Interview with DJ Harv

First and foremost, your 2018 has started with a bang. But, how was 2017 for you?
I have got to say it’s probably one of my best years professionally. From a crazy number of DJ bookings, to the release of Sada Time and a jam packed overseas schedule in between, I’ve really enjoyed 2017. The year has started with a bang and i hope it continues!

How was 2017 in general for the UK Bhangra industry?
It was a bit stale really. Was great to see the emergence of Gurj Sidhu and the return of JK and it seems like Derby is holding the Bhangra industry together. I am surprised with the lack of output as there is talent in the UK.

Some producers and singers seem to have lost their identity or are trying too hard. On the flip side I think generally the public are focused on India and what they are doing and we’re waiting for the next banger from Sharry or Mankirt. Until we develop our UK sound once again, we are well behind India and Canada and it will remain like that until we source better lyrics, fund better videos and experiment more with music.

I actually miss the random songs from bedroom singers in the UK giving it a go, its been a big part of our industry in the past. I’d also like to see a lot more from Raj Bains, Gurbhej Brar, Dippa Dosanjh, Juggy D, Sunny Hayre, Kulwinder Johal, Bee2 who all have the talent to bring UK Bhangra back to life. There must be some more young talent out there right?

What was the process behind Sada Time and working with Benny to create a UK banger?
Sada Time was a project that crept up on me. I’ve known Benny for some time and we’d been talking about a track for a while. We went to the studio a few times with different songs and there was always something that wasn’t right. He sang me the hook line for Sada Time on a voice memo on Whatsapp one night and I was like, this will work! He had the rest of the song written by Sandhu Ripjeet (who did a great job) and we had the talented duo, K Singh & Dav Juss engineer the music for us.

Was a great end result for UK Bhangra in my opinion, and we hit No4 on the BBC Asian Network chart, held on to No1 on iTunes for a week or so and nearly 200k (genuine) hits on Youtube. Lots of good came from this track and Benny is a top guy and great to work with. Thank you to everyone that supported it.

What’s it like juggling music production and DJing at the same time?
DJ wise, I am in my element. I love DJing and it’s my full time occupation. I have sacrificed a lot of family time and energy, but it has paid off. Music production is still a new arena for me. My knowledge is limited but I know what I want from my songs, lyrically and musically. I have a good team that I work with around the clock from lyricists to engineers and now singers! It will occupy a lot more of my time in the coming months so let’s see..

Now, onto the juicy stuff. When did Dilpreet first approach you to DJ his wedding and what did he say?
Ha! We’ve been good friends for a couple of years now I speak to Dilpreet a few times a week and you get to know each other on a personal level pretty quick. I got a late call one night, so it was super late in India and he was like, “I’m getting married bro, firstly you’re my guest and you’re also my DJ”. I obviously said yes, it’s done. I really didn’t take it in at the time as to how much this wedding would do for me and the scale it would be at.

How is he as a person?
He’s a crazy character and I generally love that type of personality. He’s got a big heart and is extremely talented. Loves his family and is a shopaholic! He’s totally unpredictable and needs to work on his time management but other than that, he’s more of a brother to me than anything else. I think marriage will bring out the best of him, he has so many songs recorded, it’s mad.

What was it like rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in Punjab?
This time round there was a different vibe at Dilpreet’s wedding. I was no longer introducing myself and that was a great feeling. For the last 2/3 years I have built relationships with these guys and spent time in India with them as well as their time here. It was surreal at first as i’m just a big Bhangra fan at heart. It’s nice that I can call each and everyone of them anytime I want and have a chat. There is a good level of respect and you get to know who is actually a good person. A special shout out to Karan Aujla and Sandeep Rehaan from Rehaan Records, these guys were a class act.

I saw some snaps of a group of you including KSR and Dilpreet in a hotel room. What was happening and what can we expect?
The whole Frequency family (DJ KSR, DJ EM, DJ SP, Joti Dhillon) from Toronto were in Chandigarh at the same time as me. We ended up staying at the same hotel and Room 507 at JW Marriott was where we made a lot of music and had a lot of fun. There is no collaborations as such but we’re all working on our projects and everyone is super talented in their own way. There is definitely a strong connection between us boys at Kudos and Frequency and having collaborated with DJ EM on our Hostel Remix, there is bound to be more work in the pipeline. Big shoutout to Ikwinder Singh who was there also. He is seriously talented and was behind the music on Diamond by Gurnam Bhullar recently. He’s bringing some serious bangers through real soon with big artists!

Now, I know you worked with Dilpreet for Daang before Mankirt released a similar track. I personally still blast your version. Can we expect another banger from you and Mr Dhillon?
Yes, we’re recording at the moment! We’ve had a few hiccups on the music side with leaks and the Daang issue. It happens though! I just want to make sure it’s the right product for me and him. Really don’t see the point in doing a track with anyone big or small if it isn’t a banger.

Is it important for UK artists to work with Punjab based artists in your opinion?
It depends on what you’re planning on achieving. Like any business, build your relationships and the work will come naturally and that’s based on respect of each others talents and personalities. There are artists in the UK trying to throw money at the situation and the India artists will happily take your money and do whats required, but they’ll expect it every time. It just won’t be from the heart.

Kaos & Tru Skool are testament that you can be successful in your home market with home grown talent. Lets not forget, UK is our market and we have a responsibility to make it the best once again. I’d love to work with Raj Bains or Gurbhej Brar, so much talent.

I’ve seen you’re going to Australia soon, what’s it like living this life? It’s usually singers who have this international success and manage to tour the world.
It’s mad! I’m getting paid to play around the world, which is a dream! l actually love the travelling and Australia will be a great experience. I’ve managed to clock some serious air miles in the last two years and every trip seems to get bigger and better. It can be tough, as I have a family who I adore. I do feel lucky and thank my family, Kudos and a massive network of friends for their support. From a business point of view I want to take the ‘DJ Harv’ brand and ‘Kudos Music’ worldwide. I have some goals i want to surpass, before I call it a day and it’s all heading in the right direction. It goes without saying that if I do succeed, it will be with as much humility, love and respect for everyone thats helped me get there.

Is there anything else you want to say to our readers?
Massive thanks to Taran and the team at The Bhangra Zone. It’s my go to place for the latest bhangra news. Thanks for reading and keep supporting your favourite artists and buy legally! My next track 3 Saal, should be out in April. I have loads more coming, I promise!

Also, thank you to all my team who have supported me so far in India including Pamal, Deep & Ronnie.

If you want to follow my India and Australia trips in the coming months as well as some fun antics then make sure you follow me on snapchat and instagram @HarvKudos.

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