Besides giving us hit songs such as Nachaange Saari Raat, Pyaar Ho Gaya, and Gallan Goriyan, singer Tarsame Singh Saini, aka Taz of Stereo Nation also introduced us to cross-cultural Asian fusion music way back in 1996.
This British singer of Indian origin first hit the music charts in 1989 with the album Hit the Deck and produced many albums thereafter before forming the band Stereo Nation in 1996.
The huge success of his albums such as Back to the Roots, Jambo, Nasha and Slave II Fusion (aka Oh Laila), in the early 2000s, was followed by the song Thodha Daroo Vich Pyaar Milade from film Tum Bin in 2001. His last album, Twist and Shout (2010) did not create much din though. Taz, 44, who performed in the city on Saturday in an event organised by the Chandigarh police, talks to HT City about the changing phases of music and his journey through it all.
Hits and misses
"I have done selective work, as I believe in quality and not quantity. I have more than 23-year-old fan base and I will always focus on maintaining that. I am glad not to be a part of today's music trend where there is no shelf life of music."
Punjabi v/s fusion
"My father was very firm about English music not being played at home; even English-speaking was banned. I grew up listening to Shoukat Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Gurdas Maan and Kuldeep Manak. Gurdas Maan ji, in fact, is the God of Punjabi music. But my calling was Asian-fusion where I fused both English and Punjabi. I have always promoted Punjabi and will do that in future too. When I entered the music industry and created fusion genre, my father did not talk to me for four years!"
Is pop out?
"It's an era of film music; that's the popular trend these days. However, music has phases. This too shall pass. Stereo Nation's USP was fusion. In 1987, I created Asian fusion and it was unique, that's the reason people remember me till date. Today, if Bollywood has embraced what I created, it doesn't deny me being the pioneer."
On upcoming projects
"My latest album, Desi, will be out in the first week of May. I have also tried my hand at acting, as Channi Singh, in Don't Stop Dreaming and composed music for it too. I have a couple of Bollywood projects and one Hollywood film for which I am composing music."