We caught up with Jimmy Love this week to find out some juicy details about Non Stop Bhangra and upcoming JLove/ NSB productions and projects.
Where can we hear/ buy your music online?
All of my music at this point is on line for free, most of which people can hear on my Sound Cloud page. I have my first official remix coming out on a label this week (out now! - released Feb 21) for OM Records single of J-Boogie's It's on Fire. These days to me it is all about giving music away and spreading the name, and get people into clubs to support the growth of this sound.
You play the tumbi on one of your recent tracks, what other instruments do you play?
I am learning to play piano, as well as Dhol and Dholak. I recently picked up an algozey, which is providing to be a trickier instrument to learn than I hoped. I played bass guitar back in my teens, so I have a little understanding of music in general, however at this time learning to play a keyboard seems essential in the producer game.
Here is a chilled out tune with Jiimy on the tumbi
Besides Bhangra, what other genres does Jimmy Love explore?
I love so many styles of music, and I spend all week trolling the web for new stuff to fill different set list. I am a huge fan of funky breaks, and that scene is blowing up with solid releases of both edits and remixes almost daily. Tropical music has really won me over in the past 5 years, and as Moombahton grows I feel this trend will only grow in the years to come. Last year I went crazy collecting Soca, and tons of African and Latin vibes, though outside of Bhangra I beefed up most on Cumbia. The funny thing is I am really only known for Bhangra, so I rarely get to rock any of my deep playlist out. That said, I got some killer iPod rides when I hit the train.
What can you share about the upcoming Non Stop Bhangra album?
Other than it has been in the works for what feels like ages. I have a good grip of songs coming along, however the vision behind us as a live group versus an event has always been tricky. Every time I think I know where things are going I get someone new involved on a track, and it keeps opening up. Once it does come out, I just hope for it to reflect what we have done over the many years, and pay some homage to all the people who have helped make our story what it is. I am just having fun rolling through traditional Punjabi vocals all the way too dancehall beats and enjoying myself. I really can't wait to tie it all together and share it with the world.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Not really sure...I grew up in a house of records, as my parents were very into classic oldies from the swingers days. We loved old funk and soul as well, so from day one I think I was use to grabbing things like Sam Cooke or Otis Redding.
Any artists or DJs that may be under the radar that we should keep an eye on?
I personally think DJ Sol Rising should be on more people's radar. DJ Theory is already blowing up, and he is really working the hustle here in the Bay and on the serious rise. Another person I think to keep an eye on is DJ Mundi, he knows his music and can mix well. Last, I would sayDulce Vita in the more Burning Man world bass vibes is on the serious rise.
huge tune here from Sol Rising
Prince or MJ?
I can't really say on this one. If it came down to it I would have to say MJ, but why put a man in a situation like this. The King will always beat out the Prince, esp since there is no doubt that he influenced Prince.
Going on almost 8 years of NSB, I would say that some things have changed yet most things remain the same (if that makes any sense). I would say the over all production value of the music is going up, as well as the output in recent years. There are still 101 really bad mix tapes that come out monthly from people who don't bother to make sure everything is in the same key, however there are artist like Tigerstyle who have come into their own and are producing genre pushing collaborations. Though I hate the term, fusion bands have been really broadening the landscape and opening up visibility to Punjabi based music all over the world. On the traditional side, some legends have passed in recent year. The community has done them right with dedications, coupled with a solid group of upcoming talents filling the ranks by putting out straight ahead Bhangra albums. When we started out it was all about putting a hip hop beat behind a Bhangra track. These days there are more and more productions with very little Dhol, and much more focus on electronic elements, and usage of Punjabi vocals in a more Western friendly way playing off R&B, Hip Hop and Reggae.
Besides the venue change, is there anything different about NSB 2012?
Well, the venue change is huge. The extra size and exposure of the venue allows us to open up our pocket book a little more to book touring acts. I have also felt a change in attitude from our crew, and a new excitement I have not felt in some time. We were getting a little stagnant, and I felt this change shook thing up and made people take another look at us. The venue is bubbling in SF right now, and as the only monthly party in the main room I think it is quite a statement. With it, this year I am already confirming large acts, and talking to even larger acts I was at no point able to book at our old venue. Outside of that I would have to say music. Last year I launched the weekly radio show, and since have had so many people writing me about music. I have spent the last two years learning music production, and am excited a few of my first releases are about to come out. I am bringing on Dj Sol Rising starting in March who has a new album in the works, and has building a solid name for himself in the Bay as a rising star. Also, Ravi is about to move back from Chicago and he has been getting really up to speed on production with his first single about to come out. I think as we secure a good year in the new venue and music hits the streets this could actually be the year Bhangra pushes out into the underground scene here in the US.
What are the challenges and advantages, if any, of being a non Indian spinning Bhangra music?
