BhangraCentral recently caught up with the highly acclaimed UK Asian music producer Hunterz to conduct what was his most in-depth and personal interview to date! Check it out now:
Welcome to BhangraCentral, please tell us about Hunterz
I am a music producer / singer songwriter, and my style can be described as versatile! I make different kinds of music from RnB, Arabic, Dance , Hip Hop , traditional Asian / Desi , Reggae etc.
When did you first start singing? Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I actually started singing seriously on my first solo album “Most Wanted”, I decided to make my first album as a vocalist & producer and just went for it!
Music was the only thing ive ever wanted to do, from being a kid playing and studying instruments to where i am now music has been my only focus
Your brothers Vee and Ishers are also in the music industry. Please give a brief introduction in to what they both do.
Ishers spent up to 10 years studying vocals in india punjab , he is one of the most versatile vocalists in our industry and has a strong background in classical music / ragas too , he has some great music ready to release !
Vee is my youngest brother and was a bit of a child prodigy , i used to take him to the studio with me when he was 8 years old , by the age of 9 he was recording songs as a young rapper and then he started singing and that changed everything ! he has one of the best rnb / soulful voices in the uk and is also an awesome music producer , more recently he has been working on his music production but he also has songs as a vocalist ready to release
You come from a highly talented musical family. How supportive have they been throughout your musical journey?
My family are the backbone of my music career and life as a musician , they have supported me from the very beginning
Having produced your first album in 1999 and released your first vocal album in 2003, it’s fair to say that you have been in the game for a long time and have certified your status as an internationally established star. How do you find inspiration to continue making music and constantly evolving your sound?
Studying music, having vocal lessons etc has really helped me to evolve as an artist, the more skill and knowledge you have , you can express yourself musically and artistically and this keeps you sounding fresh
It’s not difficult at all, infact there are very few artists actually studying music and limit themselves too much, when i first started there were alof of artists working harder on their craft
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I like to watch films ! and i also go to the gym quite alot
Where in the world would you like to perform that you haven’t as of yet and why?
I would like to perform more in America, New York , LA etc. I have many fans there and have not been there as much as i would like to have.
You’ve been working on Phat Trax Volume 2 recently. When can the fans expect to see a release date? – What inspired you to make a followup to the first?
The first single from the Phat Trax vol 2 album will be out around July, the album will follow around August
Being 12 years late inspired me lol!
I just felt it was time to bring my brand of urban / Desi music back.
There will be around 10-12 songs on the album, all i will say is the first single which is by me Ishers & Vee is banging !
You’ve worked with Vee and Ishers on various tracks in the past. How does it feel to work alongside your brothers, both producing music and performing live.
It feels amazing working alongside my brothers we have alot of fun but at the same time we are all serious when it comes to the quality of our music. its easy working with my brothers and i like to see them working hard in the studio, we inspire each other !
2005 saw you co-write and sing a single titled ’Reasons’ alongside the band UB40. Tell us what that experience was like and how did the initial collaboration come about?
UB40 approached a good friend of mine and wanted an asian artist to record something on a song they had called reasons, I got the chance to write and record a part and they loved it and wanted it to be a part of their album, because the song reasons was not originally part of their final album selection!
I learned so much by working with ub40 and they inspired and encouraged me to make my own reggae vibes! which i will definitely do in the near future
If you weren’t in the music scene, what would you see yourself doing?
I think i would have liked to be an actor or footballer ! i was doing both these things prior to entering the music scene
How important is it that artists have some background experience in music before pursuing a career in this industry?
It’s very important to have musical training , i feel very strongly about this and i have students who i am currently teaching. If you want to stay in the music business for a long time you can only achieve this by having a good understanding about what you are doing as an artist
Find a good teacher and go and study ! practice hard and you will enjoy your music / music making much more
What is currently in your music playlist? Which artists are you particularly keen on at the moment?
I listen to all kinds of music , currently in my play list you will find songs like “Bonbon” by Era Istrefi, “Dil Jaaniye” by Nafees produced by my brother Vee , “Sanam Re” by Arjit Singh and of course “Nit Khair Mangan” by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan which never leaves my playlist.
I like Arjit Singh, he is an outstanding artist and performs great live !
Ishers has just released his new single Agg, which is a fantastic uplifting Bhangra track. How proud were you on the release date and are there plans for an album soon?
I was the super proud brother on the release day of ” Agg ” especially because both my brothers dropped another hit! Ishers’s vocals were on point as always and Vee shocked everyone by producing his first Bhangra song!
You first made your vocal debut on the album “Most Wanted”; one track that stands out is Rehleh Rehleh. Did you expect the fan reaction and uptake for that particular track and album as a whole. – being your first vocal debut, did you feel nervous?
