We got the opportunity to catch up with duo behind XD Pro Music to get their views on the music industry.
The duo behind XD Pro Music are Xaan and DMS. They first met on social media as they has the passion as they made remixes and raps. After some time, they got together at the studio and took on projects from voiceovers to radio commercials.
Undoubtedly, you take great care in crafting your material and producing something original. Do you think sampling can be done well, as in Hip-Hop? Or are you simply against the laziness of that once-prevalent trend in Bhangra where producers would merely stick a dhol beat over a mainstream track?
Today's music changes every few years but one thing that still is very prevalent and will continue to be is sampling. Our Punjabi music is moving more towards western based production and sampling has been a vital part of this since the beginning. The dhol beat cover tracks were the gateway to what modern Bhangra tracks are now today. We believe there is nothing wrong with sampling, if you've done it right like cleared the sample, flipped it etc.
Often new artist that are ready to release music will approach producers with a structure that is usually a copy of the hottest record out at the moment. In an industry where royalty splits are just now being distributed, a producer will usually be offered a fee for the record. So as a business, if you now have a template for a type of track that everyone is asking for, it's easy to get comfortable and not experiment too much & play it safe.
We encourage artists to look as sampling as an art and spend time perfecting it. You do not want to copy someone else's work but all great art is inspired by something.
Do you think that working with several other producers on an album restricts your artistic freedom as compared to say working on your own album? And have you ever had to compromise when in a collaboration?
We believe it's really dependent on the artist's vision. We have always encouraged artist that we work with closely to explore ideas with other producers & artists. We've done projects ranging from producing, engineering, mixing and mastering a whole album to us collaborating with multiple producers on a single record. The bottom line was always the same; the record should sound hot!
Music production is all about energy. when you are working with other artists, you work towards someone else's vision to bring it alive. When we are working on our own material, we are always experimenting outside our comfort zone to keep pushing our artistic bar. We have gone through our fair share of criticism for our experimental sound especially when we first started. But now after a couple of releases in the past year, there is a better understanding between the people we work with even before we begin.
Your music is very experimental, channelling all those wide-ranging influences. Are you therefore ever apprehensive over how critics might respond? What about Asian fans who tend to usually gravitate towards the more common Urban-Desi fusion?
It's always been a major challenge, especially when there were limited platforms when we first began. But now, with the wide range of streaming services and social media connecting the world, there has been a shift in how people consume music. This helps artist and producers like us who aren't really following the mainstream Bhangra/Punjabi or any music genre's generic formula.
We continue to trust our ears and believe in ourselves. Some of our closest friends are more of the common Punjabi music style fans and we've learned that it's OK for people not to like our music. The world's audience is so big and now connected more than ever, and there is music now available for everyone's taste. The opportunities we have got and continue to get further validate us that we should just keep doing what we are doing!
Stay tuned for many more great projects and collaborations from XD Pro Music! Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter @XDProMusic
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