Shinda, Aman Hayer, Dr Zeus, Ravi Bal, Partners in Rhyme, Stargate Production, Timbaland, Dr.Dre… the list goes on but just to name a few!

How long have you been working on Yaar Nachda and your debut album "Inspired"?

Shaan says: We would talk about the album to each other probably back in 2013 - thinking of which artists should feature, and the types of songs we should do. We then went on to find lyrics and show them to the best suited singers and work on compositions.

It wasn’t easy as new artists to approach singers that we wanted to collaborate with however we were lucky that most were happy to work with us once they heard our ideas.

We started to actually work on music – with the first song being Yaar Nachda - towards the end of 2013 so it has been a long time coming.

Verinder says: The album has changed quite a bit since it was started too as we learnt a lot about our music and engineering whilst making the songs. It’s the main reason it has been a slow process for us. We also wanted to give each song the time and effort it deserved. The versatility and variation we hope to portray is however still there!

Your debut single "Yaar Nachda" is releasing with the Moviebox Record Label. How have they helped bring your musical vision to life?

Verinder says: We are grateful to be working with a label who are responsible for releasing a lot of the music we look up to and are inspired by. It’s a big achievement to be releasing with the biggest UK Bhangra Label Worldwide as newcomers to the Industry.

Shaan says: Moviebox have been around a long time! We can always rely on them for their honest opinions on what they hear of our music. Kamraan and the team have definitely pointed us in the directions at times we have needed assistance and also opened a lot of doors for us to take our music further.

Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you wish to say to the readers of Simply

We would like to thank SimplyBhangra for their continual support and promoting us up until now.

A special thank you to our label Moviebox for all their help and Raj Ghai and the Media Moguls team who have played a big part in helping us put our stuff out there!

You can keep in touch with us on our social media pages for all the latest happenings:

Twitter: @shaan_verinder
Instagram: @shaan_verinder

Although their names may not be familiar right now, based on their fast growing following and support from many household names within the Asian music scene, it looks like 2016 is going to be extremely bright for Shaan & Verinder!

Twitter: @JusiSahota

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