Sitting in a class room in Punjab almost 20 years ago two brothers were obsessed with what they were listening to, it wasn’t the teacher at the head of the class, but instead, inside the heads of these two brothers was Panjabi MC’s Legalized, 20 years down the line Nav and Lucky are set to unleash their very own album into the world hoping it will inspire others just as they were inspired, and revoke memories of that golden era In UK Bhangra history.
Check out the album in full here on Spotify;
Dedicated to Kuldeep Manak, Surinder Shinda, Chamkila & Amarjot, Sadiq & Ranjit Kaur, Dilshad Akhtar, @PanjabiMC1@TruSkoolUK @dj_HMD @balwindrsafri safri boyz, Surjit Bindrakhia, Sardool Sikander, @HardKaurWorld and So many others who inspired us 🙏 https://t.co/B5YuvqAUHT
— Kru172® (@Kru172) December 12, 2018
Who are Kru172? Kru 172 consist of two brothers, Lucky and Nav from Chandigarh who fell in love with the UK Bhangra sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s , the sound, the production everything about the that period of music appealed to the brothers;
In those days, no videos were on TV so getting UK Bhangra music was all about the getting cassettes and listening to them, and the likes of Panjabi MC and Bally Sagoo really appealed to us, the sound was that clean that it just inspired us. Add to that the Tru-Skool and Specialist’s albums, we were in deep when it came to UK Bhangra.”
Inspired by the UK sound KRU 172 started making beats and learning their artform, this led them to start rapping, and in 2008 whilst some Punjabi artists were attempting to intimitate that rap style these two found another route to Hip Hip – 8 Mile The Movie
“Eminem was big in India, him and 50 cent were everywhere, the film was such an eye opener, we were getting into rap music at the time and were making beats this had us in awe. The film 8 Mile became like a portal for us to other hip hop artists, and we just fell in love with the whole West Coast vibe. The two of us just loved the music we were hearing, we living on Hip Hop & UK Bhangra, we were just inspired”
“When we say inspired we do not mean like for a month or two, that generation of rap and UK Bhangra had some evergreen projects, we can still stick on Word Is Born by Tru-Skool and it still sounds as fresh now as it did then. Panjabi MC and Bally Sagoo like wise, to be honest so many of the albums from that era sound as good now, as they did back then. It wasn’t a trend or a phase music was going through, it was a unique sound, and that is why we still love those albums today”
Loving something from a previous decade or so has it downfalls though especially when looking for a record deal:
We did not even go to any labels with ‘Back In the Dayz’, they would have said ‘no’ anyway, the Punjabi music scene is very big now, but it is also very different to what we do, we did not wish to compromise anything on our album.
The direction of the scene is now based on trends and the lyrical content highlights this, a label would have wanted us to deliver song’s that were about guns, gang violence and demeaning to girls, we don’t want that. Our songs are more of a traditional style and labels would have not shared our vision, we are doing this alone and in our own way, it is the best way to learn.”
We see you feature Hard Kaur on your album, how did that friendship come about or is just business…
No, we are cool, Hard Kaur heard our raps in Mumbai and was like ‘who are these guys’, she got our number and called us up. Hard Kaur was shocked that we were from Punjab and not the UK or overseas, she was impressed by our beats and what we was doing, this was a real boost for us, and we will be dropping some tracks with her on the new Hard Kaur Mixtape soon”
So what can we expect from the album
“The album is us, KRU 172, everything you have read in this interview is represented in the album ‘Back In The Dayz’.
We have two videos dropping soon, but we are firing ahead with the audio release first and foremost, we got 9 songs plus an intro, this is our sound, influenced by great artists and inspired by the desire to release good music and not follow trends, we hope people like it and enjoy what we are doing. We know that the demand is still out there for projects like this and hopefully the market will see more releases like this soon.”
The album ‘Back In The Dayz’ is out 18th January 2019 and will be available across Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube via 10 on 10 Records.
Nafaa for the hugely successful Yaar Jigree Kasooti Degree was produced by Kru172