When Surrey creatives get together, there’s truly no limit to what they can achieve, and Diljit Dosanjh’s latest song “Umbrella,” definitely proves this.
In an exclusive interview with 5X Press, lyricist Chani Nattan gives our audience a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this iconic track.
Chani is the creator of Chani Nattan Entertainment, and he and his label have been cooking up tracks in the Lower Mainland for several years.
“90 per cent of our work is local,” Chani explained. He’s collaborated with Surrey artists such as Tru North, Harj Nagra, and Intense Music.
In fact he said most of the work occurs in Vancouver.
“This whole product, [Umbrella], was born, bred and brought up in Surrey,” Chani said.
He told 5X Press that the hook for “Umbrella” was written while he was at work one day.
“I called my buddy up, and I was like ‘Yo, check out the hook line of this song,’ and he goes, ‘that’s hard bro, that sounds like something Diljit would sing.’ And then we left it at that,” he said.
Little did Chani know that by luck, or as he liked to call it “kismet,” he would end up at Intense’s studio later that week.
“Diljit was in town, he was doing a movie in the same area, and I said to Intense, “I have a song and I feel like it’s his vibe.’”
Chani showed Intense his newly written hook, and Intense saw the potential for a hit track right away, and at that very moment, Surrey’s music scene experienced a huge shift in its trajectory.
However, Chani said he’s been in situations with bigger artists before, where they didn’t want to give him a chance because he was the “new guy,” and so he delayed creating a demo of the track.
“They'll just say, ‘Yea yea, don’t worry. We’ll see, we’ll do it,” he said.
“It kinda breaks your heart, those that do that, because it's like, ‘damn, I thought you were gonna rock with it.”
But with a bit of a nudge from Intense, Chani recorded a demo version of the song with his artist and friend Inderpal Moga.
“We recorded the demo, we brought it back to Intense. And he was like ‘Yeah this is it. This is the song.’”
With the demo given a thumbs up from Intense, Chani was set with the task to complete writing the rest of the track, and he had quite a unique plan to do so.
“I took out literally the best lines of every song I had written for the future and threw all of the masala into one pateela,” Chani said with a laugh.
”The last chatri song that I could remember was Mitran Di Chatri, so I was like, “we gotta do something here. The chatri is so underrated.”
And just like that “Umbrella” was one step closer to the finish line, and that too, as a Surrey based project.
Not only did Chani write the lyrics and Intense produce the beat, but the video itself was shot by HzDz Visuals, who is also from Surrey.
“A bunch of kids from Surrey put on a huge scene and it's nice to see that,” he said.
“Our city gets the worst of it with the stereotyping and stuff, but I feel like this song will make people realize that we have potential out here,” Chani said.
Umbrella officially dropped on July 1, and has already surpassed 5 Million views on Youtube.
“Every single thing literally led up to this moment. It wasn’t just [me], it was every guy that worked with him,” he said.
“We never had that culture here before,” he continued. “To see a product like this be made with the biggest artist in the industry is so dope.”
And the city definitely agrees. Surrey kids showed up with so much love for the artists behind “Umbrella,” and even took it to the number one spot on Apple Music Vancouver.
“It’s the first time I did multiple interviews for one song,” Chani said.
“I was tripping myself out like, ‘I think I made something sick.’”
It’s amazing to see lyricists like Chani Nattan and music producers in the game, getting the love and recognition that they deserve from their city.
The music scene in Surrey has been on the brink of something big for quite some time now, and it’s about time that folks here give artists and musicians the love that they’ve been waiting for.
“This is the one project where I felt so much love, the kind of love artists would get,” Chani said.
“It's finally getting to a point where producers get the credit, the guys that actually make the song.”
Be sure to check out the track “Umbrella,” and give it your love, as this one is definitely for the city!
Manisha is a writer and reporter with previous radio and television experience, who is passionate about connecting audiences to the stories and voices that matter to them most. Check her out on Instagram: @exclusivelymanisha