music
Bigg Boss

How a journey from reality TV to becoming a favourite of Zayn Malik has left Shide Boss on top of the world. Interview by Sonia Ahmed. 

Posted: 02.09.13

How does it feel to be star of reality TV?
The only reason I did the Hollyoaks contest was because I thought its no where near as big as The X Factor and they don’t manufacture you. I wouldn’t want to go through the whole route of being manufactured. But I do think it’s amazing for some people; look at One Direction, the biggest boy band in the world.

How’s the journey been so far since the release of Ni Sohniye?
It’s been cool, hectic, up and down though, as a person I haven’t changed much, I’m still quite a low key kind of person and I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs. The only difference is that more people know me more now; I can’t really go to an Asian area without being noticed. It’s weird because I don’t feel like I’m that sort of guy. If I know there are loads of Asian people somewhere, I won’t go there!

You don’t seem the shy type.
I’m shy in general, but performance and music wise it’s different.
You’re talents seem to be improving, it’s not just singing but song writing too…
I have just written a song for a girl called Amrit Maghera she is model and appears in MTV advert. She’s also being hotly tipped and supported by Shah Rukh Khan.

Girls seem to be a hot topic in your songs, do you draw from your experiences?
Everybody asks me that, but if I’m really honest no, I have got a couple of songs about love but I haven’t been in love so I can’t say it’s true. My mixtape is more like me, being real from the beginning to the end but obviously in music there are certain things that are exaggerated.

Why are you still single? Are you married to your music?
That is still kind of true! I just don’t really want to be with anyone at the moment. I like someone I would see her and stuff but I don’t think I’m in the right place to be serious, I’m still young.

Would you date a fan?
No! I find it off putting – there are some great looking people in the music industry so I can understand it. Gary Sandhu is good looking and I think Imran Khan has great swagger about him. Women wise there are less in the industry but thankfully they are increasing. It’s important to be with someone who understand the demands of your work.

We heard that Zayn Malik’s sister is your fan!
She is a big fan! One day I woke up one morning and I had like 40 tweets with this one girl’s name - Donia Malik and it was weird because it wasn’t all from her, they were like follow this girl. I clicked on her and she had 190 followers, so I gave her a message and then she was just tweeting me like mad. Then Zayn tweeted me and in those three hours I had 5000 followers.

What are you looking for in a woman? Who do you admire?
Jessica Alba in Honey - her character, look and everything. The way she is, is the way I like girls. Although I like all types of different girls too. I could find good things in anyone but I don’t like my girls slim as Jessica, more meaty. I like girls who go out of their way for me, and really sweet, sweet girls. I don’t like them too be out there too much. I’m not a wine and diner, I’m cheeky and I’m very blunt and I get away with a lot, but I like them to have naughty side…just for me.

You say you have been inspired by the greats. Who are some of your current icons in the charts these days?
I would say Naughty Boy. I’ve worked with him on two tracks and it was amazing. How I wrote with him was so different to how I normally write and that was because of the way he pushes you. He’s such an inspiration - he was from Watford, delivering pizzas four years ago to now he is a millionaire and working with Britney Spears. I also like Emeli Sande and the atmosphere she creates.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
From the ages of 12-15 I wanted to be a footballer. I still do but obviously I’m not good enough or fit enough to be. That would be the best job you can ever get in the world, to be paid to play for your team every weekend - amazing. Second is acting, after music, I would love to succeed to acting.

You won best newcomer at AMA’s in 2012 and have reached 1 million you tube views for Ni Sohniye...did you ever expect that?
I think I deserved it because I didn’t think anyone else is like me. I get annoyed being compared to new artists as when I sing live in front of anyone I’m good but I don’t feel that with a lot of these new comers.

What can we look forward to next?
The mixtape I’v been working on for a year and a half is ready and hopefully there are some treats in the pipeline for October and November. Waiting is the song I have ever done but I have a fear that good artists go to waste in the UK as they don’t get the push that they deserve. Simon Cowell called us for a meeting but otherwise without big name support you need to go abroad so I’m not ruling that out.

Tell us about your starring role on Amar, Akbar, Anthony.
I’ve always wanted to act. I joined an agent about two weeks before it happened and then, Amar Akar and Tony came up. I only wanted to be in a film that was good, I would never be in anything that looks cheap! I play Akbar’s cheeky younger brother Nadeem. I found it amazing, it was a challenge as I had to change my accent because its set in London but I didn’t find it hard because everyone around me was an experienced actor and everyone made me feel welcome. I made some good friends like Goldy Notay. The script is amazing - I think its going to be a brilliant film the next Bend it like Beckham.

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