We invited Kaos Productions to kick start the new “The Bhangra Zone Meets” series on this website earlier this week. The series will focus on interviews with prominent figures within the Punjabi music industry and their thoughts on the scene. We’ll be getting into depths that no one has ever delved before to find out the root of the problem, in what some call the worst time for UK Bhangra.
In your own words, how was 2017 in terms of UK Punjabi music releases?
I feel 2017 was hard work for the UK scene – with some positive progress. We have had some very serious talent emerge from the UK over the years and stamp a sound on the global Panjabi music industry that has been imitated but never beaten in terms of dance floor sound quality. It’s been tough recently but we have still tried to keep the flag flying.
If you had the chance to remake the music for one song released in 2017, which would it be?
Probably something by Jatinder Dhiman. We are huge fans of his expression and vibe of singing, but always feel his studio recordings do not represent or reflect the energy of his live videos.
Why is there currently a lack of motivation / effort being put into some songs which are being released within the UK Punjabi music industry?
Tough to say what other people are thinking during their production process. We have absolutely stuck to our guns in keeping quality of the music as our number one priority. This has often cost us in terms of delays and re-starting completed songs that are not satisfactory, despite financial implications. Technological advances have also likely led to people being able to put songs together with a bit of software and some YouTube gained knowledge, rather than the self-expression and vibes which U.K. music used to have much more of.
With the lack of quality in recordings these days, what gives you guys motivation to produce your songs so intricately?
The motivation is simply driven by us trying to beat ourselves on every outing. It is not enough to simply maintain a set standard…people get used to that as the expectation level rises. We have to try and improve every single time. Having said that, we are still enjoying our times as the underrated producers of the scene, which is a label that seems to have stuck!
What was the mental process behind releasing a remix album in a time where singles seem to be the only way to get sales / hits?
Kaos was the case was a project we took on at the suggestion of DJ Vips from VIP records. We actually started off making remixes in the 90’s such as Case of Bass series and Mighty Manak, so it was interesting to switch back to that kind of project. To clarify what our album was, it was actually brand new production with songs from the VIP catalogue laid over it. The beats and music were all created from scratch and not ‘borrowed’ from other records. Despite the album having a U.K. only release, we are very happy with the response.
Most of the time, friendships within Punjabi music industry break after a while. What makes your bond with Tru-Skool so strong?
It’s because we have known Sukh (Tru-Skool) before either of us were making music. We are not industry friends but rather we grew up in the same town of Derby, from the same area and had the same interests. We are very proud and happy for the incredible success he has brought to the UK scene and in particular to Derby. Most people know that in the U.K. Birmingham and London have been known as hubs for Bhangra music but now people talk about Derby in the same way. He is immensely talented and we have the good fortune of being close friends, like brothers.
Is there much respect for Punjabi media in the music industry at the moment?
From our viewpoint I think there is not enough people in the Punjabi media who have the necessary knowledge about music to be commenting on it. We respect anyone with credible and constructive unbiased opinions. A few people know what they are talking about but many are just voicing personal opinions through websites and social media.
What needs to be done by Punjabi media, like us, to promote UK artists more?
First and foremost we need more quality content coming from the U.K. scene which is down to us. After that we would actually appreciate less bandwagon jumping and more in-depth support for credible and emerging U.K. artists. Some of our songs get overlooked due to politics between labels, TV channels and other media in the U.K. scene… which means the music is suffering.
In your opinion, who is the one artist to watch in 2018?
Big fan of G Sidhu from the US and the U.K. will be firing with both Gurj Sidhu and JK releasing albums too.
What can we expect from Kaos in 2018?
We will try to bring out as many quality releases as we can manage. Kaos was the case 2 is due in the summer as well as some tracks on Gurj Sidhu’s new album. Hopefully at least one solo song from ourselves as well and something with an artist we have already mentioned.