Earlier today, I saw Jasbir had released another song called Akhiyaan. You can have a listen to it on youtube. Its a slower song which I have always thought fits Jasbir’s voice really well. It got me thinking about Jasbir and Harleen and their time on Empire, so I thought I’d share a bit about each of them. You can find them here as they teamed up for a duet at Giant Bhangra 2007 along with our dholi, Raveen Bains.
Jasbir was Bhangra Empire’s very first singer. His Uchiyan Lamiyan intro in our Rooh Punjab Di 2006 performance still amazes me every time I listen to it, even though he is in the dark in the video (freaking lighting). Jasbir was an extremely quiet person when he first joined Empire. A lot of us were skeptical, to say the least, on how he would sing in front of an audience. That skepticism quickly subsided the second we heard him sing. It was almost like his whole personality changed when he had a mic in his hand. He sang with us for 2 years and killed it every time he took the stage. Since then he’s sung for countless live teams and currently sings for Virse De Waris. And rightfully so, because the 1 minute boli he would have for our routines was nowhere nearly enough time for him to showcase all his talents. Outside of actual singing, Jasbir probably caused most of the team to gain 10 pounds each. Post practice meals would always be at Shan Restaurant in Cupertino (man I miss that place.) The whole team would show up for a meal (12-15 of us), and when it was time to pay, Jasbir would show up with a bill that said $20. Definitely good times. We were lucky enough to have Jasbir sing a couple of unreleased songs at our 5 year Bhangra Empire Anniversary party earlier this year. Look out for his upcoming music. More information can be found on his website at JasbirThabal.com. I wish him nothing but the best in the future and definitely appreciate his contributions to Empire.
That brings us to Harleen. Harleen along with brother, Ajit Singh (from Davis Di Dynasty), released a song earlier this year called Leja Kite Door (get it from iTunes). It was definitely an amazing song which we ended up using in one of our bhangra classes. Harleen joined the team towards the end of 2006. She really was one of those, ‘I do everything’ people. From being one of the strongest dancers on Empire, to mixing, to singing, to choreography, to making logos, she had a part in pretty much all aspects of Empire at the time. Her dedication and hard work really laid a foundation for our team that allowed us to succeed long after she was gone. For that, I will always be thankful to her. The thing I remember most about Harleen has to be working on mixes. She would come up with a mix and send it to me and I would give her feedback. For the most part, that feedback would be taking out stuff she really liked (our current mixer, Jackie Thind, probably knows this too well). After she would make the changes she would send me the mix again and name it something like ‘omer i hope you die.mp3.’ Don’t worry, she would put a smiley face after it. To this day I still have mp3s in my music folder with really weird names. In 2007, she joined her brother on Davis Di Dynasty. Together, they were one of the first teams to bring a live coed performance to North America. Davis Di Dynasty is still going strong today as they placed 2nd at Big Apple Bhangra in New York last weekend. Be sure to become a fan of Harleen on Facebook on her fanpage. She also has a youtube channel where she sings a song every week and takes requests. Subscribe here if you are interested. As with Jasbir, I wish her nothing but the best in the future and definitely have high hopes for her. That’s it for now. Hope you all support these 2 singers in the future as its always great to see homegrown talent make it big.
FYI – For all you that know me too well and are thinking, wait, this guy isn’t really this nice, whats going on, don’t worry. As I get more and more comfortable with this whole blog thing, you guys will get what you want.