New artist on the block- Amrick Channa
Having been featured in our previous track review of ‘No Fears For Tears‘ alongside Aneesh Gera, we thought we ought to introduce another talent exported from India!
For the first-time readers, Amrick Channa is a British born Indian vocalist who’s participated in ‘The Voice'(and got Kylie Minogue’s rave reviews!) made it really big in Europe and U.S as well.
Having performed with big names like Todd Terry, K Klass, Roger Sanchez, George Morel,Germany’s DONS just to name a few,it’s no wonder this Soul House singer is creating waves that are being felt in as far as India!
He’s also performed in places ranging from Miami to London to Ibiza to Russia to Slovenia(wanna travel more?..) to Italy, Las Vegas, Switzerland and Dubai (man,that’s a lot!). He’s also been associated with brands such as Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Hed Kandi, Stereo Sushi and Queer Kandi. For the icing on the cake,he was part of the musical entertainment team at the London Olympics 2012. Since being seen on BBC’s The Voice, Amrick has generated a huge deal of interest and was watched by over 6 million viewers in the UK and now the rest of Europe!
Scroll down for a glimpse of the genius we got the opportunity to recently interview!
EDMofy Team: Hello Amrick! How would you describe your contribution/connection to the Dance Music Industry?
Amrick Channa : Very interesting question (albeit slightly patronising!) I am already breaking down barriers and social stereotypes in the UK and Europe about the fact I’m a British Sikh who was born and raised in the UK. I’m not a fan of Bhangra or R&B etc. I have always loved Disco and House and Rave music. My singing style is that of a Dance music diva! loud and powerful and soulful. I have a unique image. I am showing people that we do not have to restrict ourselves if we are passionate about something. All my favourite singers are in their 60’s! Chaka Khan, Jocelyn Brown, Alexis P Suter, Martha Wash, etc. And their voices have matured and their sound has developed even more so as they’ve entered into their 60’s.
EDMofy Team: Are you planning a gig in India soon?
Amrick Channa: If I am lucky enough to be invited then yes I would love to come to India to do some gigs! I remember coming to India with my family to visit the Punjab and Golden Temple etc as my parents have always been strict about us knowing our culture and religion. We came in the late 90’s and I remember being fascinated that my distant relatives in India had no idea about electronic music! I remember finding it difficult to try and explain to the young people what this music was. That is why I’m so happy that India has embraced EDM and as someone who was out raving to this music when it first began over 25 years ago, it fills me with joy and happiness to see this. And as an Indian guy it would be amazing to perform here – kind of building that bridge between east and west!
EDMofy Team: What got you going with EDM? and how does it feel to have reached this far in the industry?
Amrick Channa: As I mentioned in my previous answer, I was part of the rave scene in my teens when this music first came into the public consciousness in the late 80’s. I have always loved dance music including its components ie; Disco, Soul, Boogie, etc. However, I remember at school when I was 15 or 16 years old and first hearing this new music called Acid House which then led to Rave music and then DnB and Jungle and then funky vocal house to soulful house which was huge in the early 2000’s! Its been the soundtrack of my life. I have been clubbing from London to Miami to Italy. Then I was lucky to get booked and paid to sing House music in clubs from Dubai to Russia to Slovenia to Italy to London etc. On one hand it feels great that I have managed to make it my profession, however on the other hand there’s still a lot of work to be done because its now very much a DJ based culture and the voices you hear and singalong to and dance to on these tracks are almost like ghosts! Work needs to be done to bring more attention to the Vocalists and topline writers who put their heart and soul into writing the song, creating the melody and singing the lyrics to create that connection with the audience. However, we’re given a raw deal in many areas so I am not at that point where I feel I can be complacent and sit back. I feel there is still a hell of a lot more to do for me within this industry!
EDMofy Team: What have been your best moments from the voice? And/or You have played at so many festivals and gigs, where do you think you were given the best reception?
Amrick Channa: I’ve had many great experiences from travelling to various countries to singing at the Miami Music Conference with my idols who influenced me to meeting like minded people who love this music as much as I do! However, The Voice being such a huge show was an experience on another level for sure. I felt a sense of achievement when I was informed by the BBC that I was in the final 150 singers who had been selected after I beat 50,000 entrants from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland! Then to have Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones, Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs and Will.I.Am all tell me that I had an amazing voice and amazing look – was the icing on the cake for me! The BBC definitely loved me! and also the fact that my parents are fun and cool like me they found us to be entertaining! However, no one could fault my voice which is all that matters to me. The reason they didnt’ turn around was because I have elements of male and female tones in my singing voice and they thought there were 2 people! LOL! I have also performed at London Pride festival for the LGBT community in front of 20,000 people in London’s Trafalgar Square! That was amazing! However, my favourite gigs have been in clubs in Slovenia, Russia and Dubai. The people seem to be really appreciative that you’ve made the journey to their country and shared your music with them. It can be very humbling the gracious manner in which I’m treated by people in some of these countries.
EDMofy Team: Tell us about a few of the tracks that inspired you to join this line?