I always knew that my song “Releh” would get a good reaction but i never expected the response it received world wide
I never get nervous ( apart from when my wife first met my mum )
How supportive have your record label MovieBox been in your musical career?
My label moviebox have been very supportive from day one , and i have much respect for their time and patience and for allowing me to be creative !
Moviebox are always excited about any project i do because they know i will work hard and i will deliver hit songs in any genre.
They probably do have more confidence in me compared to relatively new artists, but i was also a new artist once and proved myself over and over again.
Aside from your Bhangra projects, you also worked on several Bollywood remix projects on the Streets of Bollywood compilation albums. How did you feel remixing some iconic Bollywood songs? – How did the opportunity arise to work on this particular project?
I got into the bollywood remix genre only because my label Moviebox asked me to do so, you can never better the original song but its good to put your own urban spin on the record.
What is your favourite part when producing music?
My favourite part of making music is split in 2. Firstly i love making beats, secondly i love making melodies
If you could describe your sound in one word, what would it be?
Having worked alongside industry greats, released chart topping albums and toured internationally, is there something still left on your checklist that you would like to do as an artist?
I would like to work in movies , hollywood & bollywood and other film industries too !
You also worked on 4 tracks for another Bollywood compilation album titled ‘Bollywood Breaks Vol 1”. You added a new twist to the tracks, something that I thoroughly enjoyed. Are there plans to release / work on new Bollywood remix compilation albums in the future?
I will be doing more bollywood type remixes for sure , maybe not full albums but more as singles or possibly ep’s.
Do you think music has become less personal nowadays with the rise of streaming facilities like Spotify, Apple Music etc? – As now people don’t own CDs, Cassettes or physical copies of their music, its all digital. Does that take away from the experience or is it a natural progression that the industry has to move along with?
This is a tough question because there are many benefits nowadays with the internet era like instant access to your music worldwide for your fans but illegal downloading is a very bad thing and artists have suffered much more than people realise. Owning a record / cd was always amazing and people would enjoy reading the inlay cards and find info on the artists etc who worked on the albums, now you do not have the choice but its a natural progression and at least some people have taken to buying music online, its slow progress but its better than before.
There have been quite a lot of tracks in your past albums such as Masterpiece and Addictive. What has been the reasoning behind this? – Are you more a fan of singles or albums?
When i write and record an album i will write up to 40-50 songs / ideas , and then i will select the songs i feel that i want to represent how i feel at that time. I have no plans of making another solo album as of yet so enjoy the ones you have! It was a mixture of everything! I put my all into making an album and give a big piece of me every time i have released a full project. I used to like albums more but i feel for artists who may not get the full attention they deserve upon releasing a full piece of work , so singles seems to be the way for now, although i like the idea of an ep ( 4-6 songs )
What has been your personal favourite moment as a music artist?
Anytime i release music i feel excited and also humbled when i see the reaction of my fans! It makes it worth while
You’ve worked with a lot of great artists such as Taz (Stero Nation), Sukhbir, DJ Vix. However is there anyone you want to work with that you haven’t as of yet and why?
I would like to work with AR Rahman and also Timbaland, legends!
You recently released a track titled Mayeh Ni Mayeh featuring Manmitt, which featured some great and memorable lyrics. How important is having lyrically rich content in songs and at the same time making it relevant and relatable to the fans.
Lyrics are very important especially for songs that touch on sensitive areas like marriage, love, heartbreak, but for me the melody is always king! It all depends on what style of song / message i am looking to give out
Who are your favourite top 5 artists?
My top five artists are as follows:
1 Michael jackson
2 Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
4 Stevie Wonder
5 Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Do you prefer producing music or singing?
i prefer producing music first , and then singing!
Name the first thing you think of when you hear:
Phat Trax – Beats
Rehleh Rehleh – Sexy Arabic Music
No Limits – Hip Hop
Rishi Rich – Good Music
Ushers – Awesome Punjabi Vocals
Vee – Super Talented
The Masterpiece – Tere Bina Dil Mera Lagda Na
Moviebox – Big Label
What can fans expect from Hunterz in 2016
I will be releasing more music than i have done before and i have some interesting collaborations coming soon!
Where is the best place for fans to contact and interact with Hunterz?
Instagram : @hunterzmusic
Facebook : hunterz
Do you have any final messages to your fans and the readers of BhangraCentral.com
Much respect to all my fans who wait patiently for my music and a big shout out to all the readers of bhangracentral.com
We at BhangraCentral.com would like to thank Hunterz for taking time to conduct this interview and to share his personal experiences and thoughts. Click here to watch the video to Mayeh Ni Mayeh by Manmitt produced by Hunterz