If you looked up the word DesiRock in a dictionary, I think the first picture you would see is of the band S.W.A.M.I. I had a chance to catch up with S-Endz, the multi-talented singer-songwriter of the band and one of it’s main members. SWAMI was formed by Diamond Duggal and his brother Simon Duggal back in 1998. S-Endz, Diamond’s cousin, later joined as a rap vocalist in the band. The band’s unique sound catapulted them to international stardom, with songs featuring in Hollywood movies like New York Minute (Olson Twins). S-Endz also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Most recently, he again dominated the media realm with his live tweets of the London riots – http://birminghamriots2011.
Q1 – As a group, SWAMI has been in the music scene for quite a while now – founded in 1999 by your cousin, DJ Swami, who later recruited you in 2003. For readers who may not know who “Swami” as a group is, can you please name the current members and what you feel Swami as as a group represents.
Q1a – Were you surprised by the success of SWAMI and your musical journey so far?
Q1b – What got you in particular interested in music?
Q2 – There aren’t really that many other “techno”/”rock” desi groups. Has your unparalleled talent scared away any competition hehe? :) What made you and your group members venture into this otherwise untouched genre (at least when it comes to indian music)?
Q3 – The music industry demands constant innovation and it is not often that bands are able to survive for so many years. How do you explain the longevity of your band Swami?
Q4 – SWAMI is one band that has received global recognition and praise – having tracks feature in Hollywood movies (Olsen Twins’ “New York Minute”) as well as having tracks feature in popular video games (like EA Sports FIFA 2006 World Cup Official game). Since last year, rumors have been swirling that SWAMI’s next album will be released under a major US label. Can you share any details with us? Please, pretty please? :)
Q5 – Will the tracks on both editions of the album be the same or will the be completely unique albums? That is, will you release the same songs in the same language on both albums, same songs in english on one CD / Hindi on the other, or will they be completely different albums?
Q6 – Do you all plan on a concurrent release for both albums? Are you working on any tours? If so, where and when can fans expect to see you all?
Q7 – When do you anticipate you will release your first single and how soon can fans expect the first video?
Q8 – Previous albums have featured pretty amazing collaborations. Can you share with us any interesting collaborations on the upcoming album or will you leave your fans in suspense?
Q9 – The name “Swami” is an acronym for the phrase “So Who Am I”. Do you consider each album a window to an answer to this question? How does your upcoming new album continue to clarify who Swami is as a group?
Q10 – You’ve been part of Swami as a lead vocalist but have also had an impressive solo career. What would you say has been one of the highlights of your career so far as a member of the band and as a solo artist?
Q11 – If you had only 150 characters (i’m being nicer than twitter!) to describe yourself as an artist, what would you say?
Q12 – You’re a “swami of all trades” – having been a lead vocalist, producer as well as songwriter and presenter. If you were an actual swami (yup, you have to imagine yourself somewhere on a mountain with a long beard and zen-like state) what words of wisdom would you have shared with mankind?
Q13 – While you’re imparting wisdom, any other message for your fans?
Follow SWAMI at https://www.facebook.com/swamimusic
Follow S-Endz at https://www.facebook.com/neofunk?ref=ts