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Global Indians

One On One with Jassi Sidhu

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 30 Nov, 2008 07:36 AM
  • One On One with Jassi Sidhu

Born and raised in England, Jassi Sidhu is an unpretentious artist who has become a UK Bhangra sensation. Sidhu can be characterized as a driven and motivated artist who clearly had always been destined for global success.

Jassi’s road to music began during his middle school years at the age of 14 where he created a band entitiled “Dhamkaa.” After, the year ended he decided not to pursue the music of Dhamkaa and finished his schooling.

However, a few years later his drive to be part of his true passion could no longer be resisted. His rise to fame began almost instantly as a fresh faced young as the lead singer of the boy-band B-21. At the time, Jassi was pursuing his law degree and used music creation as a way to be one of the guys. The band was an overnight phenomenon that beat out bhangra tunes to captive young audiences. Within a five year period Jassi Sidhu went on to sing anthems such as “Darshan” from the hit “Bend it like Bekham”, “Jawani” and “Jaan”. In 2002, the artist decided to venture away from the band and transitioned into a solo artist, which itself is a huge feat.

In 2004, Jassi Sidhu came back with a bang and fulfilling all expectations with the award winning “Reality Check”. The album became an international best seller and paved the way for Jassi Sidhu’s meteoric rise in India, a territory previously un-explored. This culminated with him winning the best International album award at the prestigious ETC Punjabi Music Award 2004. Jassi Sidhu went on to release his second solo album in 2006 with “No Strings Attached” producing dance floor smashes like “Raahe Raahe” and “Puth Jatt Thaa”.

In 2008, Jassi Sidhu unleashed his biggest album to date on audiences world-wide. Released in March “The Adventures of Jassi Sidhu” features the production talents of Internationals producers “Rishi Rich” and “Aman Hayer” as well as Jassi Sidhu’s own inimitable style. Yet it’s the anthem like duet “Ki Kehnhe” which saw another legend from the UK bhangra music fraternity Malkit Singh join Jassi Sidhu on lead vocals that sent dance floors across the globe crazy. The new album not only underlined Jassi Sidhu‘s status as one of the Punjabi music’s finest singers and performers, but has catapulted Jassi Sidhu’s career to whole new level.

Jassi Sidhu is undoubtedly one of the UK’s finest home grown singers. Over the last decade Punjabi music fans across the world have taken his distinct sound to heart, they have grown to instantly recognize his music. Recently, Jassi Sidhu has been wowing audiences all over the world as one of the finest artists of his generation. With the release of his new album and international tours already being lined up for the remainder of year alongside his already hectic national schedule, 2008-09 looks set to be the year of Jassi Sidhu.

Jassi Sidhu Interview

In a recent phone interview with Darpan Magazine, UK Bhangra Sensation, Jassi Sidhu discusses his music path to global success.

When did you start singing?

“I really started at the age of 17….I did my law degree. I finished my law degree.”

How did you get into singing? Was it a performance or something to that effect?

“I was 13 or 14 and just got into music…I grew up listening to a lot of English music, but then at the time Bhangra music in the UK was very vibrant. It became very cool for my generation to listen to Bhangra music…I listened to the likes of Malkit Singh, DCS, and Achanak. Everything kind of fell into place; I started a school band called Thamaka Boys.”

“During the first year of college, I knew Bally and Butta, who were a part of B21….I, said to them I am recording an album do you want to get involved? So they came on board. And that was the creation of B21.”

So the rest is history?

“And the rest is the last 13 years of my life.”

How are old are you now?

“30….people say this is young for a Punjabi singer, but I have been doing this since I was 17. I have a lot of years under my belt.”

You mention Malkit Singh…and I believe you sang a song alongside him?

“It was cool….the track “Ki Kenneh” I had always planned to do and I always bumped into Paaji on the circuit. And I said you know it would be really cool with the two of us, with the two of the most recognized voices in the UK, two sardar men, two Punjabi sardar men and it had never been done properly before. We are both kind of similar, both in bands, both left bands. “

“When I am recording… I am in their recording and I remember recording Paaji’s vocals in the studio and telling him to change that and I do not like that. Then the sound engineer said you know, you are talking to Malkit Singh….I totally forget sometimes. (He laughs). It was a great experience.”

Is he your mentor?

“No, I would not say that he is my mentor. Our relationship only really extends from his one track. I grew up knowing Malkit was a legend and listening to him, but I can’t really say what I do is because of just one person. “

Of all the Bhangra stars that have come out of the UK, who would you say has been the biggest influence on you, Jassi Sidhu?

“Basically, growing up it was the likes of Malkit Paaji, DCS, Heera, Achanak, and Anakhi. All the 80s and 90s bands that were just so vibrant when you saw them at shows, they actually made the industry what it is right now. They kind of make you want to emulate them in some way….you know? That is what bhangra music should do…make you want to emulate them.”

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