Sunglasses and a beanie hat on, this guy got my curiosity at first, and shortly after, my full attention. When I said outstanding, I meant it. He stands out both visually and musically. We’re talking about Inder Paul Sandhu, a UK based artist who knows what he’s doing, and most importantly – who he is. ”My full name is my stage name.” tells me Inder Paul, as I come to learn that ”Inder Paul, it’s a double-barrel name like Jean Claude”.
The visuals are very high quality for an independent artist, from close-ups and zoom-ins, to well-centered subjects and a decent story line, you get that he takes his career very seriously. So I watch the whole music video and am pleasantly surprised by his voice control and singing skills. He was giving me rapper vibes but as soon as he opens his mouth, you hear a singer. The format of ‘Unstoppable’ was rather unusual for my ears as I am mostly a consumer of mainstream music. So Inder Paul proceeds to explain: ”Right, so at the time I was listening to a lot of Hendrix and Ray Charles and I observed this same thing from their songs. I thought that was what made them and their sound that bit Kooler.”, so I’ve decided I am going to take this song of his as a tribute to the greatest.
Wanting to find out more about how he got his current singing style and versatility, I ask Inder Paul for how long he’s been doing this, to which he responds: ”Been performing for 9 years, but the singing has only been for the last 2 and a half years. Everything before that was rap or spoken word poetry.”, and here I get a victorious giggle to myself as I was getting the rap vibes right from the start.
The thing is that he is actually good as a rapper too. As a rapper, he summons the old school atmosphere throughout his flow and the choice of music. To give you a better idea, think of Ice Cube but with a higher level of ambition transpiring through his rhymes. That hunger that only independent artists have right before they break through.
So the natural follow up question from me is ”Why the shift and why rap for 7 years only to decide to sing afterwards?”, and Inder Paul gives me a very honest insight to his transition from rapper to singer ”Amongst other things it was mainly confidence. There is a lot to masquerade behind in rap, a lot of bravado etc whereas singing is quite intimate and transparent. I was able to push through issues with confidence easier with rap. This is the shocker. I had always wanted to sing, from birth, but my voice was put down or I wasn’t encouraged enough. When I rapped people liked it, so I got more creative, more daring, bolder, and finally stepped out with the singing.”
7 years doing rap is a whole lot of time, and it served Inder Paul as a stepping stone for what he really wanted to do: sing. ”Rap taught me to FEAR NOTHING AND NOBODY IN THE CROWD. You are a microphone controller so you better control the place. Make people laugh, talk but don’t talk too much. Also being underestimated is great, because when you punch the people with your sound, your voice is a weighty punch.”- this answer right here tells me more than Inder Paul has probably thought at the time: for one, he is aware of who runs the show, controlling even the amount of direct interaction with the crowd; 2, he is marketing savvy as he appreciates being underestimated at times; and 3, he really loves singing.
While I am having an Inder Paul music video fest, I get pulled in by ‘Money Ain’t a Thing’, as it is clearly the representative piece of work that marks his complete evolution from rapper to singer. It also coincides with the 2 year period he was talking about earlier: ”My first single ‘Money Ain’t A Thing’, I was kinda rap-singing you know? And that song just took off. I received Track Of The Week and Month by the BBC and was swarmed by supporter videos. This was a very healthy encouragement for me to continue to push with the singing”.
Having understood by now that Inder Paul is an absolutely unique artistic person, and a determined musician, I really want to know how would he box his music if he had to, and hoping at the same time he won’t just drop the whole interview cause I’m pushing his buttons at this point (sorry Inder Paul!). He handles it well: ”Haha Mariana! Rock Soul/funk” and I am grateful for it.
If there is one thing I can to put my finger on, is that Inder Paul Sandhu knows how to captivate his audience. It is a quality that will take him places as originality is hard to come by in a world of almost 8 billion people. If you’re curious to see his body of work like I was, see his YouTube channel HERE. If you want to stay in touch with him personally, follow him on Instagram HERE. Now I am going back to listen to my own favorite song of Inder Paul Sandhu, ‘I Am Not‘.
Article and Interview by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment © 2020