”HITMAKER” PBN Talks Music & The Creation of Team PBN!
Begging his career in the early 2000’s British Asian Megastar Panjabi by Nature (PBN) has mastered the art of British-Asian Fusion. Born in Wolverhampton, the singer-songwriter has created a name for himself not only among the British Asian community but internationally. With audiences across the globe showing their love and support it’s not surprising that he released about 10 studio albums throughout the years!
Truly iconic to say the least!
PBN has launched the careers of many artist and has worked with many prominent names in the industry, like H-Dhami, Heera (The Band) and Miss Pooja. Ever so gracefully adapting to the ever changing industry, the creation of Team PBN was clearly a step in the right direction, as they’re undoubtedly a musical powerhouse.
PBN evidently stays true to his roots as the Folk sound is still prominent throughout his music. Some of PBN‘s legendary tracks include Fitteh Moo, Kaun Nee Jaandah, Gereh Kad Dee, and Kaun Nachdi to name a few. With almost 10 albums under his belt, the list is almost endless. PBN is really something special as his music feels timeless, and most of his songs have never left my playlist till date!
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing him, it was rather interesting to learn about his journey in to the music industry.
From Project Management to full-time Musical Genius!
Urban Asian exclusively interview’s PBN!
Punjabi by nature is a name that stays true to its roots. How did the name come about?
Punjabi By Nature was formed while I was studying in college. I started to learn music production and literally had a brainstorming session with my friends for a stage name and believe it or not, it was a non-Asian friend who came out with the name. He knew I was true to my roots but proud of being a British Asian, the name kind of just fitted. Over the years I shortened it to PBN and as they say the rest is history.
You’ve been able to achieve millions of views, I’m sure a lot of artists envy this. What would you say is the secret behind your success?
No secret, just hard work and dedication to the craft. I started with baby steps but always was consistent with releases, I think consistency plays a huge part in the industry! Other than that I believe it’s important for an Artist to develop a style and image, something that will allow the music fans to distinguish you from the rest. My forte has always been making big dance-floor numbers, this has helped me reach out to audiences across the globe.
Where does your passion for music come from?
I’ve generally been a fan of music from an early age, I was that kid that would be first on the dancefloor at every occasion. My dad and brothers had a few instruments in the household that I took a keen eye to including the baja and various Indian percussion.
Coming from a big family I was brought up on various music genres which again influenced the music I later created and further fuelled my passion.
When I was in school I was introduced to a local recording studio, after sitting on a few recording sessions there was nothing more I wanted in life than to create my own magic.
What’s a day in the life of PBN look like?
A typical day would start off by a good workout in the gym, I like to weight lift and have also recently taken up boxing. I would then typically work in my recording studio, this could consist of songwriting, composing, producing and singing.
Away from the studio I like heading to my local café and taking time out where I would catch up with label work, my social networks and the latest football and boxing news.
Within the evenings and weekends I tend to be out performing on stage, the events can vary from private functions such as weddings and birthdays to student events and dinner dances.
I’ve recently started to blog so I now dedicate my time within the week to do this.
Away from the music world I love socializing with my friends and going to the cinema as I am a bit of a film freak.
How did Team PBN come about?
TeamPBN was formed on my 10th anniversary in the music industry. I had recently set up a sister record label to Limitless Records called Playback and was looking to try something new. Previous to this I had managed to collaborate with a lot of international artists as well as releasing my own solo material, so I was seeking a new challenge. I signed Raj Bains and Bambi around the same time and took them both under my wing and developed them as recording artists under the umbrella name of TeamPBN.
Music By Team PBN
How did you discover, Raj Bains? The two of you make a killer combination.
Raj was actually introduced via a famous local kabaddi player by the name of Jeeti Kooner who featured in one of my music videos. He was keen to introduce me to this young vocalist who he spoke highly about. Soon after, Raj and I met up and he auditioned to me, after hearing his raw powerful voice I decided to sign and develop him into a professional music artist.
