Direct from the UK it's Chardanai

By :- tiffcho


POSH: As an artist how would you describe yourself?

Chardanai: I would describe myself as versatile, creative and unique.

POSH: When did you first discover that this is the career that you wanted?

Chardanai:  I realised from a young age possibly aged 7 that music was for me, I've always enjoyed good music and grew up with it all around me. My parents encouraged me to learn how to play various instruments and I would sing till my heart was content. So it has been a major part of my life for many years.

POSH: At what age did you start writing and producing your own songs? ... so how long have you been in the business?

Chardanai: From the age of 5 I got a violin and started having lessons. I also started  writing poetry based on anything I’d see around me. By the age of 8, I was creating basic songs on the piano and singing the poems I’d written - making them into short songs.

On a more professional level I’ve been making & producing Soca Music since the age of 18.  My first track to be officially released was called "Spread Love" and featured UK artist Soca Jonny. It was released in 2007

POSH:You have a very diverse background. Why soca music? Or is your music style diversed as well?

Chardanai:My background is quite diverse as my maternal grandmother is Barbadian and maternal grandfather is from St Lucia.  Both my paternal grandparents were Nigerian, and my British born parents being  proud of their heritage have instilled that in all their children. Born and raised in the heart of Notting Hill, London - the UK's carnival capital -  every year I’d take part in the Annual Notting Hill Carnival and started attending various Soca fetes

For me, Soca music has a real earthy and authentic vibe that is undeniable. I found it so addictive and that’s how I became hooked!  Aside from Soca I also sing and produce R’n’B, Soulful Reggae and Gospel and I love it.

 POSH:Tell me about the first song you ever did?

Chardanai:The first song I ever produced and recorded in a studio was called "It's Freaky" and it was about being in a creepy house, I think I was about 12 at the time.

POSH: Can you describe the process of turning a song you wrote down into a fully produced and mastered song? Do you have a lot of input?

Chardanai:With all of my songs I have most input, I usually know how I want the song to sound in its entirety as soon as I have the melody.

Usually I start by producing the beat ‘riddim’ or song, then I either freestyle to pick up a vibe or when lyrics come to my head I just start writing. The vocals are then recorded before I then work on the arrangement, which can be anything from the harmonies to instrumentation. Once that is done (I am happy with the results) I then either mix it myself or take it to my main studio guy to get mixed and mastered.  Then we ‘clean’ it all up, while keeping the original elements and……Voila the song is done. :)

POSH:What is the music scene like in the UK? Do you see yourself breaking out big outside of the UK first or in the UK?

Chardanai:The music scene in the UK is definitely picking up.  I think 2010 has been the best year to date with more and more artists having hot tracks.  I have quite a following in and around northern continental Europe (Scandanavia), which is pleasing as I’m (and always have been) UK-based.  That said I would hope to see myself breaking out big on both the UK and the International scene as I have faith in my ability to make good music and I believe that’s what it’s all about.

POSH:What have been your greatest lessons thus far? And what would you say keeps you going?

Chardanai:My greatest lesson musically has been accepting that although sometimes people wish for you to fail, it is important to have good self belief - not to a level of arrogance, but to a level where you are confident, with the right amount of humility.

POSH:You mentioned to me recently that your working on losing some weight. Why is this important to you?

Chardanai: I've always been a biggish girl since I was young. As the years have past the pounds have slowly crept on.  It’s now time to rip these off and get fitter. As we all know it is very important to be healthy in general, but I also want to lower the risk of ailments that have afflicted older members of my family.  Have you ever felt that you were judged more on your size or appearances rather than on your talent?

I think that for more mainstream music (a.k.a Pop music), you are definitely judged more on image than actual talent. With Soca music, although looking good is essential, you have more scope to be more ‘real’, ‘natural’.  So whether you are big, small, tall , short, the one thing I love about Soca music especially is that all shapes and sizes are celebrated.

POSH: Life can be full of negative vibes and the entertainment world has no exception. What would you say was the worse experience you've had and how did you handle it?

Chardanai:My worst experience was when I first started sending my music out to DJ’s and was being constantly told to make my music sound like other artists, or that I should sing like other artists.  As an artist and musician I felt my influences were different and found it impossible to sound like anyone else...

This is where friends and family are important as they kept me motivated to believe in my own unique sound which evidence suggested people seemed to really enjoy.  I am so glad that I stuck to my guns on this one. Believe me

POSH: Despite any negative that you've experienced. What have your successes been?

Chardanai:Oh I give big thanks to God for all my achievements to date.  Significant high points for me have been being nominated and then winning the award of Best UK Soca artist for 2008. I have been shortlisted amongst nominations every year since which is pleasing. I’m also very proud of my nomination as Best Female Newcomer 2009 at the International Soca Music Awards – the first and only female UK artist to have achieved this.

From a performance point of view – the highpoints have been performing at Brewsters road 24 hour fete Barbados Cropover and the Mosquito event in Stockholm, Sweden – both in 2009.

A recent notable achievement for me was the ‘LIME Blackberry remix’ of my 2010 track, ‘Blackberry Pin’ which was recorded for LIME (the Caribbean's leading communications company) in the British Virgin Island (BVI). I was commissioned by them to create a version of my Blackbery Pin track to promote their LIME Blackberry service.  This gave me the opportunity to go to Tortola, BVI and perform the track live over there.  It was a truly amazing  and memorable experience.

 POSH:Who do you credit for the success that you've had thus far?

Chardanai: I credit my success to God, to my immensely supportive parents, family and friends.  I would also credit my grandmother who passed away in 1993. I really do believe she is always looking out for me and will continue to do so.

 POSH:What advice would you give to another young artist like yourself?

Chardanai:To other young artists I would say first and foremost it is important to keep your feet on the floor, remain humble and be receptive to constructive criticism.  Although you may feel that you always know what you believe in, be willing to listen to others.  That is one of best ways to learn.

POSH:What is next for Chardanai?


Well I’m hoping the new-look for Chardanai will be in full effect before the end of the year. 

I’m working on two riddim projects for later this year and also want to expand into producing for other artists.

You should also see an Album and EP edition of my music. Also keep your eyes and ears peeled for some exciting collaborations. Can’t say too much but it should be a good year.

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