By Ninder Kaur
Award winning producer Rishi Rish has re-collaborated with Juggy and Jay Sean and the team are back with their brand new single ‘Freak’ after a 12-year hiatus.
The single has come about- 12 years after the smash hit Dance with You- When did you know that the timing was right?
We were never really a group. We just did songs together. There was chemistry between the three of us. Then we all went on to pursue our solo careers. It was just about finding out when our diaries were free and when we could give full commitment to the project. We tried to make it happen in London but we just went out and partied. The guys came out to Atlanta and made it happen.
It’s about coming out of your shell and having fun with everything you do and enjoy life. We all live that life. We all work hard and love what we do.
What has the response been like?
It has really kicked off everywhere around the world. Everyone appreciates the song. In India it’s doing really well. The fans love it and its more the reason we did it really, for the fans.
Can we be expecting any more material from the return of the Rishi Rish project?
We have started working on new material. Hopefully there should be an album or EP. We have worked on a few other tracks together. You wont have to wait another 12 years.
You are the most successful Asian music producer. Why do you think that is and what is the secret to your success?
Longevity. I started my career when I was 14. I haven’t really been too concerned about what’s happening in the industry. I keep myself to myself. I like to develop new artists. A lot of producers don’t do that.
What inspires you musically?
My surroundings. I listen to a lot of music , new artists, different types of music. I go and watch a film 3/4 times a week and that inspires me.
What do you do when your inspiration dries up?
I don’t do nothing. I just chill. I don’t go out. I watch TV programmes, I cook, I read and I play chess.
How hard was it breaking out in the industry?
It was hard when we broke through but there was more of a connection with people. More face-to-face interaction like shop signings and a lot more performances. On our journey, a lot of people were involved.
Your sound is kind of emblematic of British-Asian identity. The Urban-Desi phenomenon is something that you, partly pioneered and popularised. Did you expect it to become so big in mainstream?
I always wanted it to become a sound within itself. I believed in it from day one.
It was the music I have been doing since day one. I was fusing different music taking different elements from different cultures- RnB and Hip Hop with different Indian kind of influences. I wasn’t surprised. I kind of knew by looking at the ratio of Indians in clubs in London that they would listen to RnB and Hip Hop songs or an Asian guy singing in RnB but with an Indian influence. I knew our industry and our culture would embrace that and they did.
At what point in your career did you know that you had made it?
I don’t think I have ever though of ‘oh you’ve made it’. I always look at the next thing I want to do and I am very grateful for being able to do what it is I want to do. Music is my job. I have never had a job. Music has been everything since I came out of college. That for me is making it because I am doing what I love everyday. I am looking after my family and we have a great life so it is good.
Your crossover success has allowed you to act as a representative for British-Asians and elevate the Asian scene. How does that make you feel?
I feel great about being someone that younger artists can look up. I have always been the type to introduce new artists and new producers or artists that have been in the game for a little while. That’s something I love doing and guiding people the right way.
Talent, being humble and willing to work hard and take advice. I am good at spotting talent and when I get it right its even better.
Do you think there needs to be more female in the industry?
Yes. There should be more females. They do get a lot of support. A lot of female radio presenters, DJs and journalist. Nothing makes aspiring females happier than seeing a new artist come out. They will have a lot of support its just finding the right artist to come through.
How is it being in Atlanta and working with Teddy Riley?
It’s been really good. I came out here to work for him for a year to learn and I live with him out here. I am setting up my own label now. So I am doing what I did in the UK but do it here in America for South Asian artists.
What do you think about the British Asian music industry and how does it compare to the US?
I think the industry in the US is good. There’s so much talent here but there’s not a hub. They look at the UK a lot. A lot of people want to go straight to the charts or billboards here which is really good way to look at it because their work ethic is a bit different. I have just signed a new artist called Amrit Dasu who is going to be a big talent. He is a young Indian guy from New York. I am working with him and Dave Bawa. I have met some really cool Asian Indian rappers.
Songs have appeared in Bollywood films, how does that make you feel and can we expect more?
I am working on some Bollywood songs now. Its great to be known in India and people respect the music. Every time I go out there I get a lot of love. It feels great.
We will be touring the Rishi Rish project. I have just finished my solo album. It’s the Rishi Rish album called ‘Music’ and that should be coming out by the end of the year. There are 17 tracks on their featuring amazing artists, new artists and I am really looking forward to that.
We are in talks with people to come out to London, Australia, America, Canada and everywhere as the Rishi Rish Project tour.
Dream Collaboration? Jay Z and Gurdas Maan.
Favourite place to perform? America.
Favourite genre of music? Probably 70s Bollywood.
Favourite music artist right now? Chris Brown.
Favourite thing about your job? I can work when I want. I am the boss.
UK or US? Both. UK is my home and US is my new home. I hope to make it my home.
Something we didn’t know about you? I like playing chess.