The last few years, Toronto has been low-key responsible for birthing some of the hottest bangers in Punjabi music. Today, the trend continues as artist and producer Ikwinder “Ikky” Singh teams up with rapper NseeB for their debut EP, Say My Name. The six-track project sees the Indian-Canadian duo fuse the 6ix’s signature dark hip-hop sound with Punjabi and Caribbean influences.
Say My Name marks Ikky’s first project under his new label 4N Records, launching in partnership with Warner Music Canada, Warner Music India, and Coalition Music. The label’s aim is to bridge the gap between India’s burgeoning rap scene and the rest of the world.
“This EP is so special to me. It’s the first time I get to share a body of work with the public,” Ikky tells us. “It’s the first EP I’ve got to release under 4N Records, which will always make it a landmark, and the fact that I can share that with NseeB is more than I could ever ask for.”
The EP’s lead single, “Munda Oh,” directly translates to “that guy.” NseeB explains: “The song is about being unapologetically yourself, and not letting the opinions of others stop you from becoming ‘that guy’ you want to be.”
Stream Say My Name below.
Ikky was born and raised in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rexdale. At just 20, he’s co-written and produced global Punjabi bangers like “Diamond” by Gurnam Bhullar and “Bambiha Bole’’ by Amrit Maan and Sidhu Moose Wala, which have racked up over one billion streams.
NseeB was born in Mullanpur, Punjab before moving to Surrey, British Columbia. Now 22, he’s known for his explosive flow and cadence, collaborating on several Punjabi hits, including Moose Wala’s “Old Skool.”
“We talked about how we can serve a more globalized Punjabi music sound, without changing the language,” NseeB says of Say My Name. “It was all a risk, a go-with-the-flow vibe with each other. The right timing, the right beats, the right bars, over the span of a couple months, we got down to it. The rest is history.”
The two spent a lot of time in the lab getting the sound of the EP just right. “Getting to work with NseeB was incredible,” says Ikky. “I got to work with my brother, who I found very inspiring in the studio. I think we both pushed each other to do better and work harder, in the way that brothers really do. It’s like a playful competition: you always want to one-up yourself to impress the other guy. It was a ruthless, fun environment to create in.”
The duo plans to follow up the release with the official music video for “Munda Oh,” slated for release later this month.