“People’s tastes in music change as their lives go on, and I feel that as an artist it is about recognizing that change and following suit. To be relevant, you need to relate to the people who will be listening to your music.”
Harj Nagra, a music artist and actor in the Punjabi cinema industry, has been blessed with many great experiences and opportunities that have paved the path for his flourishing career in the business. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Harj started to make music when he was just 17 years old. He would spend hours after school learning music programs, instruments, and creating beats on the computer.
Travelling back and forth from the United Kingdom and Vancouver, Harj would spend summers in the studio in UK, and would accompany artists to many shows, including Jazzy B and Sukhshinder Shinda, whom Harj considers his mentors. “I have always looked up to them as mentors. Over the years I have learned a lot from them during my music career, and still continue to do so. They have been a pivotal foundation and inspiration in my career.”
Harj believes that music is about being open to change and evolves with the audience. “People’s tastes in music change as their lives go on, and I feel that as an artist it is about recognizing that change and following suit. To be relevant, you need to relate to the people who will be listening to your music.” Keeping this in mind, this talented music producer has never ceased to grasp opportunities available to him; he is proud to say that he does not limit who he works with or which genre he targets in music. This has allowed Harj to grow as a music producer, and his versatility shows through many of his past projects, including the hit song ‘Range Rover’. When asked, he admits that the success of ‘Range Rover’ built up the pressure to create an equally great follow-up song, but Benny Dhaliwal (featured artist in ‘Range Rover’) and Harj were mindful of the changes needed to continue to improve on their music. This led them to creating ‘Range Wala Jatt’, a “part-two” of the dance-floor hit ‘Range Rover’. “The release of ‘Range Wala Jatt’ song required a lot of planning and discussion. With the re-emergence of duets being our main focal point to the song, we wanted to deliver what the audience wanted to hear,” shares Harj.
The music producer believes that it is important to be original and to create your own identity through your music, rather than simply replicating what is already being done. With the understanding that new artists are constantly developing and changing the vibe of music along the way, Harj is able to embrace this exciting time and expand his involvement in diverse ways. For instance, he had the opportunity to act in a hit Punjabi film, Love Punjab, with Amrinder Gill, marking his debut as an actor. This opportunity allowed Harj to explore a new passion, and he hopes to continue to make his mark in upcoming movies.
Harj excitedly shares that he has launched his own record label – Hitman Records. The company is receiving great feedback and interest from artists wanting to collaborate with Hitman Records. “This is another step to take my music further and work with both new and established artists,” adds the founder.
When asked about his advice to budding artists and youth who are also considering a career in the music or film industry, Harj says, “Passion is what feeds the soul. If you are passionate about anything, not just music, don’t give up on making that your living reality. If music is your purpose, as it is mine, start somewhere, even if you don’t have all the tools or connections. It will all start to come together with time and your willingness to take on any opportunity.”