In an era of generic urban music, Mumzy Stranger is set to blast onto the UK scene with a style that is entirely his own. Raised in Plaistow by Bengali parents, Mumzy’s music blends the bhangra and Bollywood beats of his childhood with the New Jack Swing riffs and reggae-inspired rhythms of his teenage years.
Mumzy, who is with Rishi Rich’s Tiffin Beats label, released his latest single called “Fly With Me” a few days ago and is looking forward to make an immediate impact in the charts!
I had the opportunity to interview Mumzy on is latest single and a few other interesting topics. Enjoy the interview…
Chris: Mumzy, you are one of the most popular mainstream artists coming from a Desi background and you released your latest single called “Fly With Me” a few days ago. Please tell me more about your latest single! Who wrote the song and what is it about?
Mumzy Stranger: I wrote and produced the song myself and wanted to write about escaping from your problems which is where the title came ‘FLY WITH ME’. Most of the songs I write are based more on reality but this song just came from pure imagination!
Chris: What are your expectations for your latest single? Have you set any personal goals or targets that you’d like to see achieved with “Fly With Me”?
Mumzy Stranger: I try not to have any expectations when I release a single, I just hope for the best. With my ‘Fly With Me’ single I would love to see it do well. I have so many supporters and really need everyone to get behind the single to make it a success!
Chris: Your songs have always a special style and there’s also a certain Desi influence. But “Fly With Me” seems to be more ‘westernised’? Is it part of your strategy to catch the interest of more people outside the Desi communities?
Mumzy Stranger: When I first started out in music I was more into Reggae and RnB. It was when I met Rishi that he introduced me to the Desi scene so I started to tailor my music more towards an Asian audience. But yes I do think that in order to catch the interest and attention of a wider audience that a change in directions of music was needed again now to go towards more of a mainstream audience.
Chris: You featured recently in singles of fellow artists Tasha Tah, Preeya Kalidas and few others? Please tell me more about these collaborations and your personal motivation to join these fellow artists… Those songs were really good!
Mumzy Stranger: Thank you! It was great collaborating with different artists, each of them had a very different sound and vibe. When I worked with Preeya Kalidas we got to perform on many mainstream shows including BBC’s National lottery which was one of the highlights of my year!
Chris: Your talent as a singer/songwriter was spotted by well-known producer Rishi Rich! How did things kick-off for you? Where and how did Rishi find out about you and your exceptional talent?
Mumzy Stranger: I met Rishi a few years back at a competition BBC Asian Network Unsung competition. I reached the finals of the competition which was where I met Rishi as he was one of the judges. He liked my vibe and saw potential in me and took me on!
Chris: Your real name is Mumith Ahmed, but you decided to use a artist name, while taking up your professional music career. ‘Mumzy Stranger’ was your choice! But why did you call yourself ‘Mumzy Stranger’? Is there any special story behind the name?
Mumzy Stranger: Well I needed a name that was easier to rhyme with. I decided to keep the ‘Mum’ part of my name and added ‘zy’ to make it easier to rhyme into my songs. As for ‘stranger’ when I was growing up and trying to get into the music scene it was really hard as a Bengali muslim to get support. I used to go to so many gigs and always felt like an outsider aka ‘a stranger’.
Chris: Which music genre would you classify your style of music as being in?
Mumzy Stranger: I like to consider myself as a soulful, RnB, Bashment artist!
Chris: Were there any particular singers you looked up or still do for inspiration?
Mumzy Stranger: There are so many! But Michael Jackson is my number one inspiration!
Chris: When did you get interested in music? Were there any influences from your family to start singing?
Mumzy Stranger: I became interested in music from a very young age but it wasn’t until my early teens that I started singing and battling in under grime clubs. At the time it was difficult to get support and no one really understood my passion for music, it was my mum that really inspired me to go after my dreams.
Chris: You performed at melas and club nights in the early beginnings, while producing music out of a secret bedroom studio. Tell me about the experiences you made during that time and the impact on your further progress as a singer…
Mumzy Stranger: It was hard being accepted as singer who was Bengali. I used to go and queue outside different undergrime clubs late at night hoping for a chance to perform. My mum was really supportive and helped cover up for me when I used to sneak out late at night. It was a difficult time but worth it when I used to get given a chance to perform.
Chris: So would you say that performing at melas and club nights are the ideal platform to kick-start a professional music career?
Mumzy Stranger: I’m not sure I would say its ideal but for me it made me appreciate all the gigs I do today. I used to have to queue for hours to be even given a chance to perform, so if it wasn’t for all those experiences I wouldn’t be so grateful for the amount of bookings I get today.
Chris: What music do you listen to in private? Do you have any favourite artists or music genres?
Mumzy Stranger: I listen to all genre’s of music, some favourite artists of mine include Michael Jackson & Usher!
Chris: Please tell us more about your other hobbies and interest! What things do you do to relax?
Mumzy Stranger: I love too cook whenever I get the chance!
Chris: Do you have any passions besides music? Any sports you love to do/follow?
Mumzy Stranger: At the moment I don’t have time to follow sports but I do like to watch football & boxing when I get the chance!
Chris: Finally I would like to give you a chance to send out a message to everyone reading this interview!
Mumzy Stranger: Thank you to all my fans for showing me so much love and support! Please keep showing your support but buying a copy of my new single ‘Fly With Me’ from iTunes! It’s all down to you guys!