BhangraCentral caught up with Sakina, winner of Best Female at the first Pakistani Music & Media Awards for an exclusive interview talking about her musical inspirations, collaboration with Tigerstyle and also her upcoming work.
For those of our readers who don’t know you, please introduce yourself.
Hey all I’m Sakina born raised in east London. I’m the first and only uk Pakistani Desi punjabi singer and song writer.
How did you feel when you won the award for Best Female Singer at the Pakistani Music & Media Awards 2015?
Words could not describe the feeling when my name was announced. I have worked extremely hard for my career being independent from the start is not easy I’m so thankful to all my fans for appreciating my hard work and giving me the recognition. Winning Best Female Singer 2015 has only motivated me to work more harder then I have.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up? – Do you have any favourite artists?
Not really, the only one I look up to and who I admire is Sudesh Kumari ji.
Shartaan and Neele Neele Nain were both produced by the very talented Scottish duo, Tigerstyle. Why did you decide to go to Tigerstyle to produce those tracks and tell us how was the experience working with them?
Tigerstyle always bring something different to the table, Shartaan Neele Neele Nain has proved that . My experience was great I’ve learnt a lot from the boys.
Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
I’ve always been a fan of Desi punjabi music it’s the only thing I listen to, so I guess from that.
How important are music videos and having that visual presence in today’s society?
Videos are a good way for artists to showcase themselves with there looks and style, people focus more on videos then the actual single these days
Establishing yourself in the industry is a hard and tedious challenge in itself. Did you find it difficult to put your music out there and get acknowledgement from both your peers and fans?
I struggled more then 3 years to get myself out there or even have one official track in my hand, which was Shartaan in 2013. I was constantly traveling up north back and fourth for studio session meetings with producers it was not a easy process but I’m glad i went through my struggles and didn’t get it easy for example getting signed by a record label or a producer and getting things done for free.
I feel proud to give all the credit to myself and no second / third person. Whatever I’ve done or achieved was all down to my hard work and dedication. Obliviously I have a long way to go still but I’ve made my mark in the uk scene and everyone knows I’m here to stay. I’ve gained my fans support because of me not because of a producer who’s signed me to his label
There seems to be a lack of prominent female figures within the market, though some have emerged in recent years. What do you think are the main barriers preventing this and what can the industry do as a whole to help resolve this issue?
I don’t think the industry can help to solve this problem, if they could it would have been done years ago. Being a female in a male dominated industry, we all need to be consistent with our music which is my main focus for my new music. There are only two reasons why there aren’t many females in the scene; firstly, it could be because of the funds as it costs thousands to release one single. Secondly, their families may not be happy with them coming on tv and being in the public eye.
Having toured all across the UK, do you still get nervous before going on stage for a performance or have you become accustomed to it? Do you have a warm up routine?
Ok I’ll be honest, when i did my first stage performance last year at the Birmingham Mela I was way too nervous. All I kept on saying to the other artists was ‘oh my god, I don’t think I can do it’ but soon as I got on that stage and finished my performance I said to myself this is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m a hardcore stage performer & my fans now that too. I don’t need to do any routines, I’m always confident with myself, my style and of course my music.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to perform in India, the crowed is amazing there and I know for a fact they would be blown away by my performance
What are you currently listening to?
I’m in love with JSL Singh music loving all the tunes he released last year specially “Baby Don’t Blush”, it’s still one of my jams
I’m sure there are many out there who are aspiring to start their own musical career; what advice would you give to them?
Don’t take no for an answer. The same people who said no to you are the ones who will come back to you. Don’t believe people too easily even when they say there gonna make you a super star. It’s all talk no action, never ever hand over any money unless you have signed a contract do your homework specially when it comes to videos.
If you could collaborate with any producer / sing a duet with any artist – past / present, who would it be with?
I think every producers are great in there own way but would love to work with Jsl Singh his production is on another level and duet would be with none other then Sudesh Kumari Ji, she is the best
What can fans expect from Sakina in the coming months and in 2016, is there an album planned?
At the moment I’m only focusing on my singles. My third single London Di Rani” ft Surinder Rattan is out very soon after that I will be consistent with my releases and be releasing a single every two – three months..
Do you have any final messages to your fans? Where can they keep up to date with your latest releases and news?
Like to say thanks for showing me the love and support really means a lot. For all the updates on my new music and tours they can follow me on twitter @sakinamusic – Instagram @sakinamusic – Facebook Sakina
We’d like to thank Sakina for taking time out to do this interview. ‘London Di Rani’ produced by Surinder Rattan is scheduled to release soon!