#FridayFlashback – Jazzy B’s Romeo (By Nandeep Singh)

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Friday flashback is back, and this time we are taking a trip down memory lane with the 10 track album “Romeo” by Jazzy B. Jazzy B or Jaswinder Singh Bains was born in 1975 (all the cool kids were born that year) in Durgapur in Panjab,he then moved to mini Punjab I mean surrey when he was 5.

He released his first album in 1993 in Canada featuring the massive “Ghuggian Da Jhora”. There was no looking back after that. I remember going to the shop and looking at the cover seeing this guy with a weird hair do, but with that image I never imagined the vocals to sound so desi and raw, I actually thought the guy at the shop had put the wrong cassette on.

It was very impressive to say the least, western Panjabi’s are often mocked for their pronunciation, but this guy nailed it to perfection. Clearly he is heavily influenced by the late Kuldeep Manak who he refers to as his inspiration and ustaad, and you can see the influence in his singing style.

Jazzy B was riding on the crest of a wave after some banging tracks, and he made a career decision to move to the hub of Bhangra in the west – Birmingham. I remember one of his first performances in the UK was at Krystals in Leicester, and he smashed it. He was very popular on the live circuit due to his energetic performances, at one point his live band consisted of the mega talented Sukhshinder Shinda/ Aman Hayer and Popsy.

(Not the best quality video, but these gigs were massive and Jazzy B and his band tore it up each week)

Romeo was released in 2004 and was his 3rd album on the Moviebox label, and the music was produced by Jazzy B’s trusted lieutenant Sukshinder Shinda. The duo have over the years delivered huge albums and been at the forefront of the UK and global bhangra scene for some time.

Track 1 is Dil luteya and features Apache Indian. The two combine very well with their contrasting styles to deliver a fast paced track over seen by the music man – Sukhshinder Shinda himself.

Je tetoh nai nibhdi chad de vairne Yaari – is track 2, a more traditional based track than the first one. Jazzy B is comfortable in both elements so there’s no problems for him switching tracks. Most of his fans may feel he is suited more to the desi raw folk songs.

Track 3 is the fast paced Rakh Sambh Ke. Shinda’s up the tempo on the beats with a more drum n bass flava mixed with Jazzy B’s raw vocals.

Bach Bach ke is the 4th track, and Shinda and Jazzy B slow the tempo and in another switch of style they go back to a desi style for this dance number. Jazzy B always had a good variety of tracks on his albums which would cover all bases and keep the masses coming back for more.

We have Jazzy B in full senti mode for Sajana on Track 5 to bring side A to a close. Personally not my cup of chaa but each to their own. You can’t fault the vocals or production.

Side 2 kicks off with the pace picking up on Gabru nu lutteya heere. It’s an easy to listen to track, and Shinda once again shows why he’s the music man.

Romeo the title track is next up and it features US hip hop outfit Takeova ent, Shinda once again blends the two styles effortlessly. Jazzy B’s versatility once again is showcased in this track as he glides through the gears. This proved to be another very popular track, with an equally popular and impressive video.

Shinda and Jazzy B once again switch back to traditional mode, with Nachna. This a typical dance number from that era given the treatment by the duo.

The Tappe are up next, and although the lyrics are traditional, Shinda has waved his magic wand to produce another magical number which complements Jazzy B’s vocals very well.

Soorma – starting with a little dialogue intro featuring Meshi from Eshara. This was another very popular number, with the hook line “Kerha jamm peya Soorma…” being sung at all parties. These are exactly the type of tracks Jazzy B excels in.

Listening back to this album just makes you appreciate what a duo Jazzy B and Shinda were back in the day, and why they remain highly regarded as icons in the music industry.

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