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Juggy D
You’ve seen him shaking a leg in the video songs of Hum Tum and Kya Kool Hai Hum. But there is a lot more to Juggy D than just these two songs. The Punjabi lad from South Hall has been involved in music ever since he was 13 and has even had the distinction of teaching Craig David to sing in Punjabi! Nitin Kalra met the kool dude en route to promote his debut solo self-titled album.

The Record: Juggy D…the name sounds kool in every aspect. What is the significance of that 'D' in your name?
Juggy D: The alphabet stands for Dhaliwal, which is my surname. My roots go back to Ludhania in Punjab where I kind of spent most of my school vacations since my grandparents and a lot of relatives were there. Until the age of 16 at my home in London, English was a strict no-no for me and my siblings. Our parents would talk to us only in Punjabi and of course the Ludhania days were amazing. The whole influence is now clearly visible in my music.

TR: Juggy D is primarily a Punjabi vocalist…right?
JD: Yeah you can say that! I sing in Punjabi and I also write my own lyrics. It is very rare to find an Indian in London of my age knowing the language so well and being able to express himself through his own words. I have grown up listening to Gurdas Mann, who is my idol, and a whole bunch of Punjabi artists. Obviously I haven't been singing like them ‘coz I have my own style, which I always wanted to develop.

TR: You were discovered at a talent hunt contest…is that true?
JD: Yes. Channi, the singer from the band Allap discovered me at this talent hunt where I was adjudged the best singer and dancer. After winning the competition I got the confidence to pursue music as a profession. Then Rishi Rich came across my voice and asked me to collaborate with him on his debut album Simply Rich. The song Nahin Jeena was the #1 bhangra track for six weeks and our association since then has grown stronger.

TR: You joined Rishi Rich as a cover artist?
JD: No. The Rishi Rich Project is a platform for a lot of talented artists and at present myself, Veronica and Jay Sean form a great combination with Rishi Rich as our producer. My first song with Jay Sean, Dance With You - Nachna Tere Naal, was a huge hit back home. Yes, I did a lot of cover versions and remixes with Rishi Rich. We did songs with Craig David like Rise And Fall and Spanish where I even taught Craig to sing in Punjabi! Our idea was to take the hugely successful English tracks and blend them with Punjabi words and make a fresh new sound. The Asians in Britain simply went berserk when they heard these tracks, because for the first time they were actually able to identify with these songs. Even the non-Asians were amazed at this new experiment, which we had done. We did songs of Britney Spears (Me Against the Music), Ricky Martin (Juramento), Mary J. Blige (Love At First Sight) and Lamya (Black Mona Lisa). All the songs were hugely acclaimed and accepted.

TR: How did the Hum Tum song fall into your lap?
JD: The movie happened by chance. We got a call from the office of Yashraj Films in London and they asked us to meet them. We were told the concept of the film and were told that they needed a song that would be cool in nature, have a happening beat, and be full of fun and frolic. We produced the song and played it to them and even before we could gauge their response we were told to come over to India to shoot the video. It was only after the song released and became a rage that we realized what a wonderful piece of work we had done. The film really provided us a platform to root ourselves firmly in the market.

You can read the rest of our feature on Juggy D in the April 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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