Arts & Lifestyle

Access All Areas with Sahara UK

When Music Crosses All Bridges, Barriers and Borders

Access All Areas with Sahara UK

The 1947 Team catch up with Herbie and Gurps from Sahara UK after a stellar performance at most recent Coke Food & Music Festival in Islamabad.

With a career spanning over 2 decades, these humble Britsh Bhangra lads from Leeds have stood the test of time, having performed world over and played alongside the likes of; Kuldeep Manak, Surinder Shinda, RDB, Surjit Bhindrakhia, Hans Raj Hans and Himesh Reshmmiya to name a few. The brothers have even headlined events performing for over 40,000 people, including dignitaries from India and Pakistan and were once even jet-setted in for a private performance for the Prime Minister of Pakistan! So, we decided to sit down with the boys behind the music that crosses all bridges, barriers and borders.

1.    What’s the story behind the inception of Sahara UK?

Herbie: Sahara was formed in 1991 by my myself, my brother Kully and at a later date we were joined by our younger brother Gurps. Kully and I were both musicians and had played with various bands and we always wanted to form our own band which we first called ‘Panchi’. Our first album was called ‘Intemptation’ in 1993 and our record company at the time renamed us ‘Sahara’ – from here on I’ve always been known as Herbie Sahara!

2.    Out of all your albums, which one do you love the most?

Herbie: That’s a hard question to answer because each album has a special moment or place in my heart but if I really had to choose it would be songs such as ‘Soniyeh Ni Soniyeh’ from the album ‘Access All Areas’ and of course, ‘Billo Ni Tera Lal Ghagra’ from the album ‘Undisputed’ which put Sahara UK on the global map.

3.    How would you describe each other’s temperaments?

Herbie: Gurps is a very happy go lucky chap who enjoys interacting with people and loves to entertain the masses! Add a bit of energy and humour and you have the complete party-person!

Gurps: Herbie is charismatic and energetic with an easy going personality with lots of humour. Loves the bright lights and energy on stage.

4.    What sort of social impact do you think your music has?

Herbie: Uniting people around the world together through music is an amazing feeling. Regardless of colour, creed, language or religion, music has such a special bond that everyone can understand in different ways. Our songs are enjoyed not just by Punjabis but non-Punjabi speaking nations too.

5.    Having played the world over, which concert has been the most memorable?

Herbie: So many concerts have been memorable but one of my favourites was when we performed in front of around 40,000 In Lahore at the Gadaffi Stadium in 2012. The atmosphere was electric and the crowd were singing our songs back to us we could not hear ourselves due to the sheer noise and volume! It was crazy and to top it all off we were performing in front of dignitaries from India and Pakistan so something even more special and unique for us for sure!

6.    Have you ever considered collaborating with a Pakistani musician, if so, who would that be?

Gurps: There are so many great Pakistani artists out there it would be a pleasure to work with any one of them. We particularly love listening to artists such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam, so yeah doing a collaboration with these guys would be pretty cool.

7.    What do you love the most about being Punjabi?

Gurps: Were do I start with this one! Food, music, family, lifestyle, traditions, values, culture… basically just our way of life! Always being happy and positive, ready to share, care and live life with a big heart and sometimes even bigger wallets (laughs).

8.    Do you guys have a motto or tagline you’re most known for saying?

Gurps: Funny you should ask this, recently I’ve noticed Herbie always says “Hanji” when on stage and the crowd seem to enjoy saying it back to us. So now, the audience expects a “Hanji” from Herbie (laughs).

9.    In your downtime, what music genre of music do you most enjoy listening to?

Gurps: To be fair we both have different taste in music, Herbie’s a lot more traditional than me as he enjoys listening to more soulful Sufi inspired music with deep meaningful lyrics. Me on the other hand, I love my western genre of music such as RnB, Hip-Hop, Rock, Easy Listening and even a little Classical when I’m in the mood. My music playlist varies, I believe it’s always good to have an open mind and listen to different genres, you never know what might inspire you.

10.  What can your fans look forward to in 2018?

Herbie & Gurps: We are really excited about our track ‘Billo Hai’ the lead song in the Pakistani film ‘Parchi’ which is releasing worldwide on 5th January 2018. It’s the first time a UK band has collaborated with Pakistani Cinema and already the song is receiving rave reviews. It’s been titled the Shaadi song of the year and the response has been tremendous – we are very proud of the fact we are pioneers with this track! Next year we are also lining up a new tune called ‘Dhamala’ which will feature our unique sound and style.

Press play on the killer track ‘Billo Hai’ and follow the guys on @saharamusicuk for updates on upcoming gigs


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