Shaan & Verinder released their highly anticipated album today titled ‘Inspired’. We recently caught up with the guys themselves to break down how each track came about. Check it out below.
Intro – We knew from the offset that the album would have an Intro which consisted of a rapper going through our journey and it’ll be based around the word ‘Inspired’. The title was born at the start of the project due to us as individuals being inspired to pursue music for many different reasons, it seemed to fit. The beat was from a rough mess around video which was uploaded to Instagram – It then evolved into the intro we now hear.
Duawaan – Feroz Khan – This was actually one of the first songs we started working on. Feroz Khan always stood out from his early work with Aman Hayer with songs like ‘Dil Nai Lagda’ but then again in Punjabi films. It got to a stage where if films came out we’d find ourselves going through the soundtrack to see if he’s got anything on there! A particular song we remember which made us decide he’d be the right choice for ‘Duawaan’ was the song ‘DIl Da Karaar’ from the Film ‘Mel Kara de Rabba’. We’ve tried to capture the same feelings Feroz adds there in our song but with our own style of music.
Nathli – Baljit Malwa – This was one of the final tracks we worked on for the album, we are MASSIVE fans of Sukshinder Shinda, and his work producing music for Jazzy B. Instruments like the Dhol, Tumbi, Algozey & Sarangi are very rich sounding and, in our opinion, define Panjabi music. We don’t hear them at the forefront of music anymore and we want to make sure these sounds are not forgotten. Having a song which incorporated all these live-recorded elements was a must (although very challenging). We’re lucky to have worked with Baljit Malwa who smashed the vocals. A standout memory of this track was recording the Dhol and trying tirelessly to obtain a good sound.
Mera Naam – Roshan Prince – We’ve been following Roshan Prince a while to be honest and one thing we noticed in his work compared to others is that he doesn’t mind experimenting with his music. You’ll hear him on a romantic Urban Beat but also a Desi Bhangra song too and it’s as though he has no limitations when It comes to trying new things in songs. We have been working with writer Vijay Dhammi closely for a while and he showed us the lyrics to the song which we’ve ended up calling ‘Mera Naam’ asking us if we’d want to do something along these lines. He was actually the one who linked us up with Roshan Prince after mentioning to him that he suits this song perfectly. We tried to keep as much of the Punjabi elements in this song as we can with the instrumentation work but gave it our own Urban twist. Hopefully we’ve managed to pull that off!
Yaarian – Benny Dhaliwal – We had previously recorded vocals for Benny Dhaliwal for some of his other projects. The conversation of collaborating was brought up and we thought it would be good for him to feature on the album. Benny had a rough melody made up for a song which we liked, the writer was in the same room at the time and we had agreed to do a “Yaarian” style song which people could relate to. Within 5 minutes the hook was written.. and there you have it!
Jiggre – Bhinda Jatt – As previously mentioned, we are MASSIVE fans of Sukshinder Shinda who had also worked with Bhinda Jatt in the 90’s. We had worked with Bhinda on our single ‘Truck’ (initially Truck was meant to be part of the album, but due to the album taking its time to finish we decided to create a fresh song). This song was actually recorded before ‘Truck’ but we weren’t happy with our initial direction our music was, so we scrapped it. Fast forward a few years we made a piece of music which was influenced by that 90’s sound, Verinder suggested trying Bhinda’s vocals on top and it just clicked.
Marjaane Ne – Miss Pooja – We were on the look for an up-tempo bhangra song and were in talks with writer Jeet Barsalpuri, he showed us this track which was initially for a guy singing from the girl’s perspective. Verinder had the idea of sourcing a female vocalist to just sing it from her side and thought it would be more effective. We managed to get in touch with Miss Pooja who agreed to feature, and the track was born.
Aashiqah – Santu Singh – Coming back to the variation and variety plan we had for the album, we’ve always thought that it would be good to try do the live lounge feel that India was achieving with their ‘Coke Studios‘ shows on a track. One that stood out quite a lot was the Hal Ve Rabba by Hans Raj Hans. We got in touch with writer ‘Sundar Makhana’ – he’s known to write songs with a Sufi touch and we started to get a vibe going. We really wanted to show that songs like this could be made in the UK as well and after watching some mehfil videos of Santu Singh online we knew he was the right guy for the job. Overall we’re quite happy with the outcome and think we have somewhat managed to achieve the sound we had envisioned,
Jaan Laggi – Manjit Pappu– Manjit Pappu had released an album alongside DJ VIX (My Turn), on this project we had recorded some of the instrumentation and instantly became fans. Such a brilliant versatile singer. We got in touch and he was happy to collab. A memory of this song was when Manjit Pappu visited the UK, we had met up and recorded some vocals. We played him the song for the first time and he had a big smile on his face lol.
Lakk – Saini Surinder – We have been close friends with Saini Surinder for a while and have been involved in his live shows at times too. For the album we wanted to do a song which incorporated the musical elements we grew up seeing in UK Live bands scene – the percussion breaks, the stops, the brassy keyboard piecework which always stood out. We put this idea across to Saini and he literally gave us full trust and said I’m down with whatever you guys want to do! Funnily enough this songs written by a rapper from New York ‘Jassi Singh’ but listening to it you’d never actually think so!
Dildaar – Kamal Khan – Kamal Khan has smashed it in both the Bollywood Market and in Punjab. Getting him on the album was a no-brainer. We didn’t really actually plan to work with Kamal Khan but were given the opportunity as he was looking to collaborate with new producers. It was a little scary at the start because this was actually one of our first songs we got in and we didn’t want to show him anything that he would say no to. We spent a lot of time trying to source lyrics and came across the song ‘Dildaar’ with Pritam. He’s actually a singer himself but kindly said he didn’t mind giving us the song if Kamal Khan was singing it. We tried to keep the song as urban as we possibly could without taking it too much away from Kamal Khan’s style and personality.
Mere Naina – Gunjan – From the early stages we knew we were going to work with a female vocalist on a ballad slow style song which you can say touched more on a modern Bollywood sound. We are BIG fans of Gunjan and her work with Bally Sagoo and Tigerstyle, we knew her voice would do justice to our vision. We contacted Gunjan with some rough guide beats and lyrics. She was very happy with our ideas and agreed to feature on the album. A memory from this track is being on the phone to Gunjan going through the composition of the lyrics and the harmonies – her vocals were recorded out in USA, once we received them we were in awe of her raw vocals!
Inspired is out now to purchase or stream. This album was definitely worth the wait and we can’t wait to check out these tracks in more detail – our own album review will be out soon so be sure to check back for that.