Maninder Dogra and Shaan Sangha make up the Toronto-based production duo known as XD Pro Music. The Saavn Artist Originals (AO) hitmakers have worked with talents like Tej Gill, Amar Sandhu, Pranna, Fateh, Rupan Bal and many others. Being trained sound engineers, this team brings a fresh and futuristic vibe to songs that listeners won’t find from other producers. This duo adds a new touch to the urban desi music scene.
The latest from this duo is a collaboration with Punjabi artist Tej Gill titled “Crown and Coke,” a tribute to the go-to drink of the artists, Crown Royal and Coca-Cola. The track’s lyrics tell the story of how having this drink at hand will make you feel at home during any moment in life from the joys to the downfalls.
We had the chance to sit down with XD Pro Music and chat, not just “Crown and Coke” but what it was like working with Tej Gill again, how they deal with criticism, tricks of the trade and more.
Check out what these producers had to tell us:
The Teal Mango: Let’s start with this new song, tell us what inspired “Crown and Coke?”
XD Pro Music: We can’t lie, there was definitely some Crown Royal and Coca Cola being poured the night we made the song! It was a simple idea we had of paying homage to our favorite mixed drink, while also mentioning that it’s not the drink that creates the memories, it’s the people. “Crown and Coke” is a symbol and has been our drink of choice throughout the years.
TTM: After “Rooh” and “Hatdi Ni Tu,” how was it reuniting with Tej Gill to work on another song?
XD Pro Music: We are lucky enough to always been working on new ideas with Tej Gill. One of the benefits of being located in Toronto has been the ability to be able to be around so many talented artists and individuals. We consider Tej Gill to be as part of our team as anybody and have many more songs in store for everyone.
TTM: How has the response been from your fans thus far?
XD Pro Music: The response has been amazing! Many of our fans have been waiting for this track since we teased it a little while back. We are humbled and grateful to have an opportunity for our music to be heard and appreciated.
TTM: Tell us how this magical duo began. When did you guys decide to work together to make music?
XD Pro Music: The both of us have been making music since we were in middle school, and only knew each other through MSN Messenger. Many years and Internet Mixtapes later, we ended up hanging out through a mutual friend. In 2014, we formed XD Productions, which would later become XD Pro Music, and opened a recording studio. We are both certified recording engineers, X graduating from Metalworks Institute & D graduating from Trebass Institute, so we owned and operated the studio. Gradually we developed a sound and started creating our own records which has lead to where we are now.
TTM: With two talented minds at work, how do you guys manage creative differences between the two of you?
XD Pro Music: We always trust each others opinion and that of the people we surround ourselves with. We are lucky enough to be friends with many talented and accomplished artists and producers which really helps when filtering which demos are complete. Our ability to take criticism really helps as we have realized a long time ago, we are always learning.
TTM: What is the harshest criticism you guys have heard about one of your songs?
XD Pro Music: Haha! We had some really funny comments under our “Man United Da Fan” song because of Football/Soccer fans and they’re banter but we are often told our production is almost too futuristic and people may not be ready for it. Although harsh in some ways, we always see it has a positive and are confident the times will align at some point.
TTM: As trained sound engineers and producers, you both have worked at some grand venues and on some hit songs. What would you say is your biggest achievement thus far?
XD Pro Music: Our song “Rooh” with Tej Gill has been a really outstanding moment for us. From hearing it at every Indian wedding-related function we’ve attended since its release, to people like Parmish Verma telling us the song to him is a once in a generational piece of music. We have been very humbled and inspired by the response. We have always wanted to bring people together through our music and to see it come alive is amazing!
TTM: For someone who is new to the world of music production, what type of tips or tricks of the trade would you have for them?
XD Pro Music: First things first, practice! What a world we live in where information is at your fingertips, take full advantage of all the tools around you. Many hits are made in the most humblest rooms, so don’t focus on being in a fancy studio, focus on learning all the tools and skills you’ll need to better yourself. It is a long challenging journey, but if you stay inspired, anything is possible.
TTM: What can fans expect from you both next? What are some new projects you have on the horizon?
XD Pro Music: We have many projects on the way! We are putting together a Tej Gill album, along with projects with artists such as Kamal Khan, Dave Bawa, Simar, Kuljeet Chouhan, Deep Dolla$ & many more! Thank you to all the fans for the support!