‘Better Left Unsaid’, Debut EP from Kabir out now!
“I want people from all walks of life to feel like they know me through my music. I’m leading by example. I’m challenging the status quo and that’s exactly what the world needs right now.”
A financial analyst by profession, Kabir chose to pursue his passion for music and it was definitely the right choice. We had the chance to gain insight into Kabirs journey .. read on!
What’s the inspiration behind your sound?
There’s layers to how my sound has developed and continues to evolve. The most familiar part of it comes from modern, contemporary culture. However if you dive deeper, there are elements of American Standards, Indian Classical and R&B/Soul, which have manifested into a single sound. For example, If you take a look at the album art for “Better Left Unsaid” you see all that I mentioned in play. Being a Sikh American, there is an inherent duality that essentially encourages and enforces me to create a specific lane for myself.
‘BLU’ is a beautiful collection of songs. Are there any ‘real life love stories’ behind the lyrics or is this pure inspiration? Could you also share some highlights of your journey while creating this EP?
Yes. The entire EP from start to finish is a true love story about interracial love. It tells in sequence of how I met this girl. At first, we spent many years on that edge of being best friends turned lovers. Finally, we took the leap and it was rocky from there, to say the least. Fun fact, I didn’t realize at first that the tracks all followed a story. I just started out making music and telling the stories that spoke to me. In the end I was looking at the song order, I’ve realized they all came together to outline a romance in my life that was difficult. It was a therapeutic way of getting it all out.
There are two highlights of making that album that stand out for me. First is most definitely recording, ‘Partap Interlude-Sohni Raag’ with my family in Hicksville, NY. We had this state of the art studio, and to have my dad and two uncles talking so candidly about heartbreak and love was super emotional. At first they were reluctant. Then they finally opened when I explained to just be yourself. Talk about your personal experiences with having loved and lost.
Second highlight would have to be getting to spend time with Antonio Lewis, aka Tone. We met and first collabed in London on recommendation from a mutual friend. From there, we set out a goal to make an EP and it was just fantastic to make a friend like that. He’s been a rock by my side in addition to being a good friend. Without him, this EP would have not been possible. When I invited him to Brooklyn this year, it was his first time in the United States. Just building our relationship and friendship through music is something I’ll cherish forever.
You have great vocals Kabir! Do you believe music is something which one should work on/ practice consistently or does this come naturally to you?
I have to believe that. Because of the strong musical legacy that I come from, there’s a large part of my musicality that comes very naturally in my case. My family, the Partap Brothers, have shaped my upbringing and trained me to have a great ear. At the same time, I believe that anything worth pursuing has to be refined with practice and hard work. Some days I spend entire evenings practicing with different sounds and techniques. Others days I just listen to and marvel at classical Indian artists of yesteryear. No day is ever the same for me and I think that’s the key to success, consistently but have fun with it.
Who are some artists you would love to collaborate with and what would be your dream project?
If I could collaborate with one person, it would easily be Frank Ocean. I will never forget the moment I fell in love with his music. I was in college at SUNY Geneseo, lying on my bed, listening to “Pilot Jones.” It just hit me in the feels in every way. It would be a dream collaboration and I know that our voices would mesh really well together–he would be perfect for a male duet. I think the industry should invest in that more because it’s not something that is done often, why is that?
How do you stay inspired on a regular day?
I often think of how blessed I am to be given a chance to give my understanding of art back to the world. I quit my job in finance to be doing exactly what I’m doing. I’ve stayed inspired by traveling as much as I can with The Partap Brothers, joining them on their world tours! We just came back from Lahore, Pakistan which is, wIthout a doubt, one of the great cities of the world. Otherwise, I read and write poetry, cook dinner. Making food and sharing food has always been a big part of my family experience. It’s always seemed really tied to music to me in that way.
I’m always seeking to challenge myself to do something out of the proverbial box. This mixture keeps me fuelled and inspired to keep challenging the status quo.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Easy, “The past is sadness, the future is anxiety, right now is heaven.” A random stranger at SUNY Geneseo told me that during a night out with my friends. It keeps everything in perspective. Right now is heaven, I have to believe that it’s all that we truly have.
What is your all time fav food/foods?
Anything Uncle Dazy and Dad make. They aren’t just world class musicians, but absolute beasts in the kitchen. They’re specifically known for their chicken biryani, pork, and lamb dishes. If you’re down with spice, you’re in for a wild ride!
And last but def not least, what is one thing you can’t live without and why?
My mom’s desi turkey/chicken burgers. They are absolutely epic in every conceivable way. You can ask anyone who’s actually had them, they will change your life. If you think I’m joking, hit up my boy Raaginder to confirm!
Kabirs’ Debut EP, ‘‘Better Left Unsaid’ is a beautiful collection of new music which showcases his Pop/RnB vibe and vocal abilities. My personal favourite is, ‘Show you some love’. It’s such a simple and soulful track which is perfect for a long drive!