By Tushar Unadkat
TORONTO: Tony Singh is a Sagittarius, born in Punjab and then emigrated to Canada. He spent his childhood in Toronto playing percussions in different bands. He also loved playing street hockey in Greek Town just like the movie Wayne’s World. So, Canadian culture is part of his life.
The Juno award nominee is all set for the premiere of his music video called My Room next month.
In conversation with Tushar Unadkat, Tony Singh talks about his music group Sirens of Shanti, My Room, Bollywood and people who influenced him.
Why Sirens of Shanti (SOS)?
Well, Shanti means peace… Sirens are mystic creatures….. like, in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean – the sirens we’re familiar with – are vicious and evil, but in SOS, we still have that strong female energy, and the musicians are female, but the vibe is different, the songs are peaceful, yet empowering…. you can express yourself peacefully.
How do you choose your musicians?
Well, they are sirens, so… the musicians are all female…. They have to have edge, attitude, and love performing live. Apart from that, they have to be versatile They have to be able to play all different styles like hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, Bollywood, and of course, Metal… our songs range from 80-163bpm!
Tell us about how you got inspired to sing and create music as an expression?
My inspiration comes from a lot of different places… people, cultures, colours, smells… Initially, I was out going to different shows and I thought… I could do that! Then I did, but with my own twist.
What are some of your influences?
There are so many…. the more you visit different places, the more you get inspired. Some of the artist that have inspired me are from Bollywood, Punjab…. then Trent Reznor is a big one…, KMFDM, Major Lazer . . the list is long…and it’s all over the place.
Where do you see Bollywood music in the Western World?
That’s a good question… Bollywood is…. well it’s the capital of the Indian entertainment industry – the music is very diverse…. depending on the movie and where it is set – like Gujarat, Punjab, Madras, etc…to me it’s an injection of something new to westerners… flavours of an ancient past… but SOS will take it to new (riskier) heights, like… Look out Western World, your music’s about to get spicier…
Tell us bit about your debut original music video launch.
The video is called My Room, we just finished filming it and it will be released on Dec 16 at Lula Lounge in Toronto…The video is entertaining…. it’s funny. Not only the current generation can enjoy it, we all can… I mean, it;s very entertaining I can promise you that…
What’s the song My Room about? Whats the message?
The message of My Room, well, it’s that instead of partying just anywhere….the best place to party is My Room
Tell us bit about your intent behind the LUNGI DANCE cover video.
Lungi dance – the band was impressed by the way the song was done by Yo Yo Honey Singh. We have a great respect for him. We were having a challenge playing it live so we decided to give it our own sound- the feel of Sirens of Shanti and then when we played it live and people liked it, we decided to record it. Then we came up with crazy ideas and stuff and we just had to make it into a video after that. I mean, I’ve had dreams of writing music for Bollywood and this is a popular song in India so who knows… maybe the right person will notice and……..
Who would you like to collaborate with from the Bollywood music composers?
Yo Yo Honey Singh would be one for sure… AR Rahman, Pritam…
What is your greatest sense of achievement in your career thus far?
Every time I complete a new song, it’s an achievement. Every time we play in front of fans, it’s an achievement, anytime I’ve been given an award, awards are great, obviously, but being recognized for representing your country, that’s the greatest reward….The major achievements are Juno Nominee, Much Music Video award nominee, SEWA award from Canadian Sikh Foundation and being part of a TV documentary called ‘Life is a Highway’ with Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, KD Lang to name a few, that was an honour….
What message do you have for aspiring artists in the music industry?
The main message from me is…Do not stop. Keep on trying, keep going, you will always face criticism like “oh you should’ve recorded the beat this way…”, you will always have obstacles, whatever… just keep doing what you believe…just keep doing your best.