KIRAN ZAMMAN BIOGRAPHY
Nottingham based Kiran Zamman is a British Asian female music artist with a unique selling point. The USP? She produces her own music from start to finish and not many Asian female artists can do that in the UK. Kiran is not only an excellent and unique producer but also a singer and songwriter. She is influenced by many music genres, from R ‘n’ B, Electro: in Kiran’s words ‘the synth sound’, Arabic, Jazz to Rock and Hindi. The changes in her musical style are reflected throughout her album.
“Kiran Zamman is one of the many unsigned Asian acts out there today who writes and produces all her own music” - Eastern eye
Here GOES the EXCLUSIVE interview of KIRAN ZAMMAN !!!
• Hi KIRAN, how you doing?
Hi J4umpies, I’m not bad thanks for asking. I hope everyone reading this is doing great. I’m just having a chilled out day today, things have been so hectic that it’s nice to get a chance to breath.
• How long you have been involved in media?
I’ve always had a keen interest in music since I can remember, but I’ve been you can say professionally doing this for just over a year now, for personal reasons I didn’t pursue music for a long time until now, but am 1 billion percent doing this now and am getting close to finishing my album, which will then mean that everyone out there can hear my material and get to know me musically. Music is my thing in every sense, I live, sleep and breath it. I feel as though I was born with it, and I definitely intend to stay around.
• Tell us something more about your album; when you are going to release it?
It’ll be this year in around July time, but before that I will be out and about so that people know who I am. I don’t like putting the style of my music into one box because it’s genuinely going to be a mixture of so many different genres, R’n’B, Jazz, Arabic, Rock, Electronic, I just love music so I don’t limit myself to one sound, whatever sounds good to me I use. Music is music to me and I can’t say that I hate any genre of music, 99% of stuff out there I like, death metal being the one percent, kind of scares me?. My aim is simply to try and make each and every song unique and memorable as possible.
• Where do you see yourself in next five years?
If all goes well then a mainstream act, I want to break out of the box and do very different things musically. I love singing and writing but my biggest love even more then that is production, I want to become a prominent producer, there are barely if not any, female producers out there, especially Asian females, I think that production wise, men are seen to be the ones who can make it best, I disagree, I know that I can give men a run for their money, it’s a passion and creative process. I think anyone can make music, but making good music is hard you either have it or you don’t. It’s a very very hard game this industry but I feel with enough hard work you can achieve anything.
• Do you have any musical background or education? How did you start making music?
Yes I’ve studied Music Technology over here in the UK, that really helped me, I was always interested in music technology from a young age, and besides from studying Music Technology a lot of the stuff I have taught myself, and that’s not only on the production side but musical instruments as well. I think i’m blessed to be able to pick up any instrument and be able to play it. I wrote my first song at 12 and I started producing music when I was 14-15 I’d say, then for a long time I didn’t do any music, but when I picked up where I left off I felt as though I was starting from scratch again, I think for this reason I really pushed myself into becoming what I am today, any good musician will tell you that you never know everything, I feel that way I am constantly growing, and 15 years from now I will have grown a lot more and will still be growing musically. Music has been a part of me since I can remember and I know it will remain the main focus of my life for years to come.
• Have you performed live? What are your feelings, before and after the show?
Yes I have and I love it, performing gives me an amazing buzz, beforehand I’m nervous, its always nerve wracking doing any performance but after 30 seconds or so I’m fine and I find it hard to stop, afterwards I just want to do it all over again. Performing is one of those things where u really get to lose your self you can get so caught up in it and its great, its almost surreal. I have a band alongside myself named “The Spectres”; the band consists of Matt Sunderland on the drums, Paul Dawn on the guitar, Jim Acon on the bass and myself on the guitar and keys. Due to working on my album we haven’t done many performances lately but the album is nearly done and we have been hard at work rehearsing and perfecting our sets so we can’t wait to get back up on stage very soon, my performances will always be backed by a live band or an instrument, listening to music on your stereo is a lot different to listening to music live, live music should stay how it says on the box and be live with musicians. I’m not a big fan of backing tracks for myself.
• Who or what inspires you to make music? Who / what have been your basic inspirations?
My absolute biggest inspiration is Timbaland, I’ve listened to him since he emerged, I think he’s a musical genius. I really don’t think there is anyone out there who can match him. He is definitely SOMEONE production wise that I look up to along with greats like Rodney Jerkins and Pharell, they are great urban producers. Artist wise I love so many artists, from En vogue, Nelly furtado, The platters, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Amy winehouse, Junoon, Atif Aslam there are too many to list, I’d call these kinds of acts quality acts.
Generally anything inspires me, life, my own experiences, other people’s experiences whatever moves me really if I feel strong enough about a subject I’ll without a doubt write about it. I think listeners aren’t stupid, they can tell if your writing from something real, so that’s lyrically.
