The Canadian producer behind many hits such as 'Range Rover' with Benny Dhaliwal, 'Dil Varda' with Sukhshinder Shinda and many more has debuted as a singer in his new track 'All Night' which he's also produced himself.
Here are the very honest words from Harj during his interview with Simply Bhangra's Trisha Arora.
Let's start of with a little bit about yourself. What was your childhood like?
I would say my childhood was like anybody else's. I was born in Vancouver, BC and later moved to Surrey. During my early childhood I attended Khalsa school for a few years where we were offered tabla and kirtan class. That's where I would say I first got into playing musical instruments. Not many people know this about me.
Is music your full time career? How did you start your career? What was your inspiration?
Music is something I truly have a passion for. It's been my passion since a young age, I'm self taught and I have been practicing and producing music since I was 16. I've grown up around lots of music artists, some of the most well known artists being Jazzy B and Sukhshinder Shinda.
Being around them and having their guidance inspired me to pursue my passion and follow my dream of being a recognized music producer in the industry.
As for my career, music is just one part of it. I went to school for business and currently I work in real estate and property development.
Another one of Harj's passions is acting which can be seen in the numerous music videos he's been in. Here's a hint, look out for him on the big screen this year!
What is the most challenging aspect of being a producer?
Being a music producer is a lot of work.I would say it's mainly about dedication, hard work and talent. You have to be passionate about music to make it from scratch, otherwise it's quite easy to buy beats, copy pre-recorded stuff or as a lot of other people do now - pay ghost producer to do the work for you.
It requires a lot of hours and patience, you're consistently tweaking and making adjustments until the sound is perfect. And of course with getting instruments recorded, composing, arranging, mixing, mastering, there are a lot of steps involved until a song is ready to be released. That's why sometimes an artist or producer may announce a song, however, it may be a while before it gets released because the song may be changed many times before its finalized.
The most challenging part does not have to do with the producing aspect but I would say the credibility of the producer, I say that because many times music producers don't get the recognition they deserve, considering the fact that they are the ones that may have put the entire song together and the vocalist or singer is the only one that ends up getting all the praise for the song. Also because of all the ghost production work being done in this industry, the public can begin to question anyone's work.
People hear the song, they think it sounds amazing, but forget to acknowledge the music producer who made it sound that amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen, be sure to thank not only the singers but the producers behind the tracks for their hard work as well!
How did you decide that you wanted to debut as a singer?
As you already know, music is my passion, I love to make music. Becoming a vocalist is just another way for me to express myself creatively and experiment with how it would be to release a song that's produced, written and sung by myself. I want everyone to see that I can be on both ends of the table, I can produce, and I can also be the artist singing as well.
You don't see very many producers that are vocalists because they enjoy being behind the scenes, however, I want to bring more to the table because I want to touch all the realms that have to do with music.
What were some of the challenges you faced being a one man show(singing, producing, and acting in the video? Tell us the pro's and con's.
The biggest challenge I faced with this track was making sure it sounded perfect or enough that I was happy with. I constantly criticized myself and made a lot of changes every time I heard it. The track was recorded and music was done almost 2 years ago, however, for myself already having a reputable name as a producer.
'All Night' being my first song to debut as a singer, it was very hard not to be overly critical of myself, and also it wasn't a priority for me as I was working on other production work, so it was a lot of back and forth between projects. It's hard when you've already established a name for yourself and then going on to show another side of yourself to others, you never know how it will turn out.
To me it was the decision of whether I was ready to launch myself as a producer/singer and whether people would be ready to accept me in a completely different role from what I usually do. It was exciting and anxiety provoking at the same time. When your a producer already, it's beneficial because you have full control over what you want your song to sound like, you can add your own creativity and style to it.
You're not depending on anyone else, the whole process from beginning to end is in your hands. I really enjoy being in control of my work and what I want to present to people.
I knew that when I released this song, there would be many different ways people would respond to it, they would either love it, hate it or just plain criticize and as much as the thought of that would make me feel a little uneasy, I was ready to take on the challenge.
When asked if he will continue to both sing and produce all of his future tracks or if he would rather choose either producing or singing, Harj said that he plans on continuing his collaborations with other artists, some of which are set to release in the near future. He also plans to produce and sing more tracks of his own with a few already done.
For India Viewers
Has there ever been a moment when you've had doubts about your music career? If so how did you overcome it?
I think it's quite normal to question yourself and in the beginning I did too, however, to overcome that doubt, I have practiced for almost 9 years on my own, teaching, criticizing and building myself up to what I do today. I have done my ground work and continue to learn new things every day.
I'm fortunate enough to have a very supportive family and friends, and supporters who listen to my music and take the time to show me love for my work, telling me how much they enjoy my music and are always waiting to hear more.
Overall my passion for making great music that's unique, evolving with the time, but always keeping with our cultural roots is my goal as a producer.
In your career so far, what would you say has been your most rewarding moment or experience?
Dil Vaarda was the first song I ever released, so that would have to be my first ever rewarding experience. I did a lot of background work in the music industry before that and being doubted by many for how credible my work was as a young producer or whether I would ever make a name for myself among the others in the industry, but then proving many of them wrong after releasing my song with a big artist such as Sukhshinder Shinda was my first milestone as a producer and the first reward I had earned for the many years I put in.
All in all, the response I've gotten as a producer for every song that I've done so far has been very rewarding. It's extremely humbling and I am very grateful for the support I get from those who love my work, people giving me credit for my work, being taking seriously as a young producer and being recognized in the industry for the work I've done alongside other bigger names in the industry are all the reasons I will continue to bring more music.
What can your fans expect from you next?
Musically, I have many collaborations coming with big artists. I'm constantly working. I also recently filmed for my debut in acting in the upcoming movie 'Love Punjab' with Amrinder Gill. That is what's to come in the near future. The far future, a lot more.
Any final words for the Simply Bhangra readers?
Just want to thank everyone for the on-going love and support. To those who bought the single and to all the team of SimplyBhangra.com I thank you deeply.
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