Interview – Raghav

By: Tara Thompson

In 2007, the Globe and Mail picked Raghav as one of Canada’s best kept secrets in the arts. He has headlined and sold out stadiums including the Rogers Centre in Toronto and the Shrine Auditorium in LA. Now, he is set to release his new single and video for Until The Sun Comes Up in August. Keep reading to find out more about Raghav and what he’s been up to.

Can you introduce yourself for the readers who may not be familiar with you and your music?

Well… I’m a singer/songwriter from Calgary. I always tell people that my house was a constant mix up of Michael Jackson, Harry Belafonte and Bollywood music.. so my sound is somewhere in the hallway of those 3 sounds..

What was the writing and recording process like for Until The Sun Comes Up?

It was perhaps the most interesting process I’ve ever been through to be honest.. I wrote it with Ryan Stewart who needed some convincing to the idea of the sort of country guitar drop in the chorus.. It was written as a full song without any features and then of course we kept chiseling at the song to allow the right space for Nelly and on the other version Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan.

The single will have a music video released in August. What was your favourite part of filming the video?

It has to be that I think it truly is a music video unlike any other.. I think as artist or songwriters our job is to convey an emotion and the best songs are the ones that have the maximum emotional connectivity.. so this song to be is pure unadulterated JOY. Happiness.. i kept thinking how could we depict joy in a manner that hasn’t been done before but is real and even tapping into the fact that society is open to pop music for more than just escapism .. it can be that and that’s no problem .. it can also be more… it can create a massive social awareness as we have seen in recent years. without being preachy… just by showing in this case the genuine JOY that light can bring to a part of the world where over 600 million people have no safe light source or electricity.

As I’ve toured extensively throughout the globe the one thing I’ve seen is the increasing between the rich and poor and wanted to bring it up in a non preachy patronizing way..i hope we have done that with this video.. as Nelly tells us to open the video over 1.3 billion people live without electricity.. its insane.. it’s embarrassing.

When can fans expect another album from you?

I think simultaneous to the next single.. I just hope their is the appetite for an album.. I love putting out singles but I feel I’m understood better over an album.

Until The Sun comes up features Nelly and Bollywood superstar Abhishek Bachchan. Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with in the future?

I’ve been lucky in that along with Nelly and Bachchan I’ve worked with many artists and producers I admire.. Going back to when I got my first deal, I always said 2 people were at the top of my list A R Rahman with whom I now very luckily have worked on many different Bollywood and Hollywood films, which leaves Quincy Jones… He’s the one I still have to cut a record with… sweet lord.. shivers just thinking about it to this day..

You’ve had a very successful career in not just Canada but also throughout the UK and the Middle East. What differences do you see from place to place in terms of fan reaction and live shows?

I always get asked about the differences, but you know what is more glaring? The similarities.. people love good music, honest entertainment and someone they can relate to EVERYWHERE!

Do you have any plans for touring?

I hope so.. that’s how we artists live now for the most part.. I’d like this record to have some impact here and possibly the USA.. i dont think a full tour could happen till early 2016, however I’ll happily take the deposits now.. lol

Who are your main influences?

Michael Jackson

Stevie Wonder

A R Rahman

What songs are your favourite to play live?

An old hit of mine called Angel Eyes is pretty much a standard now in the Indian subcontinent and Europe.. always fun to sing a record people love.

What’s your most memorable fan experience? 

I once had a fan bid to go on a date with me.. she proceeded to meet my manager and date him for a while. that was memorable in a a creepy way I guess…

Since we’re all about Canadian music, who are your favorite Canadian bands/artists?

A young girl named Sykamore , shes a country singer with something that i don’t hear lot of these days.. SONGS!! that will knock your socks off.. and really touch your soul. I also love the new Scott Helman single “Bungalow” and obviously my reggae roots mean I have to show Magic some love. Not to show bias but my 2 time collaborator, friend and national legend Kardinal Offishall.

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