Kissmet is an East West band that combines Bhangra (traditional Punjabi folk songs from Northern India) with Rock and classical Indian Raags to create a truly unique blend of Anglo Indian music. Fronted by two UK born Sikh brothers, Kissmet develops a safe platform for all people to walk upon, regardless of creed, colour or religion. They have performed at over 200 International festivals including The Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia (voted one of the Top 25 Festivals on the Planet), Glastonbury (the UK's largest festival), The Edinburgh Hogmanay (Europe's largest New Year's Eve celebrations), The Ollinkan World Music Festival in Mexico, Ireland's Festival of World Cultures, The World Village Festival in Finland, The Orange World Music Festival in Poland, The Electric Picnic (Ireland), Summer Sundae (UK), Cardiff Castle (Wales), Edinburgh Castle, Kelso Castle (Scotland) and many others. They have shared main stages with Kaiser Chiefs, Duffy, Ms Dynamite, Afrocelt Soundsystem, Transglobal Underground, Asian Dub Foundation, The Doves, The Dhol Foundation, Baka Beyond, Oojami and many others.
In the beginning was the word...
Brothers Ron and Buzz Singh originated Kissmet in the latter part of the 20th century. Two UK born Sikh brothers, they had a strong allegiance to Bhangra but their eyes were looking further than that single shored horizon, across the seas to a new coast as yet not ventured to. Taking the passion and energy they grew up with in the UK Bhangra scene of the 90’s, they started fusing Punjabi and English lyrics together, as well as Bhangra and Rock. Ron said, “We were lucky to grow up in a completely multicultural part of the city. There were all sorts of ethnic minorities there and everyone lived together in a friendly, peaceful manner. Our Dad and Uncle ran the local Indian cinema and our early years were spent gazing upon the classic Indian films, true timepieces of film history, well before the commercial, glitzy Bollywood scene we see today. Films like Mother India, Heer Raanjha and Madhumati were our staple diet. Also, at home, we were listening to Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshka, Surinder and Prakash Kaur and the cream of Hindi and Punjabi music making its way from India to the UK. However, when we went to school, we were the only Indians in a school of over 1000 students so we were suddenly introduced to the Western musical scene. We kept listening to our Indian music at home but at school, we were finding out about Genesis, The Police, The Stranglers, Led Zeppelin and The Clash. As children, you don’t realise you’re taking in all these musical forms and languages, you just know that good music is good music, regardless of its origin. Then, during our teenage years, we started performing as musicians in a Bhangra band which was signed to BMG. That was an amazing time in our lives but we knew we could do so much more so we started writing our own jazzy, hiphop type material, using English and Punjabi. We recorded some material and the reaction we received was really positive so we put a band together. We already knew that we wanted to rock things out so we started working with a cracking drummer (Thorin Dixon) and bass player (Marc Knight) and I called my old friend in on guitar (John Neville). Instantly, we knew we were onto something completely new and fresh. The English guys were bringing in their rock elements and Buzz and I (and now Max, our older brother, on Tabla) brought in our Bhangra vibe. It was amazing!
Buzz and I had a pretty clear vision of where we were taking the band but we were still experimenting with the overall sound. We knew though that we’d found a formula that worked and it worked well. Bhangra is such a powerful musical form; it’s loud, it’s proud and it’s just made for people to dance to. Similarly, rock is just as loud and proud and it will move the souls of people with the hardest stone for a heart. Put the two together and it’s awesome.
Several years on and the band is going from strength to strength. They have now played all the major festivals in the UK and seen them travel to Mexico, Malaysia, Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Azores, Norway, Finland, Goa, Ukraine, Poland, Eire as well as continuing their journey across the UK.
2018 will prove to be even bigger and, with a new album coming out (entitled "One People") the band have set their sights on tours of Asia, Europe and the Americas.
“The world is catching up with us and we’re flying now. Keep up, if you can…”