Musically genuinely anything, I will use anything if it sounds good from the sound of spoons to slapping my knee, I really don’t care I use anything that sounds good, western, eastern, punk, again to me music is music. I can get inspired by the oddest things and I’ll straight away build on that. There’s no formula for a good song I think, it just happens there’s a magic which no one can explain.
I’m going to go back to the point of Timbaland here, I feel as though he has over everyone given me so much musically that I have recently just written, produced and sung a song about him, it’s called TIMBALAND……(THE ACCOLADE). I simply did this because I wanted to give something back to him musically, he’s musical, his mind is built around music, I feel the same about me, so me saying I think your great to his face or in a message, it’d be nice, of course, but he would know the appreciation if it was in a song, and that’s why I did it, he deserves a song written about him, again it’s something I feel strongly about, so I did it.
• How important do you think success is in the mainstream is for Asian artists? Would you say it’s Imperative that we succeed or would you say it’s more a ‘bonus’ while it lasts?
I think that there definitely needs to be more Asian acts in the mainstream, see I think there would be if there were more acts bringing something to the table, I mean there already is with the likes if M.I.A and Deeyah, I think M.I.A is absolutely out of this world, the reason why she hit it big was simply because she did and is something different. I think its acts like this with their own character that need to be pushed, but sometimes I feel as though the Asian industry itself restricts itself and that’s sad because if this industry pushed unique talent then the mainstream would have no choice but to take notice. It is imperative that Asian artists have genuine stable success in the mainstream as there will be so much good music that will not be heard by so many people because of it. It’s great that there have been acts to have stepped in that direction unfortunately I don’t think any have been able to stay there and I genuinely hope they find their way back.
A bigger misfortune would be that there have been absolutely no female Asians in the mainstream apart from M.I.A, and considering you couldn’t possibly list all the females that are prominent in this industry as performers e.g. Beyonce, Keri Hilson, Christina Milian, the list goes on and that’s only in one genre, I think it’s absolutely devastating that not one of these artists are Asian, it’s up to the Asian industry to push unique talent not shut them out because they are different, I also find in the Asian industry that there are a lot more men than females, and that they tend to push more males then females, that’s really saddening, but just an opinion. I think I’m going to have a hell of a time getting peoples respect as a producer, but in all honesty I make music because I love making it and for listeners, it simply comes down to what the public say, if people in the public like what they hear I’m happy, because then I feel as though I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted. It all starts with our own industry, why is timbaland the worlds biggest phenomenon at the moment? Because he does something different, that doesn’t mean people should go out copying him, that means that they should go out there and make their own phenomenon, and that all starts with doing something different, which then needs to be backed by your own people first, before a bigger mainstream industry is going to look twice.
• A media revolution seems to be in session in Pakistan, mostly through music. Would you say this applies to other fields of media as well?
To be honest I don’t know I haven’t been to Pakistan in a while, in terms of it reaching here then yes definitely, having your magazine here just showcases that very fact in that it’s reaching out to other acts across the world to show the world and Pakistan. Pakistan is actually the very first place I did my first professional recording in a studio, I was quite young, and I came over with my family and my uncle organised it, I can’t remember the name of the studios, they were in Lahore, all I know is one of the studios is what Nustrat Fateh Ali khan had used in his lifetime, that was nice to know. Generally I think the only way is up though, I mean if the music is growing it can only lead to other parts growing too. I think acts like Atif Aslam have really given a leg up to Pakistani acts.
• How far do you see Pakistani media extend itself? What flaws do you see in Pakistani media today?
I definitely think that its growing, there have been some great acts to come out of Pakistan, junoon, atif aslam, again more females need to be pushed but then I guess the culture is different over in Pakistan, it’s a lot easier for us females to pursue a career like this over here in the UK compared to if we lived in Pakistan. That’s just culture though.
• Tell us about your recordings (describe your style and every recording)?
Ok well I produce everything from start to finish so everything you hear on one of my records has been done by me, I have a studio here in the UK where I do all my production which is mainly just for myself at the moment as I am working on my album, my processes vary, it just depends, I mean sometimes I make a piece of music and then write to it, sometimes I write songs on my piano or guitar and then produce the music, its all very different. I find it very very hard to describe what I do because I know what I’m like, I make what ever I like and I have no boundary on that. There’s no recipe on how you do it, I can’t explain it I just do what I do, technically I could sit here all day and talk about that side of music technology and know I would shock a lot of men on my knowledge. Every recording is different, it’s weird for me because sometimes I will have done a song and by the time I’m ready to hit the next one I’ll feel as though I’ve grown again so much.
• Tell us something about your upcoming video projects?
