Rising Star Rishi on choosing Music over Medicine


The Asian Today Interview

BRITISH Asian singer-songwriter Rishi is back with his brand new single ‘Do It Tonight’, produced by one of the most innovative producers, DJ Surinder Rattan.

Born and bred in Wolverhampton, Rishi began writing his own songs at the young age of 17. Rishi’s love for music began during his school days when he joined the school choir; from then Rishi has not looked back and was encouraged by his parents to take one to one vocal lessons throughout school.

Fast forward to 2013 and Rishi’s enjoying every minute of his life in the music industry.

We caught up with the rising star to talk music and walking away from medicine to pursue his dreams in the music industry…


Rishi tell us about your new single ‘Do It Tonight’

‘Do It Tonight’ is a single about just having fun and having no regrets about what you do on a night. The concept I started with was the premise that the world will end in 2012, so I just imagined if that is to be true what I would do on the last night on Earth. Not even about going out and getting drunk but just having no regrets about that one night, having enough courage to say no matter what it is I’m going to do it tonight!


You’ve got quite a line up for the single – DJ Surinder Rattan and Metz and Trix – what was it like working with the guys?

Working with Dj Surinder Rattan was a pleasure, our ideas of the kind of track we wanted to create was very similar so everything just flowed easily. I had met Metz and Trix at Frantic Studios in Birmingham and had obviously grown up listening to them rap on a number of iconic tracks so to get the chance to work with them was an amazing experience.


How do you think your fans will react to the song?

Hopefully they enjoy it! (Laughs). I think anyone looking for a great song which is fun filled will love it. Anyone going out on a night will relate to the concept of just doing anything on a night out. We all have that one night where we feel like going crazy, not even with alcohol or going out, it could even be diverse as just pigging out on the sofa at home but it’s something that we want to do sometimes so this track just gives people that little nudge that it’s okay to do that. The track will appeal to anyone who believes in seizing each day to the full and making the most of it.


Let’s go back to the beginning – how did you get into music?

I got started in music because of my parents to tell the truth. It all started when I was going to secondary school, academically they knew I was very good but they didn’t want me to become a ‘book worm’ so they asked me to learn a musical instrument on the side. I had always loved singing in my primary school choir so thought why not give it a try, after that I had singing lessons every other day throughout my time at secondary school. When I was 16/17 I began to write my own songs and then had the opportunity to meet Kam Frantic and work with him. From there it all just evolved really.


Your parents were very supportive of your passion for music – how encouraging was that for you?

Not only my parents but my grandparents were and are very supportive of my career choice. That for me was a major boost and I am very lucky to have that backing and support from them. Our family is very open so I can talk to my elders about anything, girls, going out etc, which is an amazing relationship to have especially in an Indian family. In that sense they would always back whatever career choice I made because they respected that times are changing and diversity is needed. For them to see my accomplishments and my career growing I think I’m paying them back for all the encouragement and support they gave me right at the start when things weren’t going so well.


You walked away from studying medicine to take up music – was it a hard decision and do you have any regrets?

Yes I did leave medicine, just a month before I was due to start my course actually. It was in fact my parents who told me to pursue music as a career which surprised and still surprises a lot of people. When we sat down together to speak about what I wanted to do, I just told them that it was either music or medicine, I wasn’t going to try and do both at the same time, only putting 50% in to each and them both suffering, especially the case with a course like medicine, one which demands a lot of hard work. I told them that I was going to pursue 1 but put my 100% in to it. My parents respected my choice and let me pursue my dream. After making that decision I never looked back, I have never regretted my choice because I never give that decision any more thought, I made my choice and I’m lucky enough to be pursuing a career which I love. I was in private schooling all my life from nursery and there are people who say was that a mistake because I picked music over medicine, but to me all that education only enhances my music career, I don’t think I would be able to write the way I do or produce the music that I am if it wasn’t for that education.


Who were your musical influences growing up?

Being a 90’s kid it was always about RnB and Hip-Hop, because I was the youngest one of the family at that time, whenever we had a family function it was always my older cousins who would blast out songs from the likes of Blackstreet, Dru-Hill, Montell Jordan etc. So growing up in that environment I was always around that type of music, also growing up in a Indian family there was always Bollywood songs playing so I not only had the English music but also the Asian side to contrast with it. I think that 90’s Rnb however was the music style I was most influenced by, I only appreciated this really when I started writing and found that my writing and melodies just naturally had an RnB feel to them.


You started writing your own music at an early age – how do you go about writing your own songs?

I started writing my own songs when I was about 16 at that time it was just an experiment to see if I could write what I wanted to say in the structure of a song. After a lot of practice I began to write better and quicker. I only write about things which I know about, real life experiences or feelings that I’ve had. By doing that I can express what I want to say so much easier than if I was to write about something I didn’t have a clue about. I come up with the concept of the track first, what I want to say with the song or the situation I want to create with it. Then comes the melody, after that the words are the easiest part to be honest.


As a music artist which of you fellow music stars do you look up to?

Two of my favourite artists are Ne-Yo and Enrique Iglesias quite obscure choices. Ne-Yo for his writing ability and the transition from being a writer to a singer. As a writer I can appreciate how difficult it is to come up with ideas sometimes. Enrique Iglesias for his image and the way he portrays himself.


We’re seeing many British Asian music stars venture into Bollywood – is that something you would like to do?

Definitely, I have always said that the one country I would love to perform in is India. Bollywood is a huge market and I’m just a fan of everything about it, growing up in an Indian family, Bollywood films and music were always played and became part of our culture. To be a part of that culture would be a massive honour and that is hopefully what I am working towards. Not only making music for Bollywood I would also love to try acting somewhere, I used to act in school plays and have brought that in to my music videos so if I do get the chance to do some acting work in Bollywood it would be even more of a honour.


What does 2013 have in store for you?

I have a lot of big plans for 2013. After ‘Do It Tonight’ my new single ‘Aaja Ve Mahi’ releases. This is a track which again will surprise a lot of people. Produced by Kam Frantic it’s a Bollywood style track and different to anything I thought about doing before. I’m planning on going to India to do some music work out there. I think in 2013 you will see a lot more bigger projects coming from me.


‘Do It Tonight’ is available to download from iTunes and all leading online outlets


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