Canadian producer and composer Ikwinder Singh aka Ikky has been lighting up the charts with his distinct brand of hip–hop, pop and Punjabi music, both at home and through the rest of the world.
The 22-year-old Rexdale, Ontario-based artist has garnered over a billion streams across the globe with such career-defining hits as “Diamond” with Gurnam Bhullar, which has more than 600 million YouTube views until date; “Baller” with Shubh, which has over 100 million streams on Spotify alone; and the Billboard Canadian Top 20 charting “52 Bars” with Karan Aujla.
A master of collaboration, Ikky has helmed smashes like “Bambiha Bole” with Amrit Maan and Sidhu Moosewala, and “Chauffeur” with Diljit Dosanjh and Tory Lanez, while his long list of production credits includes releases by most of the major names in the contemporary Punjabi music industry, from Garry Sandhu and Himmat Sandhu to Ammy Virk and Mankirt Aulakh.
Ikky’s tracks have been featured on over 300 playlists to date including Today’s Hits, Punjabi Hits, Future Hits and Breaking Punjabi on Apple Music, and Punjabi 101, Hot Hits Punjabi, Hip Te Hop and Punjabi Swag on Spotify, on which he currently boasts over six million monthly listeners.
“My biggest power right now is bringing people together,” says Ikky who stands out for his ability to combine his international influences of hip-hop, R&B, reggae and pop with rustic Punjabi rhythms to fashion tunes that are a seamless mix of authenticity and experimentation. “When I’m making music, I’m not thinking about it as a Punjabi song,” he says. “I just think of it as a song.”
Ikky, who began producing professionally in his teens, counts producers Sukshinder Shinda (Jazzy B, Amrinder Gill) and Tru Skool (Karan Aujla), along with Dr. Dre and 40 (Drake), as his core formative influences.
Today, he’s taking that legacy forward through his label 4N (pronounced ‘foreign’) Records and its 4N Nights concert event series. Launched in 2021 in partnership with Warner Music and Coalition Music, 4N Records is a manifestation of Ikky’s mission to “create songs and collaborations that will bridge the gap between India’s exploding music scene and the rest of the world”.
Thus far, 4N Records’s slate of releases have included “80 90” with Ikky’s mentors Amrit Maan and Garry Sandhu; the EP Say My Name with rising singer/rapper NseeB; a remake of the Bill Withers classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” with Himmat Sandhu and Preston Pablo; “She's The One”, with late legend Soni Pabla; and the Latin-flavoured “Hello Hello Hola”, with Garry Sandhu, MC Devo and Las Villa. They’re each a gleaming example of the forward-thinking Punjabi music that Ikky has pioneered.
“I really just want to make sure that once the door opens for Punjabi music worldwide, it will flood the gates,” says Ikky. By all estimates, 2023 is the year for taking India to the world. And Ikky, who is currently working on an EP as a lead artist, will be at the forefront of that imminent moment.
Saturday, July 15
1:45 PM-2:30 PM