I think I come at it at a different angle, which is a huge advantage. I follow very different trends than the normal Bhangra DJ, and I think it allows me to push the music into different scenes than if I were coming at it from a more traditional background. In reverse, I have to always be careful that I don't come off as someone who mistake's everything Indian as Bhangra. This is the common problem with other DJ's getting into a sound from another culture, and I see this happen all the time. After 8 year in the game playing this sound I am almost always over looked when people want to write the story, and and I am very use to them asking for anyone Indian to talk to other than me. I feel solid support now from the Bhangra community in general and most Desi people I meet, though most the time people are just in shock I know the songs I am playing and can actually mix. The Punjabi community works to keep this music close to home, so I try to tread lightly and act as someone helping open up new communities to what I feel is a beautiful culture and sound. Any challenge I look at as an advantage, and I feel when more people fall in love with the sounds it will all work itself out.
Reggaeton beats have been huge in India and have surfaced in Indian pop music for a while now. I know you have always incorporated dancehall, hip hop and reggaeton into your bhangra sets. The rise of Moombahton last year has spawned a gazillion genres with the "ton" suffix. What is Bhangraton?
Everyone has gone "Ton" crazy, and I feel this year will only get more crowded in the "Ton" department. Bhangraton bubbled as a sound many years ago as Reggaeton was becoming the hot new club sound. Early adopters like Tigerstyle worked with people like Looney Tunes on a few tracks, and Jay Dabhi follwed with a few remixes and the launch of a site called Bolwood Mas Up's which is no longer around. Bhangra and the Reggae scene have a long history, as the UK has been a melting pot for Bhangra through the 80's and 90's. Bacially when two sounds work together you get a new hybrid. Dhol and Dholak in Bhangra productions work really well on top of Reggaeton beats, and when you throw in the Desi love for anything Reggae it just works. Moombahton is more a joining of sped up Reggaeton (generally 108 BPM) mixed with Dutch electro house sounds. Moombahton is more heady, and the use of synths over minimal elements seems key. It is not really based on any specific culture, but more an electronic fusion that plays well to crowds that are into tropical bass music. Bhangraton to me was always the mix of the two cultures, bringing them more together by showcasing how similar the beat driven sounds actually are.
Are there any other artists out there producing Bhangraton tracks?
I wish. Bhangraton was around well before Moombahton, and sadly few people jump on board. There was an album that was supposed to come out years ago covering Bhangraton, however it never happened. Jay Dabhi had a few tracks which did really well, and Tigerstyle has dipped their hands in it over the years. Outside of that, most the hard core Desi producers are more into electro and Dutch sounds these days to bother. I have a ton of edits that I play all the time, and find that for crowds new to Bhangra it gives them the perfect middle ground with a beat they are comfortable dancing too. I truely wish more people would make some more Bhangraton tracks, and see the love they get on a dance floor!
What has made NSB so successful?
It has never been about one person, but the community and the experience. We were very fortunate to come in and fill a void here in SF, and I think we were genuine about loving Bhangra and wanting to share it with people. I have been lucky to have some of my favorite DJ's through, and I think we really have focused on not just the Desi scene, but a way to make the greater music community feel accepted and a part of the night. The local scene has been wonderful in support, and we were blessed to be given a Saturday night monthly which is really hard for any world music sound in any city in the US. Under the hood, the crew who work the night with me are like family and this is our playground to hang out with each other and go through life together.
What artists do you dream of hosting at NSB?
Tigerstyle, Red Baraat, Jassi Sadhu, Panjabi MC, Roach Killa, Bobby Friction, David Starfire.
Any future NSB guests you can tell us about?
We have Delhi 2 Dublin coming here in March, and we are excited for the April NSB as well. In April we are taking on the full Public Works space in partnership with Hookahdome, who is the largest world music camp at Burning Man. For our room we are bringing down Prashant from Portland who runs a much hyped Bollywood night, and we plan on mashing up the sounds that month. I am in the works with David Starfire to secure a date, as well as a few other names I don't want to drop until I get bookings more secured. This is going to be a huge year for us in SF!
On March 10 NSB #79 hosted Delhi to Dublin if you missed #79, keep an eye on NSB facebook and twitter for more info about #80
I am a huge fan of New Delhi, which is downtown off of Powell Street. I would say Burma Superstar, Kasa Indian, and Marne Thai in my hood. We have some killer chicken in my hood as well at San Toung. Honestly I rarely leave my hood since the common food here is so good, and though sometimes I splurge and hit a high end joint I am equally happy with something at Park Chow or Masala Dosa here in the inner sunset. Though I must say Udupi Palace as my number one Dosa place in the city.
Do you have a signature dish you like to cook?
I cook almost every night, and worked in kitchens for part of my life. I love cooking Italian and Mexican food. I grew up in New Mexico, so I make things different than the normal Mission burrito joints. I like things with a good amount of spice, and flavor. I feel I have the best of both worlds here in SF with great restaurants and the ability to pick up anything I could ever want to cook. Signature dishes would be my enchiladas, or maybe a shrimp pasta I have down.
What kind of food goes best with your music?
Something light, as you want room in your belly to dance.