Lime interview - Music
The Black Eyed Peas of India
EDITOR - Vernia Mengot
International urban music group RDB set to conquer new heights with their new album and world tour
This month Lime catches up with Brit-Asian music group, RDB, who have taken the international music world by storm with their unique sound and style. Having pioneered the fusion of Hip Hop and R’n’B with traditional Punjabi Bhangra, RDB have collaborated with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy, Akshay Kumar and Ludacris.
Formed in 2000 by Bradford-based Punjabi Sikh brothers Manj, Kuly and Surj, and now led by Manj and Surj along with bollywood songstress Nindy Kaur, RDB have brought audiences around the world a new genre of music gaining attention in the international media through their efforts to merge East and West musical trends into a new, unique sound.
With over a decade of hits under their belt, RDB are now gearing up to play a series of sell-out tours, and will also release their eagerly anticipated new album Worldwide.
You’re set to release your new album titled ‘Worldwide’ later this year, tell us about some of the tracks?
The album has not actually been released yet. We have only released singles from the forthcoming album which we have planned to release at the end of the year
Why is the title ‘Worldwide’?
To put it simply, we called it ‘Worldwide’ because we feel that music is slowly becoming a worldwide genre and we believe that the album incorporates the South Asian sounds across the globe – with the RDB twist of course!
Your music is a mix of Hip Hop and R’n’B with traditional Punjabi Bhangra, is it challenging trying to break into mainstream music?
We enjoy being versatile and bringing a blend of eastern/western music together. Being it traditional, old classics or a mix of hip hop and R’n’B, we like the idea of being the only one of its kind. Of course it is challenging to break into mainstream music as you have so many other artists competing with you but we believe it’s all about being unique and creative.
As a group your musical influences were shaped at a young age, how were you introduced to music?
Our parents have been great inspiration to us as they would take us to the Gurdwara from a young age and it is here where we got our first taste for music. We used to assist our father to perform in front of the local community at our local Gurudwara, playing the harmonium and tabla. This gave us a great understanding of our musical creativity and we mixed this with our passion for technology and started experimenting with sounds. It is very crucial to have this experience as it guides you to a better sense of direction and a fuller understanding of why we enjoy music.
What do you all individually bring to RDB?
We all individually bring different ideas to the group. Manj brings his tuned lyrical vocals adding melody to the music where as Surj is constantly making sure the track gets used in the right place at the right time.
How did you come up with the group name?
RDB is Rhythm Dhol & Bass, Being punjabis we stuck a dhol in the middle of RnB
How involved are you in creating your music?
We are all so involved in creating music. We have a great passion for music and always think of setting a better benchmark. We believe when creating music, everyone involved must be in the same frame of mind, hence the majority of our team are family members or very close childhood friends. Dad (our secret weapon) lyrically writes most of our hits, Nindy (manj's wife) is the female sensation for the group and Pips (long term friend) is our UK Manager. We keep the group tight.
You have collaborated with Grammy Award winning American artist Ludacris, snoop Dogg and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. Who else do you have on your radar in terms of recording new material?
We have been so lucky to have collaborated with some of the world’s greatest artist and of course plan to collaborate with many more. You’d just have to wait and see what our future projects involve as we always have something up our sleeve.
Have you got any tours planned in the near future?
We are currently heading out to Pakistan for a few weeks, so if you are in Pakistan do catch us at the nearest venue near you.
Knowledge is Power
Bollywood is becoming increasingly popular…what advice would you give to a new artist who wanted to break Bollywood music into the mainstream?
Always try your best and give it your 100%. It’s a tough industry to break in to; you’d just have to work with passion and deliver to the best of your standards and always have that edge to present something unique and different.
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