I’m actually not a big fan of remixes: Apache Indian
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I’m actually not a big fan of remixes: Apache Indian

Apache Indian, the pop sensation of the 90s, talks about his latest work, changing time and trends, and working with Asha Bhosle.

bollywood Updated: Jun 17, 2017 16:52 IST
Pooja Sharma
Pooja Sharma
Apache Indian,Steven Kapur,Jim Beanz
Apache Indian says he keeps himself updated by working with new music producers and song-writers. (HT Photo )

Steven Kapur a.k.a Apache Indian recently completed 25 years in the music industry. The popular British song-writer of Asian origin gained popularity and became a household name for his tracks such as ‘Arranged marriage’ and ‘Boom shack-a-lak’ back in the ’90s. “It’s amazing to see people love the music that I wrote and made 25 years ago even in 2017,” says Apache, who recently released his latest album ‘In Ja’. In a tête-à-tête with HT Café, the artiste speaks about various music genres, changing times and latest trends.

Can you talk about your latest work?

My latest album is called In JA, which is short for ‘In Jamaica’. It’s one of my favourite albums because it’s all reggae music. I’m doing things with my voice I’ve never done before and recording this album was a challenging but rewarding process. I’m singing more and we’ve used a lot of live musicians as well. I really wanted to keep it to an authentic Jamaican vibe with different styles and sounds.

How has pop music changed today?

I broke at a time where pop music in the ’90s was focused on people getting out there and performing and gaining one fan at a time. It involved a lot of personal interaction and a genuine grass roots movement. Now the music business has changed so much with the internet and people focusing on social media. You can find people online, but only if they become so popular will you ever see them live on tour. When I started out, it was the opposite.

What changes have you observed?

The whole structure has changed in the music business. Today, new artists have new platforms to reach the fans. You can now post a video on YouTube and millions of people can see it at any time, on demand, by simply typing the name of the artist or the song. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world. Earlier you had to circulate the videos locally to stations or to bigger networks and get them to play it. Slowly people became aware of the artists and their music. So now there is an instant access with the internet. All you have to do is go to an artiste’s website to learn all about them.

How do you keep yourself updated with changing time and trends?

I keep myself updated by working with new music producers and song writers, who are relevant now. I’ve spent the last few years in USA working with a producer named Jim Beanz, who’s worked with every artiste from Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to Demi Lovato. So, he’s very involved with the music scene today. He knows what styles and sounds will work today on radio, etc. People like him inspire me, and together we create new music that keeps up with the times and trends.

Remixes in movies is a popular trend even now. But you dabbled in the genres way back in the ’90s. What do you have to say about remixes today? Do you have a personal favourite?

I’m actually not a big fan of remixes. Especially when people sample and don’t get permission from the original artistes and song-writers. Remakes are different from remixes. For example, my collaboration with Asha Bhosle, was a remake of her hit song ‘Yeh ladka’, produced by Leslie Lewis. We went in the studio together and re did the entire song.

Do you dislike anything from the current music scene?

I love live music - and want to see more artistes performing live with bands and live musicians.Also, I’d love for radio to be more diverse and play new artistes and support the local talent.

Apache Indian says he would love to work in Bollywood. (HT Photo)

Was it easier or difficult back then for the remix genre to survive?

My style of music was a mixture of reggae, bhangra and pop music because those are the three sounds I was exposed to growing up in Birmingham, UK. It wasn’t difficult for me to make that kind of music because that’s what I knew and loved. However, I didn’t know if others would like it but I’m so happy to see that it’s been embraced by so many people across the world. 25 years later I’m still able to do what I love, and make music for myself and my fans. My music was a new genre and didn’t exist before so it was a new thing and people supported it. This is what means the most to any artiste - to see people appreciating their work and sound because we are putting our heart and soul out there for the world, in each song. Today, I encourage young artists to be inspired by music that they hear on the radio, but they should find a new sound, and create something that doesn’t exist. Be original. That will make you stand out, and have a successful career that spans decades.

Would you like to work on tracks in Bollywood too in the future?

Yes, I would love to continue to work in Bollywood and I’m always looking for the right projects.

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First Published: Jun 17, 2017 16:51 IST