Introducing one of Amsterdam’s finest when it comes to the desi music scene, Kamal Raja. Initiating his passion for performing at the early age of 12 as a dancer, Kamal has since developed his love for music and the stage and evolved into a talented singer and songwriter. With his latest track ‘No Clue’ getting a lot of hype…I catch up with the man himself to find out more!
How did you get started in music?
Since childhood I have been involved with music. As I got older, I saw that there were opportunities to bring my music to the listeners, so I did several auditions and thankfully it worked out.
For those who have not heard of you, how would you define your musical
I do not really have a common style, I just follow my instincts. Sometimes it can have an influence of urban / rock / house and even desi music. So somehow I'm not focusing on one type of genre, but rather mixing them up. I call it the Kamal Raja genre with a twist 2011.
How did your cultural background influence the music you chose to make?
I always wanted to make music that I liked, but still in the style of desi and punjabi. Unfortunately I did not hear much of that kind of music, not really. I've listened to a lot of music and have tried to combine. Step by step I made it to what I liked to hear and bring to my listeners. My background and culture have helped me a lot and brought me to where I am today.
Who have been your biggest musical influences?
I always looked up to Usher, but at the same time I was a big fan of Atta Ullah Khan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and yet I also liked Justin Timberlake and Neyo. It's a strange combination, but they all have talent in what they do, they know all about music.
Tell us about your latest track ‘No Clue’?
People frequently ask me if No Clue has anything to do with my personal life. For those who did not know, all my music has influence by the person inside me or my past. No Clue to a certain limit. How much it has to do with my past, I'd rather keep to myself. No Clue is a message to people who are in relationships and do not know how to come out. They are not happy, but dare not to take the step and because of that one step, will they stay where they are and never ever will they be able to move forward. This can be seen at the end of the music video, when the whole story rewinds, and the person chooses not to take that single step and everything keeps repeating itself again and again. The message is, everyone makes mistakes, so you have to learn and improve, not continue to repeat the same mistake.
What was it like collaborating with Morrocan rapper Salah Edin for the
track, how did you two get connected?
No clue is a song with feeling and I wanted to have a rapper who can put his feelings into the rap with his vocals. In this track it was only Salah Edin, who could make this happen. He has helped me a lot next to No Clue.
An experienced artist (who has many titles on his name) I see him as my mentor. I'm glad I got the opportunity to work with him and hope to collaborate again in the future, Inshallah.
What was it like shooting the music video for the track?
I had a great confidence in the production with Tahir Mohamed as an experienced director. And of course it was great fun, yet very heavy. I had a lot physical training and practice going on for the video clip, which results in the video. A whole new experience with my record label Light-Enterpise and publisher Bollywood-Zone. It couldn't have been better. The shooting continued until sunrise and still I didn't complain! If it was up to me I could go on with my next video! At the end we all want a good result which everyone is happy with.
If you could change one thing about the music scene, what would it be?
Unique is the best word, do whatever you like to, but search for, what has not been done before. It's not just making music and shooting a music video, as an artist you should know that this is your life, your world. Music, the No. 1 priority of your life. I hope the desi music will keep on growing worldwide and will be viewed and listened by any culture or and be accepted as common music. That's what I try to do, make music that you can place in any kind of chart list and categorise in any genre.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Collaborations are on their way, mainly in my mind. Somewhere far away in my mind. There are already a lot of opportunities, but now I'm the one who want to do it on his own. I've already had a great collaboration with Salah Edin. And if I still had to choose then I would go for Pitbull, Ludacris or Trey Songz. I find them very unique.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I'm working hard on my album. I want to finish it as soon as possible and surprise the listeners with this album. I hope my music will give a different look to the desi scene, inshallah. I'd like to bring a message through my album and show the world how big desi music can be.
It just needs some new and fresh add-ons, that's it. I see music as an art; therefore, you should be able to know what will be able to sound nice.
Besides my album I'm working on my new track ufff, which video production has begun. This will be my second debut single and I hope to release this very soon!
Where can the B4U fans find out more about you?
Twitter, like many other musicians, I'm also regularly twittering. This is also directly linked to my Facebook and of course for all the ins and outs they can always visit my website www.kamalrajamusic.com.