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Dr. Zeus
And the Birmingham Asian dance scene throws up yet another rather successful Punjabi bred, British DJ/producer. In the wake of Bally Sagooís , Punjabi MCís and Punjabi Five- Oís there seems no end stopping them at all. Dr.Zeus started near a decade ago and is already four albums down. On the verge of his first release in India, he is as determined as ever to prove himself to audiences in the motherland.
The Record caught up with him on the day of his Mumbai gig.

TR: So youíve been doing really well in the UK, producing, performing and all sorts of things. Tell us a bit about you.
Zeus: Well basically I started at the age of twelve. My mates and me would wag school and DJ parties and chill out at a recording studio. Thatís where it really all started. The love for music was there from day one, growing up with my uncles and listening to Indian music, English music. And in them times there used to be stuff like Wham and then a bit of alaap here and there. Basically, through wagging school and hanging around studios Iím sitting with producers and programmers, and therefore Iím picking up and Iím sitting with good producers so the theory of my music came naturally without me having to learn any of it. So if something sounded odd Iíd know itís either out of time or out of key. So thatís how I learnt it. And then the next thing you know, I had to ask my old man for 4000 pounds to get studio equipment and stuff. I had to beg him for about three years before he lent me the money. I was about eighteen when he actually gave in. And Iíve been going ever since then and now in 2004 Iím kind of seeing the rewards of it. Especially in England, Europe and America, the only market left to conquer is the Indian market. And I ainít going to stop until I break in.

TR: Youíve also been working with a lot of Indian singersÖ
Zeus: Yeah our last singer is from Punjab. Especially on this Kangna album thereís Master Ragesh and then thereís Lembhar Hussainpuri both highly trained vocalistís. Then thereís my side as well where Shorty comes into it. The English, the street and rap feel that says what Iím about and where I come from.

TR: The Birmingham sound?
Zeus: Yeah thatís it exactly. The Birmingham sound thatís exactly what we are doing. You know the stuff that you hear working in Bombay now is the Birmingham style. So if I canít deal with it at tonightís show, then God help me because itís our flavor that you guys are moving to.

TR: Youíve been known as the pioneer of whatís come to be called Garage-Bhangra, how did you see the two styles as perfectly blended?
Zeus: Well to tell you the truth how that came across was, I was into garage music when it was first taking off in England and I knew nothing about. Itís when it broke through on the bhangra side that it was kind of getting commercialized in the mainstream as well. So therefore it picked up and a lot of people began to go on that tip and so I had to switch. Originally I went with it because I thought Iíd be the first Asian man to do a garage bhnagra tune, which I was. And it kind of gave me that stepping stone before my album ĎHigh Lifeí came out. But itís this album ĎKangnaí thatís put the icing on the cake for me in terms of being busy. I donít have time to have a crap.

You can read the rest of our feature on Dr. Zeus in the July 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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