Jasmine: What inspired all of you to start doing music?
Kamran Khurshid – I have been singing professionally for the last 9 years now and happen to be India’s first Karaoke World Champion in 2011. I have been performing since my school days and my biggest inspiration behind this boyband has to be my all-time fav The Backstreet Boys as I grew up listening to them and always wishing to do something as cool as that. I use to be more of a dancer but eventually caught the singing bug and never looked back since. Also my father happens to be a musician himself so it runs in the blood.
Faizan Khurshid– I happen to be world’s youngest Karaoke World Champion in 2012 and also Kamran’s brother. We basically listened to the same kind of music from a very young age and similar to him I loved the idea of being a part of a boyband since we could do so much more than just singing on stage. The whole idea of dancing and performing and experimenting with music is totally amazing to me.
Joydeep Banerjee – I have always loved singing and dancing. Took part in various college and school competitions and won so many that I finally decided I should take my music to the next level and here I am now, a part of India’s one and only boyband. Being on stage is what I love and I am glad I get do that now with VOICEZ.
Shantam Kar – I’ve been singing since a very early age too and have always been into music and performance. Being a 90’s kid I grew up listening to lots of boyband music and the whole idea about it seemed pretty cool to me and it was just a matter of time that I took to it seriously. I had already lent my voice to some independent projects as well before joining VOICEZ.
Jasmine: Where did you all meet?
Shantam and Faizan met each other at a college competition where Faizan heard him sing and immediately invited him to come over to his place where he met Kamran and they jammed together. Joydeep was Faizan’s college junior and once we 3 had met it was very easy to have Joydeep join us and complete the quartet. We started practicing at my (Kamran’s ) place since then.
Jasmine: Where did you guys come up with the name “VOICEZ”
VOICEZ was the first name I (Kamran) suggested when we first came up with the band and was the last one to be picked. We had multiple options and we were fighting hard to sound unique and cool both at the same time. We had a few names like EpiK, Funk You, and a few others but nothing clicked for me. I kept saying it has to be something that we as well as our audience can relate with. It had to represent who we were and what we were. Our voices were the biggest reason why we came together and any other name just kept feeling too forced. Besides we are just 4 faces but there are many people behind the band who help us so our name had to represent them too. VOICEZ is something which is universal, whether we are 4 today or 5 tomorrow or 2 tomorrow we can still be VOICEZ and that’s the beauty of this name. We represent all our fans and our friends who support us and we are their voices.
Jasmine: What is your favorite thing about India?
The rich and diverse culture of this country has to be the best thing about India. The people of this country are so warm and loving like everywhere you go you feel like you are still with family. Our fans treat us so well wherever we go and love us and we love them back too. The support of people here is great. And not to forget the amazing and vast variety of food that you can only find here. From dal makhani to biryani to aloo paratha to chicken tandoori its all here baby. You definitely need to come try it.
Jasmine: What obstacles do artists from India face?
I think the biggest obstacle we face is to be taken seriously as potential international artists. Our biggest challenge is to break the glass ceiling and shatter the mindset of the global audience. There are not a lot Indian artists from India dominating world charts. It’s not that Indians cannot make great music or sing good enough but it’s just that people do not take Indian musicians seriously. There are so many talented musicians in our country trying desperately hard to break into the global music scene but somehow the producers and labels do not even give us a second glance. When was the last time a musician from India ended up on Billboard charts? I wonder if it’s the skin colour or just the country’s name. There are so many international artists today who cannot even sing one line without using auto-correct or lip sync while we struggle hard to entertain our audience with singing and dancing and striving hard to be good at both at the same time but somehow it appears that we still fall short. But we are hopeful that VOICEZ will be one of the first to make a big breakthrough from India and become a boyband as big as a One Direction or the likes.
Jasmine: What was the inspiration behind “Aint No Party”
Haha this was just a random saying that I (Kamran) started using on my social media posts after each VOICEZ concert. Eventually it started to roll off the tongue of everyone and it started growing. So one fine morning at 4am I sat down with my guitar and thought since I’m always saying it, why not sing it and make them say it too? And I ended up writing the whole song in an hour’s time. When the boys came over and I made them hear it they all loved it and gave me a nod to go ahead and finish the whole thing. We were approaching our first year anniversary around that time and we decided this song would be the best way to announce our one year of the band and say thank you to the fans. So we recorded this song and made a crazy music video to go with it and released it exactly on our first year anniversary which was 3rd Aug. The video featured unreleased footages of the band doing crazy whacky stuff and behind the scene bloopers from our earlier music videos too. The best part is we always finish our concerts with this song and it just makes sense because it’s not just a saying but it is what we do and indeed there aint’ no party like a VOICEZ party.
Jasmine: What advice do you have for 716 Live Magazine?
You guys are doing a great job by promoting fresh talents and you initiative to reach out to us all the way from the States and connect on the basis of our music speaks a lot about your team and efforts. We wish that you get a great audience for your magazine and you can reach out globally to more deserving artists and use your media to let people around the world hear them and get to know them. We wish you the entire team of 716 Live all the very best for the times ahead and here’s hoping you guys find great success with your audience. A big thanks to all of you and your readers for taking their time out for VOICEZ and letting us be heard. We really hope that you love our music and this boyband from India. Greetings of the season to all of you and your families.