Amrick Channa: Well I was lucky enough to grow up in an era where hard work and fabulousness and talent were order of the day! So I was a huge fan of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, etc. I loved their showmanship and visual artistry along with their catchy songs and great vocals. However, the turning point for me came when in the early 90’s I’d just started going to college. I remember being transfixed to the spot almost as though I’d been electrocuted when I heard the songs ‘Ride on Time’ by Black Box feat Loleatta Holloway, ‘Everybody dance now’ by C&C Music Factory feat Martha Wash and ‘I’ve got the power’ by Snap feat Jocelyn Brown! Suddenly what I was meant to do with my life just fell into place for me! I absolutely became obsessed with these powerful soul divas and their belting powerhouse vocals!
EDMofy Team: It’s not usual for an artist to get this far in the industry without having their own tools of the trade, what has helped you reach this level you’re at? and How?
Amrick Channa: You have to be cunning, manipulative, calculating! you have to have persistence and tenacity! you have to have a thick skin! you have to have the balls to take the risk to network and get yourself into situations where you can meet people who can elevate you to the levels you want to go! However, the bottom line is you have to have talent and a hard work ethic. If you don’t then the people who’s radar you’ve worked so hard to enter, will not be so receptive to you because you need to have something there to show for yourself.
EDMofy Team: If you want your fans to know one thing about you that you don’t reveal as an artist what would it be?
Amrick Channa: That I’m not the crazy demanding diva some people tend to portray me as! LOL! I’m also a trained Counsellor and was once one of the youngest Martial Arts Instructors in the UK and finally that when I’m not engrossed at home with dance music, I’m actually a huge fan of early soul and jazz and blues songs! Not many people know that about me! I’m sure people still think of me as this crazy party person but I have calmed down a bit in my old age! LOL.
EDMofy Team: What’s it like? being watched by 6 million people? Is fear something you feel when you know the crowd is huge?
Amrick Channa: Believe it or not but I actually thrive on performing to crowds irrelevant of how big or small they are! I always get that adrenalin buzz and I use that to my advantage to enhance my performance. It might sound weird but I actually feel like I’m at home when I’m on the stage!!
EDMofy Team: When will you say to yourself you have “made it big”? Is there any particular vision or goal that you are chasing?
Amrick Channa: Yes whilst I have had some success with my releases and my performances with various huge brands such as Ministry of Sound, Miami WMC and Pacha Recordings Ibiza around the world, I am still waiting to get that elusive hit which will spring me to a whole other level! I want that one hit which will make me a household name. That one hit which people and kids can sing to each other and say that’s Amrick Channa! I want to get so good with my singing that in the future I want people to aspire to want to sing like me! Just like the divas have done for me! Thats when I’ll say I’ve made it big!
EDMofy Team: Any upcoming tracks you want to spill the beans on?
Amrick Channa: Yes I am currently working with Todd Terry! and a variety of European producers. However, the release I’m most excited about is one which is coming very soon. And that is with our mutual friend Aneesh Gera and Jimmy Kennedy! Its a great deep house track and I’m keeping the vocals to a minimum and people of a certain age will recognise the song lines! Its coming out on Paul Thomas’ label and he’s been part of the world famous Toolroom label so he knows what he’s doing! There’s been a great buzz around this forthcoming release so I’m excited about it!
EDMofy Team: Are there any countries you’ve never performed in and would like to in the near future?
Amrick Channa: Yes of course! places like India, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Australia, Singapore, Bali etc. These are places of interest for me! so fingers crossed!
EDMofy Team: What’s in your music player right now ?
Amrick Channa: I have a tendency to listen to a lot of songs from the 90’s era which was when I properly started going clubbing! For me its about revisiting the happy feelgood vibes the dance songs from that period gave me. Once I’m in that state of mind then I can focus on my songwriting and singing and recording projects as that’s what I’d like to convey in my music. However, I also stay in touch with the latest sounds on the dance music scenes around the world as I’m lucky to have many DJ friends who send me mixes and early promos of tracks which are creating a buzz on the dance floors. So one minute I can be listening to Madonna’s ‘Into the groove’ and then Chaka Khan’s ‘Aint nobody’ to Breach ‘Never had’ or Prodigy ‘Poison’ or Duke Dumont ‘100%’ to Ella Fitzgerald ‘everytime we say goodbye’ then straight onto pumping Ibiza club mixes from my friends at Pacha Ibiza and Ministry of Sound! Music is my life. I can’t live without music. It truly feeds the soul. I’ve had to fight with my family and some friends in the past because not many believed in me or my talent. But something just kept pulling me back into it. It reminds of the lines from the disco song by Sister Sledge ‘Lost in music’ – I love the simple lyrics which encapsulate my world which is – to quote from the song – “Some people ask me what are you gonna be, why don’t you go get a job? All that I can say is I won’t give up my music, not me not now no way no how…cos we’re lost in music”
LONDON PRIDE in front of 20,000 people. Go to 2 minutes in the video!
BBC ONE THE VOICE
AMRICK CHANNA IN RUSSIA
A big Russian hit called Give it Up!
A huge Ibiza club anthem supported by Richard Grey and Roger Sanchez!