Past, Present and Future!
Twenty-two years after the first release, Jaswinder Singh Bains, returns to the folk roots of Punjabi music to once again present a small slice of traditional folklore with a modern day twist. Folk ‘N’ Funky set up ‘The Crown Prince of Bhangra’ Jazzy B as the poster boy of the new-look of Bhangra music, with the sound of ‘The Music Man’ Sukshinder Shinda’s UK-born rhythms completely subverting expectations.
Fast forward over two decades and both singer and producer have become part of Punjabi music history as purveyors of a sound and style that has been constantly imitated but never actually bettered. Relocating from Vancouver, Canada, to Birmingham, UK, in the late 90s, Jazzy B managed to balance the Hip-Hop elements of his formative years with the present form of Punjabi music to create an album that will forever stand as the soundtrack to a very specific moment in popular culture.
Now in 2017, Folk ‘N’ Funky 2 aims to challenge, entertain and surprise a brand new audience whilst also keeping the traditionalists at ease with a marriage of folk, creativity and almost heroic context. “It’s been over two decades since the first album and so much has happened since then musically and professionally. My style has adapted to the times and the style of Punjabi music has developed but the essence and core values of my musical values have never changed. Myself and Shinda Bhai have discussed ideas for a follow up for a while but its now, just it’s ironic that 22 saal toh baad sadi, Folk N Funky 2 phir Bhai de naal recording ho rahe!” explains Jazzy B.
Six years since ‘Maharajas’ – the last full album release, Jazzy B and Sukshinder Shinda combine on a 12-track masterpiece featuring lyrics from renowned writers such as Gurminder Madoke, Ninder Moriwalia, Harf Cheema, Nav Gariwala, Lil Golu, Satta Kotliwala and Balvir Boparai to reclaim their status as one of the most prolific hit-making duos of our generation. “This is a return to the roots…the music, words and passion of the 90s when Punjabi music was more focused on showcasing the music rather than the artist. We want to revive the old sound again,” says Jazzy. Recording started on September 11, 2015, with the intention to recreate the style of the original whilst keeping an ear on the current musical landscape. “Myself and Shinda bhai wanted to change the game again and take the music back to the 90s…22 years in the making…this is an album made from the heart from both of us.” In a throwback to the past, the first track ‘Londono Patola – Reloaded’ features Jazzy B wearing the exact same jersey he wore in the original ‘Londono Patola’ video in 1995!
In the modern era of Punjabi music, full albums seem to be a dying trend in a singles-based culture but talk of extinction may be premature. Jazzy B and Sukshinder Shinda have made a listening album, a personal challenge to bring back the core values of the music they grew up with and somewhat single- handedly sculptured to make their own. Cherish the past, own the present and build for the future – Folk ‘N’ Funky 2 is a creative and musical statement for the new order.
Words by Jatender S. Heer