Exclusive Interview – Harry Cheema On His Track Face Off (Aan De)

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Harry Cheema, is a music producer, rapper and a singer based out of Chandigarh. He started his musical journey from India’s Got Talent show that aired on Colors TV back in 2009. The song he performed was “Chal Jhoothi” and it was widely appreciated by the masses.

Harry Cheema

Recently, Harry Cheema dropped his brand new track “Face Off (Aan De)”. As a matter of fact, he produced and also did the engineering of the track. Harry Cheema said, “I wanted to make something that inspires my listeners to take life head on and never give up for anything, be it circumstances or some shitty people that may affect them in any way. I have had many negative people trying to pull me back but I didn’t crumble. Life is how you make it. There are some hidden messages for some people in the song, and I hope they get it.”

We sat down for a little chat with Harry Chemma and asked him a few questions. This is how it went –

How did Hip-Hop happen to you? Was it difficult for you to make a career in this genre of music?

Hip-hop happened to me way back when I was in final years of my school and most of it happened in my college days since I had some friends and seniors who were into the black (hip-hop) music at that time. I used to hang out with them and would absorb all this music around me. It was so fresh for me since I came from a middle-class family listening to Punjabi music all my childhood.

Harry Cheema

It was groovy and catchy and I instantly got hooked. I remember I would save money to build big wooden boxes with substandard woofers (desi speakers) and buy amplifiers to connect them with my computer and would bang the shit out of my place every afternoon. Of course, my neighbours used to hate me. My friends used to come over to my place to experience those funky “Basslines”. It was not at all difficult for me to get into this genre since I had a good sense of rhythm from day one. God was kind enough to bless me with that.

After your stint in India’s Got Talent, you were not active? Would you like shed some light on this?

Yes, I was not active and kept a low profile at the time due to some personal reasons. There were some issues that I was going through financially, I had to quit my job and was not making enough money from music to convince myself to continue music.

Harry Cheema

I shifted back from Bangalore (I was working in an IT company there) to Chandigarh to fully focus on music, but it was not much fruitful. Maybe I didn’t have the right direction or the right people around me at the time. Later I got a job in Chandigarh and started making some money, saving it to buy gear to make my studio. Fortunately, I saved enough and finally built a decent workable studio for myself.

You did a comeback with a freestyle track with Pardhaan? Can we expect you with Pardhaan on a single track?

Yes, it was called “Rapper’s Delight” and I consider myself fortunate enough to have worked with Pardhaan. He is such an inspiration and a source of motivation and he has this positivity that he always carries with himself. We share a great bond and whenever I am down or short of ideas for my music or just life in general, I call him or text him for some motivation.

Pardhaan And Harry Cheema

(Harry Cheema And Pardhaan)

He is much focused, and the way he thinks and works is unique. My hard drive is full of songs that we have been working on together for the past couple of years, which hopefully would release as and when the right time comes. Believe me, we have got some insane stuff. I can only say that for now.

Hip-hop then and now – have you experienced any changes in the desi hip-hop culture?

When I started back in 2009, the scene was different. There were not many artists/rappers around. I was part of a duo called Desi Playaaz and we two were the only rappers from Chandigarh who had made it to TV and beyond. Now, things have certainly changed. There are many artists who are skilled in the craft and know what to do, unlike us because back then we lacked direction.

Harry Cheema

(Desi Playaaz- Harry Chemma And Andy Bhullar)

Needless to say, the sound has changed too. Now it’s more new school, Trap, RnB Dubstep kinda vibe that these young guns are working with. I am still a Dr. Dre fan since he has been my influence all this while and most of the time my sound tends to incline a little towards old school, but recently I have been producing some new school beats and I am loving it. Music is music at the end of the day.

 Is there any track coming up with Sukhshinder Shinda? You have posted pictures with him! Right?

I was one of the opening acts for him during a show that happened in Chandigarh Sector 17, Plaza, so his team and organisers knew about me. They got in touch with me a week later and called me to meet Mr. Shinda in Chandigarh during one of his studio sessions. He was kind enough to appreciate my work and I shared a couple of ideas with him.

Harry Cheema

(Harry Chemma With Sukhshinder Shinda)

Since then, every time he comes to Chandigarh, he calls me and we have our little creative musical sessions. No doubt he is a school of music in himself and one can learn so much from him. I don’t know if you will see
Sukhshinder Shinda and Harry Cheema on a track together soon, but I have given some of my best ideas to him and he has loved them. The day he calls me to record, I will jump right onto it.

What are you working on now and what’s in the store for future?

After getting good reviews to my recent release “Face Off (Aan De)”, I am working on my next solo track and it should be out soon. Being a music producer, I am producing music for other artists too and will share the details and their release dates when things are finalised.

Harry Cheema

I know some of my listeners complain that I also do Punjabi music and should only do hip-hop but I tell them that music is music no matter the genre. If I am capable of doing something I should do it since for me as long as I am behind my workstation my soul is happy. Needless to say, in future, I wish I speed myself up a little and give out more hip-hop songs back to back for my listeners. Love and Respect to all my listeners always!

Significant lyrics from the track

“Jehre ungla ne chakkde oh naio menu jaande,
Ehna di soch ton pare de ve mein dekh chadde aa piche toofan ve
oh tu aande,
tu aande oh tu aande tu aande,
Ehna di soch ton pare de ve mein dekh chadde aa piche toofan ve
Toofan ve oh tu aande.”

Click Here To “Face Off (Aan De) ” By Harry Cheema