On the night before Christmas, Zee Companion was taken on a musical journey where I was joined in the studio with brother-sister duo Manoj and Kamini Tailor of the group M2K. Talking about their career in music, working together as brother and sister, inspiring our viewers, and singing some songs, it was the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve.

Speaking about their latest song and seeing a clip of ‘Tujhe Pyar’, Manoj and Kamini delve straight into their experience of filming in Dubai. Shots of iconic scenery make their music video a glossy one but it wasn’t all glamourous!

Manoj explained that filming in August in Dubai was extremely hot which meant they had to think of technicalities and practicalities such as the equipment heating up. Their team used cool bags to cool their equipment down!

Also, Kamini didn’t have a great time on the boat. After finishing the shoot, she ran down to the cabin and blacked out due to sunstroke. Although it was not all fun and games, the pair created a great song a music video on which Kamini sang and of which Manoj song-wrote and produced.

The duo describe their music as British Bollywood having watched Bollywood films while growing up in the UK. I can completely relate to that having also grown up watching the likes of Madhuri Dixit and dancing to her infamous Bollywood numbers.

Manoj and Kamini have also been inspired by various flavours of music including Western beats of Calvin Harris, to Arabic music, to rock. These various influences explain their eclectic and unique style of music which is all produced in-house. Catering to the market and gaps in the market does not concern M2K because this would mean that their unique style would dissolve and become saturated with the other music already out there.

As a Music Producer, Manoj is required to fulfil the A-Z of what you hear on each of their songs, including the beat, rhythm, sounds, words and singing. Kamini sings and tells us that her inspirations are Calvin Harris and Madonna, and that she would love to work with Rita Ora if she could work with anyone.

The brother-sister dynamic started at a young age with both always being big fans of music. They began by performing for live shows and had to physically write the lyrics of songs from tapes because downloading lyrics was not available then!

Eventually tired of singing at family functions and for live events, Manoj and Kamini wanted to take their musical journeys to the next level so Manoj sent a demo to Bally Sagoo. He liked the demo so much that he invited Manoj on a tour with him and Hans Raj Hans. However, unfortunately the tour was cancelled due to 7/11 terror attacks.

It was six months later when Manoj received a phonecall asking him to sing down the phone and to meet Rishi Rich. Taking his sister along with him, they both recorded a song for Rishi’s first album. Rishi encouraged Manoj to write and create his own music so this is what M2K have been doing ever since.

Thanks to digital advancement, Manoj explained, people around the world are listening to M2K’s music. Although, once upon a time, this would translate to record sales which it doesn’t anymore, downloading means you can get a song instantly and that your music is readily available worldwide.

They started off doing live performances, and it is something they both still cherish. Kamini explains that you get a certain buzz when performing live on stage and although producing music in a studio is nice, seeing people and them appreciating your music is a feeling apart.

Producing your own music and writing original content cannot be easy, and it must be nerve-wracking to sing your own content to others, not knowing how they will receive it. Both Manoj and Kamini explain that you will always get positives and negatives but you have to take both otherwise you won’t make the next song better than the last. ‘We get negative feedback as well but you’ve got to take it altogether and with a pinch of salt.’ [Manoj]

As brother and sister, they have their ups and downs but it was delightful to see how they communicate well, understand one another, and respect and value one another’s opinions. It was also great to see that they are supported by their family and have a great support network.

They’re also both incredibly inspiring. ‘Have faith and go for it’. Kamini said: ‘There is nothing stopping you from studying or taking up an instrument – there is no reason why you can’t and see how things progress.’

Manoj: ‘If everyone had that attitude of not going into Arts, we’d have no one left! There is a level of risk that puts people off’ but as Kamini said it ‘depends on how much you want it and are passionate about it.’

‘Continue to do what you do; have faith in yourself; keep grafting; keep growing and stay blessed’ says Manoj. Kamini says ‘it will come if you believe.’

What positive words before Christmas Day and what a positive show! Two lovely siblings – we cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for you!