You Can’t Beat It

DJ Rajeev B tells Sumaira Hussain about his tribute to Michael Jackson

Posted: 27.06.12

This weeks marks the 3rd anniversary of global superstar Michael Jackson’s death, how does that make you feel?
MJ is my biggest inspiration, he inspired everything I do and his original sounds helped me think outside the box to get me where I am today.
Tell us about your tribute to the great man Beat It Boliyan.
MJ has always inspired me and given me the courage to continue my musical journey. His talents and voice are amazing, the ideas and the way he made music is something nobody will ever be able to replicate. I never got to meet him, though that was a lifelong dream of mine. My track Beat It Boliyan is a tribute to him and his hard work.
It began with the guitar riff from MJ’s hugely loved anthem Beat It and developed from there. I wanted my version to be different and that’s where Saini Surinder came in with his vocals. He added the Desi side ensuring we’ve ended up with a real cultural infusion.
Does the world need an Asian spin on a Michael Jackson track?
Asians around the globe have always had a soft spot for MJ. Beat It Boliyan carries forth MJ’s energy and excitement but in a different genre. I’m hoping the track will appeal to Asian and English people alike - his music touched many hearts. I grew up listening to him, and it’s sad today’s kids won’t have that opportunity.
Just like MJ, your own musical journey started when you were still at school…
I had an interest in music from a young age. At 15 I started DJing and saved up money from doing a paper-round to buy turntables. During high school and college I performed at Diwali shows, local events and weddings before joining Kudos in 2009.
It’s not just his music, the video for the track has a definite MJ twist…
I didn’t want it to be a cheesy tribute to MJ – we tried to keep it subtle! It tells the story of a talent competition. One of the contestants is a parking attendant by day and MJ impersonator by night – it charts his musical journey and will hopefully inspire other young musicians that they can achieve whatever they want, if they keep dreaming and working hard.

Beat It Boliyan by Rajeev B featuring Saini Surinder is out now.

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