Whether it’s a ghazal, a sufi song or a Bollywood number, UK-singer Kishan Amin knows how to perform them well. His passion, however, is fusion music where original Hindi lyrics and Western sounds come together. In the upcoming months he will be releasing new tracks on YouTube, for which Amin collaborated with UK-producer Rax Timyr and Indian lyricist Sunil Sirvaiya.
“Rax and I have been working very closely together. We compose the melodies together, and he then produces the musical score” the artist explains. “Vocally, people will definitely hear a different side of me”.
Born and raised in London, the singer was only 5 years old when he received his first training in Hindi classical music from his guru Sri Sapna Das. But it was not until he was 17 that Amin wanted to experiment more with music. “Through my parents I have been brought up with a lot of Indian and specifically Gujarati influences. But I also liked a lot of pop- and R&B music”. Next to his guru, legendary singer Mohammed Rafi and Sonu Nigam have also been huge inspirations to him. “As performers, I really admired Michael Jackson and pop artists like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake”, Amin says.
In 2013 he was signed by the record Indian label Sa Re Ga Ma and the label released his patriotic track “Meri Maa – Vande Maanteram”. The song also featured vocalist Ambika Jois and was produced by Rax Timyr. “We had a great response from audiences in India and the UK. People were pleasantly surprised that artists outside of India still were very connected to the country”. His number “Tujhe Maan Loon” with UK-singer Priti Menon also was received well by crowds. Amin: “Especially live audiences appreciate the happy feel of the track”.
And he should know. Unlike many artists who occasionaly perform with a band, the artist has been touring for the past 7 years with his own live band Jiya. So far Amin has seen impressive venues such as the main stage at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (2014), BBC Asian Network’s London Mela and has travelled to perform in Portugal, Thailand, Las Vegas and Japan.
“I love all aspects of my music, but there is no better way to engage with someone than to actually perform live for them.”, he says. “With every performance I try to learn how I can better myself; always asking ‘how can I ensure these people won’t forget me?’”
Currently, that means giving his own twists to famous Bollywood songs and performing popular gharba and sufi melodies. In the future, he also wants to explore different genres in his music.
“Jazz, soul, funk. These are all different styles, but I think people are ready for it. They don’t only like popular Bollywood tracks anymore. People also connect to original and meaningful music”.
– Stefanie Amirkhan