The UK is finally waking up! Slowly, but steadily, we are releasing music back into the market. It’s taking longer than we all had hoped, but it’s happening, nonetheless. The UK scene v2.0 is now bringing something to the table that the Panjab market just doesn’t seem to be doing – Variety. When you look at this year’s UK releases, we’ve definitely had a load of different styles of music thrown at us, much more so than previous years; whether it be the straight up in yo face Desi tracks, crazy Drum N Bass vibes, or even the chilled out Reggae. This is something that just comes naturally to UK artists.
In this round, UK based music producer Jr Dread teams up with underrated UK based vocalist, Jasjot Singh Ghuman, on ‘Gussa Ni Karidha’. For those that have heard Jr Dread’s and Jasjot Singh Ghuman’s previous solo endeavours, you will notice that both of them are not afraid of branching out, and incorporating different styles of music in their tracks. ‘Gussa Ni Karidha’ isn’t any different. What we have from their collaboration is a concoction of the Desi vibes, which fit Jasjot’s vocal like a hand in glove, and EDM-esque basslines brought to the table by Jr Dread.
Before we delve into the conception of the new track, let’s take a step back and have a look at Jr Dread’s and Jasjot Singh Ghuman’s careers to date. These guys are a credit to the UK scene, and their past work should be highlighted.
Jr Dread’s debut album, aptly titled ‘The Debut’, released back in 2010, showcased a variety of different flavours, from Desi, Drum N Bass to even a Jazz remix. It wasn’t until his sophomore release, ‘Folkin’ Bass’, where we heard Jr Dread fully come out of his shell, musically, and showcase and stamp his signature sound of big basslines fused with Desi instrumentation. ‘Folkin’ Bass’ was the perfect name for this album. Lead singles included ‘Balle Balle Boliyan’, featuring the late, great Surjit Bindrakhia, Ashok Gill and Bakshi Billa, ‘Jogi’ featuring Amrita Virk, and ‘Jarnail Kaur’ featuring the legendary Dippa Sat-Rang. This really is an album everyone should check out if you want to know what Jr Dread is all about.
‘The Debut’ – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-debut/id382772073
‘Folkin’ Bass’ – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/folkin-bass/id694605526
Jasjot Singh Ghuman
Jasjot Singh Ghuman, on the other hand, exploded onto the scene with the power packed punch of a debut single, ‘Vaisakhi Mela’, in 2010. And what a debut this was. Unforgiving Desi production at its finest. Jasjot’s next releases, ‘The Yellow Brick Road’ EP, and singles, ‘Akhiyan’ and ‘Jatt Busy’, all brought out different sides to Jasjot, which showcases his versatility as a vocalist. Even with these solid releases, Jasjot just hasn’t got the attention he deserves. He is a homegrown talent, and is someone we should be championing! It’s a shame many people don’t even know about him. We highly recommend you check out his previous releases. All round badboy!
‘Vaisakhi Mela’ – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/vaisakhi-mela-single/id377012734
‘The Yellow Brick Road’ – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-yellow-brick-road-ep/id469384713
Right, back to the new track. That’s what we’re all here for, right? Bhangra Tape Deck caught up with Jr Dread and Jasjot Singh Ghuman for an insight into their new track together.
How did the collaboration come about?
Jr Dread: Erm, it was literally the case of me messaging Jasjot on Twitter. I’ve liked his voice ever since he debuted on the scene with the ‘Vaisakhi Mela’ track. He’s a UK talent with a wicked voice, but unfortunately not pushed too much. With my music this time round, I want to try and work with a lot more UK talent. If you look at my previous releases, there is a big presence of India artists on the tracks. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but everyone seems to be focusing on the India talent at the moment, so much so that the public are slowly forgetting that we have talent here, to the point where our UK scene is dying down. But, in my mind, there is still life left in our scene. We’ve just got to take the steps and work with our homegrown talent. That’s how I remember our scene. Producers/ singers getting in touch with one another, seeing if they want to work together. That is how a scene is built. That is why it was thriving at one point. It’s the only way we can bring that back.
Jasjot Singh Ghuman: It was a pleasure working with Suni (Jr Dread). I’ve been a fan of his work since his debut release. His sound made an instant impression on me; most notably the production on ‘Jogi’, ‘Jarnail Kaur’ and ‘Balle Balle Boliyan’ on the ‘Folkin’ Bass’ album. The Folk elements of those tracks stood out to me, as I am a huge fan of Panjabi Folk, but his production style in particular, was what caught my ear, with the use of bass and Dub elements. This made his music stand out and gave it a signature touch. Something that is commendable. So when he got in touch, I didn’t hesitate when it came to starting a working dialogue with him.
The style of the track is the whole Desi vibe, with the big basslines. Why did you go down that route, and not more experimental?
Jr Dread: With my music, I will always make tracks to what I’m feeling at the time. If you look at my earlier work, you’ll notice I have experimented a lot more. But, that wasn’t an intentional move. It was down to the mood I was in. It’s quite hard to put in words, because it’s something you have to feel. Put it this way: There’s no point being different for the sake of being different, because that’s where you can trip up and wreck a track. On the flip side, there’s no point following the crowd when you have an urge to do something on a different vibe. So, the reason ‘Gussa Ni Karidha’ has gone down the more Desi route is because I felt, at the time, it fit Jasjot’s vocals better. I never like forcing the vocalist in doing something they’re not comfortable with, and prefer it when they sing songs that they are comfortable in singing, and to stay true to themselves too.
Jasjot Singh Ghuman: I didn’t really get involved with the production side of the track, to be honest. As I’ve said earlier, I’ve been a fan of Suni’s music since his debut release, and had full faith in him doing a good job with the music. With the track though, I gave him a few ideas and showed him some songs, but he had singled out ‘Gussa Ni Karidha’ early on as a song he may return to. We bounced back ideas back and forth, sending clips to each other over WhatsApp. In the end, we went with ‘Gussa Ni Karidha’, written by Gurnaib Kulthamwala. Lyrically, it’s a light hearted track about guys being real. Not taking things too seriously in what may be said amongst a group of mates. I composed the melody for the song and Suni rolled with the melody, and made the track around that.
Hang on. WhatsApp?
Both: Yep, haha. Technology is a powerful thing. We live in the 21st Century at the end of the day. We have so many tools at our disposal, and we thought we might as well utilise this method of communicating; something we use daily, and take for granted. If we didn’t, we have no idea when we would have actually got together in the studio, and recorded the track. This might make you guys laugh. The first time we actually met each other was on the day of the video shoot! We did try to meet up beforehand, but it was just our schedules that weren’t aligning. For me (Jr Dread), I think I’ll be using the WhatsApp method a lot more in the future.
What’s next for you guys?
Jr Dread: I’ve got a few things in the pipeline. There’s this one track I’ve done with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, which is on a Trip hop flex; really slow with the heavy bass lines. There’s also a couple of Reggae vibe tracks too. So, watch out for those!
Jasjot Singh Ghuman: Nothing as of yet, but I do have tracks ready to record. It’s just the case of finding the right producers to work with. But, I am definitely looking to release more music in the future.
Listen to the track
‘Gussa Ni Karidha’ is out now on Hi-Tech Music via all major digital outlets.
Bhangra Tape Deck would like to thank Jr Dread and Jasjot Singh Ghuman for taking the time out to talk about their new single together.