Who is Chanan Hanspal?
I am of Welsh Indian extraction and come from Wales. I moved to London in 1993 and began a mission to emmerse myself into the etiquette and music playing customs of the London jazz funk fraternity. In doing so, I was invited to play for a band called X Productions, a sort of funk rock band consisting of some remarkable musicians. We commenced to spread ourselves around the college circuit, and bestow to posterity some wonderful performances and recordings. Through the X Productions connection, I started to build up a network of music associates, and this was how I came to occasionally dep for the house guitarist at the Iceni Club in London Mayfair. It was at the Iceni between 1993-94 where I played with the likes of Jay Kay (Jamiroquai), Quest Love, The Roots, and some of London´s finest session musicians.
In 1994 I joined a project called Slowly, a sort of dub jazz affair, we played some festivals, and recorded an album which was licensed and released by Dorado Records. The following year, I recorded a track for Muswell Hill based label Boogie Back Records called Jazz Scuffle which was released as part of a compilation. The track was played a few times on Jazz FM and later picked up by New York smooth jazz label Instinct Records who licensed it and released it in the States. I recorded one more track for Boogie Back Records called No Sooner Said.
In 1995, I landed a small acting part in Gary Oldman´s film Nil By Mouth, in which, I played a drug associate of one of the main characters played by Charlie Creed Miles. It was an enjoyable experience and during the course of filming, the screenings and premieres, I had met or been in close proximity to some of the biggest names in showbusiness. That same year, I started working on my own jazz orchestral funk album, which featured vocalists Imaani (Incognito) and Debbie Ffrench (Jackie Graham) among a horde of other excellent musicians. The album project occupied much of my time between 1995-98, however in between, I still managed to play with other artists; Adam F, Courtney Buchanan, Imaani, and Valerie Etienne.
In 1999, after completing a tour of Europe and Japan with former Galliano vocalist, Valerie Etienne, I did a bit of TV work in London and Spain with Kylie Minogue, shortly thereafter I performed with Geri Halliwell on Top of the Pops. That same year, I joined experimental band 23 Skidoo and recorded a track for their album which featured Pharoah Sanders, Roots Manuva, Rodney P, and Carl McIntosh; we played some shows with Jazz Jamaica, and later that year, 23 Skidoo´s self entitled album was released on Virgin Records.
In 2001 I worked with Sony Classical artist Summer Watson performing in London in preparation for the release of her album Summer. I also started working on my next album, a jazz metal project called Mad Jazz Guitar, this was the first time I had the opportunity to record an album uncompromised and unrelenting in the use of the guitar, and it was a good process of exorcising the demons.
2003, I moved to Sydney Australia and spent the next two years studying for my masters degree at the University of New South Wales. On completion of my masters, I returned to the UK and started writing a monthly rock guitar column for Guitarist Magazine.