At the moment we’re just concentrating on the music sides to things, but we hope to shoot our first music video once it’s decided on what the first single will be, I have already found the video director I want, I am very hands on and love being involved in all aspects and know exactly what outcome I want.
• We can see many new artists coming out would you like to give them any message? And please also mention some of your favorite upcoming artists.
Yes sure, just that, make and do what is you, not anyone else. I see artists and aspiring artists in either one of two categories, your either a “I want to sound more like this artist” musician or you’re a “Its sounds too much like this artist” musician. That broken down means some artists wants to sound like other artists and try to and others try not to, in my opinion it’s the ones that don’t try to sound like anyone else but themselves that stand out more. Up and coming artists would include the likes of Karan David she’s great, One Republic I think are great and have done brilliantly with themselves, Black Buddafly, Keyshia Cole, my god she has an unbelievable voice and character to it, Tokyo Diva who I’ve got the pleasure of working with on my forthcoming album, there are so many, I’m quite looking forward to hearing what Justin Timberlake’s new act on Tennman records is going to be like, Esmee Denters is her name, she has an unbelievable voice. The last few artists need no words, any artists who are aspiring and are just starting out, firstly follow your heart sometimes waiting for the right thing to come along pays off, I could have been signed to a lot of rubbish deals by now, its not worth it if your agenda is bigger, as u need to be working with something bigger, and sometimes that bigger thing is yourself. This industry is a doubt one of the toughest industry’s around and it is definatly not easy, I used to hear the term “You have to have thick skin” over and over, bit its only once you’re in it that you actually realise what it means and how it feels. Work hard stay focused and don’t give up on your dreams. It’s hard but not impossible if you have the drive and talent.
• Type of music you like/dislike?
Music is music to me, I like almost everything, I don’t see music in black and white, I’ll probably always find something in a song that I like if not, I may not like the song but it won’t mean I don’t like the genre. I like everything from jazz to rock, to hip hop to punk. I’m a big fan of the 80’s I have to say, music was so fresh and raw back then. Something which I can confidently say Timbaland has brought back.
I love classical music too, Asian music wise I think the Bollywood music scene have really stepped up their game, its brilliant to see acts from all over the world in bollywood movies, Arabic, UK acts, it’s brilliant. Nustrat fateh Ali khan is absolutely awesome; I don’t think there will ever be anyone to match him also. Pakistani music wise I like Junoon, my uncle used to organise Pakistani concerts in the UK and I was able to see them perform and I thought they were great. I love old music, dating back to times I’m not even sure of, stuff like tears on my pillow, Mr. sandman, earth angel, I love the old sound absolutely love it.
I could never say I hate a type of music. My feet and hands tap to anything, if I’m not making music, then I’m listening to it, if I’m not listening to it then I am thinking about it.
• What are your views on upcoming bands/artists?
Generally I find these days that music has become very diluted, and I feel that listeners are craving something that is concentrated, that’s how music needs to be full of flavor and character. I feel a lot of artists these try to be something else rather then themselves, there are some great unsigned acts out there however, and I really hope that it’s those ones that get spotted. Its very very easy to get disheartened in this industry only a person in it trying to succeed can understand how difficult it is, being thick skinned is an understatement u need the skin of an elephant, its hard, maybe its harder for us females but that isn’t going to stop me and shouldn’t stop anyone else.
• Any Comments for J4JUMPY.NET (the-ezine)?
Yeh thanks for the wonderful interview I’ve really enjoyed these questions, I think your ezine is wonderful and it’s a pleasure to be a part of yourselves on your site ?
• Would you like give any message for your fans.
Yes definitely just that all the support is absolutely amazing, I’m so thankful that there are people out there that like my music, because if there wasn’t I don’t know what I would do, as music is what I want to do 24/7 and for life. I appreciate all the support with all my heart and will aspire to make an album that people will be blown away with. A big, big thank you. For more information on me and my band people can go to www.myspace.com/kiranzamman.
Additionally I would just like to say a few words about a project I am also involved with named “Deeyah Presents” which has been put together by the Norwegian stunner ‘Deeyah’
Deeyah presents is a series of forthcoming mixtapes that Deeyah is compiling. The very first mixtape in the Deeyah Presents series is a project especially close to Deeyah’s heart. This is a personal project she is spearheading and executive producing. This first mixtape compilation album will feature young up and coming female Muslim rappers, singers and poetesses from the UK and the US.
Having always felt disheartened and disappointed by the lack of support for Muslim female artists, Deeyah decided to start this project to encourage and back young up and coming female artists herself. This mixtape will be launched before the end of 2008.
You can find out more information at http://www.myspace.com/deeyahpresents
And lastly we’re very approachable if anyone likes my music and what we are doing drop a hi to us, as I think it’s very important to have interaction with fans as they are the very people who make us artists who we are ?
Source : Jumpy Production