Darren Reddy

Darren Reddy was recently interviewed by Famo Celebrity Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with him.

What first got you into music?

I was born with an immense passion for music. In particularly Indian classical instrumental music. I would listen and play music at least 4 to 6 hours a day especially when I would come back home from school as a child. However, over the years I have always kept relevant to what’s out there in Indian music but not forgetting my roots that stem from Indian classical instrumental music. Music is something that ran in my bloodline for generations. It is my nature from birth.

How does it feel being born in South Africa and having your music mostly aired in India?

Actually, this came as a surprise to me! However, we need to accept the time we live in. With the internet, streaming platforms and social media being so aggressive throughout the World, you will have a better opportunity of being heard, noticed and appreciated by audiences larger than you would have expected. In instances like this you realize that you are not just born into a Country, rather you are born into this World.

However, I have received information of my music gaining traction in South Africa via a Spotify, Instagram and YouTube Music and will be aired in SA soon, according to the legal and marketing team of La Prestige Record/Publishing Label. In saying this I appreciate what India has done for my royalty paying exposure and in featuring my song on their radio stations with large audiences. I also appreciate the streaming from various other areas with significant audiences such as Istanbul, UAE, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Spain, Australia and a few other areas within Europe.

Are there negative exploitation instances within the Indian music space in South Africa and are there Industrial regulatory authorities who can protect Indian Artists like yourself?

Yes most definitely. Exploitation in a negative manner will always be there and at one stage in my life I was being mislead into this by people who claim to be “the industry.” When you look deeper into who they are you realize very quickly that they are not registered with any regulatory authority and you have been mislead completely. However, I am a registered Artist / Performer, and I am protected by the regulators and Publisher.

There are so many talented Indian musicians in South Africa that are capable of producing amazing Indian music in various genres but don’t have the guidance on how to be a part of an industry which goes beyond South Africa in terms of legitimate promotion and the correct exposure to the rest of the World. However, the majority of them are not registered with the necessary regulatory authorities and have been subject to negative exploitation in the name of “promotion” and “exposure”. This is something that has been a global reality for decades actually. There is a serious lack of Industry guidance for Indian musicians within the Indian music space in SA.

However, I knew that if I wanted to contribute to the real Industry of music and represent SA Indian music to the World then I would have to be a registered Artist with all authorities based on the laws of SA. The regulatory authority who is in charge of protecting Artist’s rights are known as SAMRO (Southern African Music Rights Organisation). If you are an Artist, a Singer, a Composer, a Lyricist or a Publisher, you should be Registered with the regulator. If you have not released an Original song then you should at least register for performing rights in order to profit from performing other Artist’s songs or music. This is the correct way to begin showcasing yourself. When you say you are a part of an industry there are regulations to follow and to respect at all times. This should be taken seriously.

Darren Reddy

How has music impacted your life over the years?

Music has been the foundation of my creativity, focus, discipline and my analytical development as a person. I was always amused by the fundamentals of music and how something such as music is created out of pure nothingness into something. Music is the divine for me and for many other Artists out there. Music is something that takes no credit but has been there for us as people through our good and bad times, even from the moment we are born until the time we perish. In saying this, music still lives on. Many great Musicians have perished but through their music they are very much still alive and respected. Music is also something very spiritual for me whereby I can allow myself to transcend into a space where time is irrelevant, hunger is not a problem, and whereby ecstatic blissfulness is attained. Music means much more to me than just the songs I sing. It’s truly been an expression of the divine in many ways for me thus far.

How did it feel recording your Debut Single DIL DENA in a studio that one of your many idols have recorded in?

It was amazing! I remember seeing many of my idols recording in these studios in Mumbai, India and when I had walked into the studio recording booth I was mesmerized by the fact that legends were standing exactly where I was standing and singing. As a child growing up in music, you are influenced and aspire to experience the life paths of legendary Artist’s you grow up listening to. Very rarely do you actually follow a footpath of these great Artists. Today I can say that it was a life goal achievement. Recording DIL DENA with my team of amazing producers and lyricists was a life experience I will never forget. I have some footage of the making of DIL DENA that will be released soon.

Many want to know if you will be releasing more songs?

I will be releasing more songs soon. I have had good feedback from the record label and I have been approached by many who want me to actually sing their own songs. So I am busy with production with my team and soon there will be more songs available and distributed Worldwide. I will be keeping my music relevant to market demand based on my audiences.

Tell us more about DIL DENA and the creation of this Single?

DIL DENA is a Punjabi POP Single and was finalized and released by La Prestige Record and Publishing Label based in South Africa. However, the production team were India based and produce music for Netflix film Series. DIL DENA is a love song that goes on expressing a Man’s infatuation for the most beautiful Woman of his dreams through the Lyrics. What’s interesting about DIL DENA is that the mood in which I set in the recording was felt by many who don’t understand the lyrics. This was proof that music is a universal language. I have had many people from various countries who love the song due to its beat and feel that I gave to the song.

What I have attained from DIL DENA is that people listen to music to feel something and if you can make your audience transcend through feeling they will automatically be in tune with your music as music is a universal language. I think the overall production of DIL DENA was done on a commendable international standard and I am focused on learning and improving myself at all times. I constantly compete against myself to better myself.

We see that DIL DENA has made a very widespread impact and we have noticed many press releases already since the launch of the song.  Why do you think it has captivated people from countries who don’t speak Punjabi?

As I have said, music is a universal language. People don’t listen to a song over and over for no reason. People listen to a song repetitively because they can connect and feel something relevant to them. In remember 2011 I had performed in Durban, South Africa, a visually impaired person said to me that they really enjoyed my performance. It was a lady and she expressed that despite not being able to see but what she had felt had made the picture of the performance clear to her. Similarly to myself and many other singers and musicians out there, we tend to close our eyes while performing because of what we feel. This is the emotional connection I resonate through my music. In simple terms I would say that the language of the song was just the barrier but the music and emotion I put into the song transcended those barriers and this is why many didn’t need to know the language to enjoy DIL DENA as well as my future songs.

Darren Reddy

Besides music, what else do you do?

Other than music I am involved in Agriculture as I have been born and brought up on a commercial farm. My family have been involved in Agriculture for generations, even before my forefathers were brought to work in South Africa over a century ago. Agriculture is something deeply rooted in my bloodline. I have other businesses that I am involved in that take up most of my time. Due to my agricultural environment, this gave me tranquillity to focus better on my music therefore agriculture is my lifestyle today.

What message do you have for upcoming Indian musicians all over the World ?

I don’t have specific advice to give. I am not perfect. I also make mistakes and learn from them like any other musician/singer. However, what I can say is that musicians must stay relevant to the time but also keep your foundation strong. Never compete against another. Constantly focus on yourself. Rather compete with yourself. You don’t need to prove yourself nor do you have to prove a point to anybody out there. Never conform to something that’s actually not really you just for the sake of promotion and exposure. All you need to do is prove a point to yourself and never stop being your biggest competitor. 10% is the talent and the 90% is how hard you work to bring out the Artist within you.

Artist Links:

Instagram: @mrdreddy

Spotify: Darren Reddy

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