When the music ‘Unsick’ started being composed and finalised, all of the collaborators — rapper Tyla Yaweh, lyric-writer and composer Kid Heat and the two-member staff of Almost Famous had recognized one another only for every week. They have been informal acquaintances who have been hanging out in a membership, speaking about music however they ended up releasing a single.
“It happened because of him, “ says Simarjeet Saini of Almost Famous pointing to Kid Heat. “We had not planned it, we were just chilling in a club and exchanging notes on each other’s works, showing what we produced and Tyla was showing his unreleased work. As we started jamming, Kid Heat wrote the lyrics and Tyla went inside the studio and finished the track in 20 minutes. We thought we’d do one song but ended up having three tracks. It happened organically.”
‘Unsick’ is a high-octane hip-hop observe with catchy beats and lyrics with intermittent use of conventional Indian devices. The ‘genre-neutral’ music has a few strains in Punjabi that Tyla has rendered effortlessly. On tour in India for a month, Tyla and Kid Heat admit to savouring the expertise. “I don’t want to leave yet. Every day is new and I am taking in every second. When we arrived, it was a huge culture shock. I didn’t even expect people here to know who I was. There were so many people around. The food, the love and respect we are getting here is amazing, “ says the rapper who has worked with Post Malone and Chris Brown.
Kid Heat, who has written for artists like Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Lil Wayne and Cardi B is instrumental in putting this collaboration together. “I have travelled to many places in the world and culturally, I find this the best country I have ever been to. I have met great people and a variety of food, Simarjeet has been taking me to every single place. I didn’t know there are several languages in India. and he told me there are as many languages as there are many foods. I’ve learnt so much since I have been here. I am a person who appreciates different cultures and races so I am happy I came and experienced it all.
Team of two
“Los Angeles-based music producer duo of Indian descent Rishab Sadarangani and Simarjeet Saini met at a club in Mumbai. Says Rishab, “I moved from Pune to Mumbai and was pursuing music as a DJ when I met Simarjeet. Since our common interest was music we have decided to get to the studios.” Adds Simarjeet, “We felt it’s the right time to take our music and our instruments to international podiums. Indians have shone in the fields of medicine, engineering and science, we felt we should contribute to the field of music too.
Almost Famous performed at major festivals like Time Out 72 and EVC in India, apart from opening for a few global acts. Before ‘Unsick’ was released they came out with ‘Breakout’ in collaboration with Soulja Boy in 2019 followed by their debut EP ‘Lost Boy Journey’ in 2021 and ‘Cash Machine’ in collaboration with YOUNG Paris in 2022.
“Explaining why they call themselves Almost Famous, Simarjeet says, “It implies that there is no saturating point. If you are famous, you tend to sit back in satisfaction. Life is not about stopping hard work. We consider music is all about healing and giving joy and hence a continuing process.”
Forum for buddies
AF & Friends is a novel music venture of Almost Famous that was launched lately to foster cultural trade between India and the United States. “We bring Hollywood friends to India and Indian friends to Hollywood to create a cross-platform for both worlds to connect. This platform is not to make money, not for concerts, selling tables and tickets but to initiate an organic growth of the artistes and the country.”
Thanking Almost Famous for giving him the India publicity, Tyla excitedly remembers an Indian wedding ceremony he attended. “There was so much music and dance that reminded me of the culture of Africa where I come from; dancing at celebrations is part of our lifestyle too. Some of the Punjabi music I heard inspired me to go back to the studio and use some of its elements,” says Tyla who says that music runs within the household. “We were inspired by music from a young age. I listen to all kinds of music – rock, R&B, and Gospel, my sister is part of a girl band. Music was meant to be and was my calling, So when I see these cultures I take inspiration. God has blessed me with energy so that I can spread positivity and like my name ‘Yaweh’, I want to give something fresh and new to the world.”
On their return to the US, the 4 artistes will become involved in a novel venture; they plan to close themselves inside a studio for 12 hours, compose and file as many tracks as they will and launch an album and name it 12.