Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Spice up Valentine’s with Kee!

Valentine’s Day may be often derided as a rather repellent, commercial exercise by the cynics among us but it’s good to know that there are hopeless romantics still fighting away for the other side.  Forget the prohibitively expensive roses, the Pink champagne and candle-lit dinners, nothing says ‘I Love You’ like the perfect Valentine’s Day song.
And fans of Brit-Asian singer Kee are in for a treat today with the release of the soulful singer’s latest single, the appropriately titled ‘Pyar Hai’.
As a terrifically busy Kee geared up for what is certain to be a hectic Valentine’s, The UKAsian had a quick tete-a-tete with the singer.
What would be your perfect Valentine’s Day?
I’m a real softy at heart and I abolutely love romance and I’m also quite traditional.  This song is the favourite of all my releases for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately I’m a single gal at the moment and yet to really experience that perfect Valentine’s.  I like simplicity so a romantic dinner for two with plenty of candle light.  Perhaps someone should surprise me!
You’ve collaborated with the immensely talented Arjun on ‘Pyar Hai’; what was it like working with him?
I’ve worked with him many times before and he’s like family.  I really like the way he works with music, his perfection.  Above all I think he has the right attitude and vibe and is capable of capturing a particular mood or sensibility of a song and producing it accordingly.

Did you grow up around music?
I did grow up in a musical environment; I had a close cousin who was part of a band and I loved walking into his rehearsals.  I got professional training for my vocals and was really supported by my amazing family who have always encouraged me.  And I’ve invested a lot of my time and money into making it and that’s important for anyone looking to get into music professionally.
What’s it been like as a British Asian and a woman to boot?!!
I think it’s difficult to get into the mainstream because you need a lot of financial backing.  But I think it’s becoming increasingly easier to raise awareness, with club nights and social networking sites and blogs and so forth.  So it is getting easier but it can still be quite expensive.  PR is also key.  I know it’s easy to say that if you have the right kind of music and talent then you will be successful.  But I’m afraid that talent alone isn’t.  There are loads of amazing singers and musicians out there plying their trade in bars and clubs up and down the country.  PR is important because you need help to get your talent out there.  As a female, again, the barriers have been broken down to a great extent but there’s still some way to go.  More girls should take more risks with following their dreams, especially in the British Asian community.
Do you write your own stuff?
Absolutely.  My last release in December was written especially for me because it was a proper Punjabi track and I don’t usually do Punjabi songs.  It was my first attempt so I had to get a lot of help.  Otherwise I write all my songs.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?  And are you a Bollywood girl or a Hollywood girl?
I’m definitely a proper Bollywood chick.  Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to make it there, maybe get to work as a playback singer.  That’s the ultimate dream but loads of work to be done to that end!
In terms of influences, they are really varied.  I listen to a wide variety of music, from classic Bollywood numbers to contemporary hip hop and RnB so that’s a great spectrum to draw inspiration from.  Beyonce is my idol and I love Atif Aslam.  Of course, I’m loving Arjun and what he’s doing at the moment.
‘Pyar Hai’ is now available for download on iTunes.

-    Poonam Joshi

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