7.You tend to keep authentic Punjabi Sounds throughout your singles. Songs like Kaun Nee Jaanda and Fitteh Moo seem to be some of your signature tracks. How would you say the industry has changed since?
The one thing that has never disappeared from our music scene is the love for traditional dancefloor anthems. From the times of Kaun Nee Jaandah and Fitteh Moo to the recent successes of artists such as Sharry Maan and Diljit Dosanjh with songs such as Hostel and Patiala Peg we can see that the worldwide audience still appreciates Bhangra in its true form.
However, the urban desi scene is also thriving and something I have been focusing on myself.
My recent singles with Maniesh Paul and Falak Shabir have both been urban desi numbers for a totally different audience. I think we are now in an industry that is very versatile and experimental which is nothing but positive for the scene. It’s great to see Asian Artists now being launched from every corner of the world, unlike previous years where it was predominately just UK based. The other huge change is the new digital era we live in, it’s easier for artists to be seen and heard across the world, the Internet has become a great platform for emerging Artists.
What would you say is the sound of Asian Britain?
I don’t think there is a specific sound of Asian Britain and I don’t think there needs to be. We have great international Acts representing us right now such as Arjun, Zack Knight, Raxstar, Zeus, Vee and many more. We are all flying the flag yet not all creating the same sound or songs which is exactly what we should be doing.
What is one of the most memorable moments in your career?
One of the most memorable moments that come to mind is when I was performing out in Singapore a few years ago. The club we performed at was actually built on water and had a clear view of the Singapore cityscape. The event actually took place on the same day as Singapore’s Independence Day and from where I was performing I could see a magnificent fire works display as well as a sold out audience in front of me. It was a memorable moment on stage.
What would you say sets you apart as an artist?
I would have to say the style of my music and my stage performance. One of the hardest things to achieve as an Artist is an identity, a signature sound or style. I think I bring this right from the recording studio to the stage. A well-rounded Artist needs to be more than just someone who sings on stage. Artists need to capture the audience, interact and entertain and I think the way I do it with my team sets us apart from the rest.
Who would you say has massively influenced your career over the years?
I don’t think there is any one person, it would have to be an array of music producers and Artists across many music genres such as Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Bhangra and Bollywood. When I’m writing new material I am heavily influenced by people and my surroundings. I think it is important to make sure that your music is related the listener.
Growing up in a South Asian family isn’t easy. Would you say your family were supportive of your career?
My family has always been very supportive of my career. I didn’t pursue a full time music carer until I knew the time was right and the demand was there. Before becoming a music artist I worked as a project manager. The time eventually came when I was receiving a substantial amount of international tours and it was no longer possible to hold down a 9-5. My parents backed my career change and have been supportive ever since.
What can we expect in the coming months from you?
I am currently working on a number of solo singles as well as some huge international collaboration’s which I’m excited about. I am aiming to release at least 2 more singles before year end.
Other than that I am working on various songs with Raj Bains and my newly signed Artist, Serena who you will also hear from in the coming months.
What has been the most daunting experience for you as an artist?
I think releasing my first ever album was daunting. Having no strong presence or links to the media is difficult for any new Artist.
If I think of a particular event I would have to say performing at India’s PTC Music Awards. The reason it was daunting was not the magnitude of the event but the Artists who were in the audience, many of which I myself was a huge fan of. It was quite surreal seeing so many music legends sitting down watching me on stage.
What advice would you give up and coming artists out there?
Make use of social media, it is so crucial in this day and age to have an online presence. We are fortunate enough to be able to communicate directly with fans and media alike.
Focus on being true to yourself and developing your own style and sound. We are all influenced by what we see around us but we need to make sure we can still be differentiated. Finally, as I’ve mentioned earlier in the interview, be consistent with your releases.
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Tweet PBN on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pbn
We here at Urban Asian would like to know what is your favorite PBN song?