The UK is back on it!
Just last week, we had the release of Harvey Sahota and The Live Crew’s ‘Sajana’, which was undeniably a track that captured the true essence of the UK scene. And it doesn’t stop there. This time round, Sunny Hayre and Kubs Matharu have taken the UK baton and created a track which pays homage to the era that put UK Bhangra on the map – the 90s!
Sunny Hayre stepped into the UK scene back in 2012, with his debut release, ‘Kaalja’, produced by none other than Mr. Groundshaker himself, Aman Hayer. Sunny has since been a part of the Entourage Live Band, providing backing vocals; as well consistently releasing tracks over the years.
Another member of the Entourage Live Band is Kubs Matharu – so you can see the connection here. He is, on the other hand, probably a little less known to the general public compared to Sunny. But don’t let that fool you. He is one talented geezer, and someone that should be releasing more music! Kubs also released his debut single back in 2012, titled ‘Gera’, featuring the vocals of Sanjay Dhaliwal. This track is a dark horse! Honestly, go back and listen to this track. Definitely has a funky vibe to it.
Fast forward to 2018, and the Entourage boys have come together for the second time, with their new single, ‘Hathyara Varge’. Bhangra Tape Deck sat down with the lads to talk about their background, the new track and much more.
For those that don’t know about you both, can you give us a bit of a background as to how guys got into the whole music game?
Sunny: I started singing casually in college during get togethers at lunch time. My friends pushed me to go and audition for BritAsia Superstar Competition, which I did. My proper journey in this scene really started when I saw the Entourage Live Band performing with Angrej Ali at a wedding. After their performance, I went backstage to meet Aman and Angrej. After a short conversation, Aman say that I should started coming with them to more shows. From there, I ended up jumping on backing vocals for the band! The rest is history, I guess.
Kubs: I was lucky that my parents were big music fans in general, and encouraged me to learn instruments from an early age. Also, my Mama Ji is Manjeet Kondal, lead singer from the 80s and 90s band, ‘Holle Holle’. Therefore, as a youngster we were always surrounded by the sound that was developing in the UK from around the mid 80s. I learnt several instruments from an early age including Keyboards, Trumpet and the Drums. It was around 10 years ago when I really wanted to put this playing into an actual project. I went and bought myself a decent PC and Cubase music production software. I went on a short course to learn the basics, and then have just been learning on the go ever since, with each song I have made.
‘Fly’ was the last track you both collaborated on together back in July 2013. How did the initial collaboration come about, and what was it like coming back together to create ‘Hathyara Varge’?
Sunny: As both myself and Kubs are part of Aman Hayer’s Entourage Live Band, we are around each other quite a bit. I remember showing him the lyrics to ‘Fly’, and from there, we sat together and came up with a melody, and started recording soon after. We both liked the vibe on ‘Fly’, and worked hard to ensure it sounded the best we possibly could. It was great coming back together on ‘Hathyara Varge’. I think we work well together when we’re in the studio – always bouncing off one another.
Kubs: I met Sunny through the Entourage Live Band, which I joined about 5 years ago. Sunny, who sings backing vocals for the band, had just released his first single ‘Kaalja’ with Aman Hayer, and I had already released my debut song ‘Gera’. We used to go to a lot of gigs and rehearsals together and were always talking about future releases. I remember asking Sunny what he had planned next, and he sang the hook line from what eventually became ‘Fly’. There was something instantly that I liked about that melody and catchy hook line. From there, I asked Sunny if I could have a go at making the music for it. We recorded a guide vocal for it and I started to make the music around that. Sunny was liking the groove on the track, and hence we completed the full song, and that was that! We had a lot of good feedback from that song, so a second track was always inevitable, but it was just about getting time to get it done. Also, in between, I was making other tracks with other singers and Sunny was working with other producers. However we have finally got around to finishing this new track ‘Hathyara Varge’ and are looking forward to the release and everyone’s thoughts!
What’s the story behind the new track?
Sunny: The writer of this song, who is also a close friend of mine, Sunny Aujla, showed me the idea for the track. I really liked it. I took the lyrics to Kubs, and we worked on a melody together. Kubs suggested we go down the 90s UK Bhangra route, and thought it would work nicely on this track. Putting being in the industry aside, as huge fans of the whole 90s UK Bhangra era, we felt it was only right to go with this vibe, because that’s who we are, through and through.
Kubs: Again, it was another case of Sunny coming up with a catchy hook line and melody, and me having another vision for the music. We recorded the guide vocal again and I worked on the music and finally came up with the finished product you hear today!
Judging from the vibe of ‘Fly’ and the new single, it’s clear you both click. Will we see more frequent releases from you together? Could you be the new singer/ producer duo on the block?
Sunny: Yes, there’s definitely a lot more projects in the pipeline with a variety of different producers. Can’t say what they are just yet, but what I will say is I’m trying my best to create unique tracks that give UK Bhangra what it deserves.
Kubs: Yes, most definitely we will be working on more future releases as we share similar tastes and ideas on how music should be made. In terms of frequency, it’s a difficult industry to regularly release music as the majority of the time you have to mostly fund everything yourself. I personally don’t think you should tie yourself down with the same singer/producer for every song, as then it starts to become quite predictable. It is always good to work with other artists as then you get a good variety with your projects, but to make sure that you have the same vision so that all parties are happy with the outcome.
What are your thoughts on the UK scene in general as it currently stands? What do you think needs to be done to improve it?
Sunny: The UK scene currently isn’t as great as it was, say 10 years ago. It’s lacking fresh UK born talent. There is a lot of undiscovered talent in the UK. We have a lot of talent here, and always have done. We just need more people to come out and showcase it. That’s the only way our scene will return to its former glory. Don’t forget India used to come to us for music production, as they loved our sound.
Kubs: This is a difficult question and one that would require quite a long essay from me but I will try and keep it as short as possible, haha! Being born and bred in the UK, I personally think the UK sound is the best. Producers who I listen to the most are Aman Hayer, Tru-Skool, Kaos Productions, Sukshinder Shinda, Suki Chand, Kam Frantic and Jeeti. The common theme with these names is that they all make their own stuff and the music is always creative. The compositions are always fresh and the production levels are high. Whilst we have this quality from the names I have just mentioned and also more (sorry, but it’s hard to name everyone), the UK name gets hit by those people who just want a bit of quick fame or those who aren’t learning their trade properly. The era of the DJ Producer didn’t help the industry either – this is a single debate in itself! Often, I hear songs that are just the same old, same old. We need more people learning instruments and then transferring this into production. I would encourage parents to get their children to learn instruments from an early age, as I think this is key. There are definitely lots of upcoming producers who use social media to showcase their music such as Binnie Marwa, Dav Juss and Jag Bancil to name a few, but we need more to keep the cycle moving and we need more support from the industry.
So what’s next for you both?
Sunny: Like I said before, I’m working on new material, but at the same time, there is no sudden rush to push things out. From my perspective, I just want to make music that sounds good to us and think the public will enjoy. It’s all about producing quality music.
Kubs: I have a few singles in the pipeline which I am working on at the moment. I am always looking to work with different vocalists, so if anyone out there is looking to get tracks made then get in touch!
Support the track!
‘Hathyara Varge’ is out now on VIP Records via all major digital outlets.
This is yet another track where everything, from the vocals, to the production, to the lyrics, has been done in the UK. We, as the listening public should definitely be supporting and encouraging more of this to happen.
Bhangra Tape Deck would like to thank both Sunny Hayre and Kubs Matharu for taking the time out to talk about their sophomore release together.