There was the opportunity to speak with Panjabi MC in october 2005 as he was in Cologne at Club Static. Panjabi MC alias Rajinder Rai, achieved his international breaktrough with his Knight Rider remix "Mundian To Bach Ke". In his songs Panjabi MC mixes traditional Bhangra music from India with hiphop and RnB. He is one of the most influencal forces and pioneer of this kind of music and in fact an integral part of Bhangra remixing.
First of all Hello and elcome to Germany. How often you are you here?
Panjabi MC: Hi, welcome too! I use to come to Germany very regulary. But I've been working on my new tape now. So I haven't done many shows in Germany for the last year, maybe once the month.
And everytime when you do a show in Germany, you do it with the "Bhangra Brothers".
Panjabi MC: Yeah , among others.
When will be your next album released?
Panjabi MC: It will be released probably this year. But I'm not sure. If not, then very early next year. But a single is definitely being released within this year.
Do you already have a name for your new album?
Panjabi MC: No, because we have so many names! And right now we have no deal. Maybe they wanna change the name, the label.
Are these all new songs or some old ones?
Panjabi MC: No, these all are new songs, but not all brand new. But you have never heard them before. Some songs I produced in 2001 but I did't release these songs and some of this songs I'll put on my new album now.
I heard that you have some offers from Bollywood. For film music or for what kind of music?
Panjabi MC: Well, I have offers from Bollywood, but the thing about films is: in Bollywood there are so many filmes coming out every week, maybe 250 films. And so if you produce a soundtrack and if the film is not successful then you have a big flop. So sometimes it is the best not to do that. In the past I had an offer which I feel is not good enough.
And what kind of films are that you have offers from? Lovestories, thrillers...?
Panjabi MC: No, horrorfilms! (laughs)
... like "Kaal"? Do you know that film?
Panjabi MC: Yeah, but the offers are for example for serious films. My music has been more used for serious films.
And which films for example?
Panjabi MC: There is a film called "Boom". I haven't seen it but it is with the big actor Amitabh Bachchan. And they used my music. I did not produce it for the film, but they took it.
Ok, let's change the topic: do you believe in God?
Panjabi MC: I believe in the creator.
Who is the creator?
Panjabi MC: The creator who created us.
What kind of religion do you practice?
Panjabi MC: I'm Sikh. I believe in Sikh religion and I would say I'm proud to be a Sikh. I don't practice it somehow, that's the problem. (laughs)
What is so special in this belief?
Panjabi MC: Sikhism is very open-minded. We believe in everybody. We believe that there is only one God, not that God is one, but every God is the same.
... you don't name it Allah and so on?
Panjabi MC: Yeah, we don't name it. And we believe in philosophy. Who has a belief must believe for a reason. And the creator created us. Although Sikhs are very fundamental, they are still proud warriors.
How do you like the success? Was it surprising?
Panjabi MC: Yeah, it was surprising, because I do a lot of shows anyway but now it becomes bigger and wider. You know, although I'm still doing the same shows!
In your early days when you started with this kind of music, I read that some people wanted to kill you because you used Punjabi music. Why?
Panjabi MC: My music is very different from traditional music. I produce something different out of this music from the fundamental people - they were not happy.
Shouldn't they be proud that their music is used?
Panjabi MC: They are proud now, because it's popular. But at this time they said, "what is this kid doing, the idiot!"
What are you planing for your future?
Panjabi MC: I've been working on my new album and I haven't to do many shows in Germany because of my album. We haven't got a name yet but it coming out soon. And then we will do more desi shows.
Also in Germany?
Panjabi MC: Yeah, everywhere. In Germany too.
Thank you very much and good luck for you future.
Panjabi MC: Thank you!
The complete interview by Alexandra Ccahuana Tito you can read on Theinder.net.