|Well before his teens, he had a dream to be a musician. He hailed from a family of teachers, who expected him to follow suite. But as they say Dreamers Get By, Tinku, our column guest for this month, pursued his path to be a musician inspite of the obstacles that came his way.
Recently we had the opportunity to witness his talent at Basement Bar in Sydney, where his band lunched their first album, Superman, on the 22nd of May.
Tinku started playing and composing music from teenage years mixing Indian melodies with Western music.
It was only a few years ago when he finally gathered some great musicians who could very well play this 'hybrid' Indo-Australian mix of music with smooth transition.
His music evolved beautifully overtime as an integration of the Western and the Indian mix.
The band is touring heavily everywhere in Australia. Radio stations, such as, Nova and JJJ have already embraced their first album, Superman, with great appreciation. There will be a follow up album released in August called 'Full Circle'. Tinku has carefully selected his band members who are not only specialists in their own talents but share the same dream of amalgamating fine quality Eastern with Western music. His band members are: Gurjit Singh, Larry Hoofs, Gregg Kett and Rod Parry.
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We are honoured to introduce to you Tinku, talented singer, songwriter, bass player and an emerging star!
Questions on your background:
1) Tell us about your childhood; which city you were born and raised in.
I was raised in Punjab in a city close to the Pakistan border called Faridkot. The city is named after a famous sage called 'Baba Farid'. It was a great childhood living with the extended family and frolicking around the ancient city. I come from a family of teachers - my grandfather, grandmother, mother, father are all teachers. So you can imagine education was seen as key to success!
2) When did you come to Australia and how.
My parents migrated to Australia in the 70s. They came here as teachers post 'white Australia policy'. So in my teenage years, Australia was not the melting pot of cultures and varied ethnicities it is now. It was very much 'wasp' mono-cultural place - so fitting in was the key. You aspired to sound Australian, look Australian etc.. It was not until my early twenties that I realised what it meant to have the Indian culture and heritage as the backdrop to the totality of my being. (sounds a bit heavy…perhaps I have expressed this too deeply - leave it to you but essentially I mean I got over the cultural cringe of being an Indian and embraced it fully)
3) Did you always had a childhood aspiration to be an artist or did the
circumstances lead you to this path.
I always wanted to be a musician and picked up the guitar and singing pre-teens. But you know what its like with Indian parents who want you to have financial security above all else - especially for the first generation for whom they believe they left their homeland for…so I was pushed to do tertiary studies - which I did of course…
Questions on Music:
1) Did you have any formal training in any particular instrument or in
I have had formal training in both the Bass Guitar and singing.
2) How did you form your band? How did you meet your band members and when.
The whole band has evolved really - some members came through word of mouth others via professional musicians' publications. This line up with the exception of the sarode player has been together now for almost three years. Over this time the two diverse styles of music have come together beautifully.
3) What difficulties did you have to face in carving out your dream.
This is one of the toughest industries anyone can ever take on! Be prepared for the disappointments along with the amazing highs. Our music is so different people do not how to categorise it, who to put on the bill with us etc. Of course there are the financial considerations - unless you are signed by a major label (which we are not) be prepared to fund everything your self! This invariably means doing other jobs to fund your dream. All artists have to do it - actors, painters, writers you name it…its just the way it is.
4) Any inspirational message you would like to give to the aspiring young
Perseverance and tough skin are a must! Its like when you are a child and when you fall over either you can stay down and wait for some-one to come along and nurture you, help you or you get up, brush the dirt off your clothes and start again. You have to be able to do the latter - you must be able to take the hits and move on - never losing sight of your vision and dreams.
5) Tell us about your performances and achievements in music till date.
We are finally gaining some recognition. The touring and gigging we have done over the past three years is starting to pay-off. We had a great gig at The basement the other night and are off to Melbourne and Canberra this week followed by Newcastle next week. The end of the month has us touring along the Eastern seaboard finishing up in Brisbane and then back down to Byron Bay.
1) What other hobbies do you have
Keeping fit is quite essential so I have quite a solid training regime - weights/running and controlled diet etc.
2) Is music your full time occupation or is this part of your hobby
Music is now full time.