x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai-based rock band Vin Sinners sign to Universal

Two decades after Vin Sinners' frontman Vin Nair abandoned his rock dreams, he may finally be about to hit the big time.

Vin Sinners have signed a deal with Universal. Courtesy Vin Sinners
Vin Sinners have signed a deal with Universal. Courtesy Vin Sinners

If Vin Nair has his way, the UAE will be renowned some day for its rock music.

Nair’s band Vin Sinners have just signed a three-year contract with Universal Music India, and have become the first local band to sign to a major label.

And it’s not been an easy ride. The band all still have day jobs and Nair himself took a 14-year sabbatical from his musical endeavours to work in the “real world” before returning to songwriting in 2008 and forming Vin Sinners in 2010. Dubai isn’t the easiest place for an aspiring rock star to establish a musical footprint, either. The transient nature of the population means that both audience and band members are in a constant state of flux, while restrictive laws around musical acts interacting with their audience make the challenge of creating a grass-roots fan base even tougher than normal.

Nair has soldiered on regardless and may finally be close to seeing some payback for his determination. “I’d been in the corporate world for around 20 years, but I still had all this material I’d written in the 1990s, and I thought it was time I did something with it, just on my own initially,” he recalls.

“Since about 2011 the band has taken shape and become settled. We self-released our first album in 2011 and made it available in India on the Artists Alive digital platform and we couldn’t believe the response – at one stage, our tracks were No 1, 2 and 3 in the Indian indie charts. We figured we should try to make something of this and headed over to tour in early 2013.”

“We must have been seen by the right people, because that’s when the talks with Universal started and after a lot of going back and forth we can finally announce the signing.”

The first single for Universal, featuring Blaze Bailey of Iron Maiden and Wolfsbane fame, is due at the beginning of March, with the album, A Mighty Black Box, a month later. Further collaborators on the album include the Emirati-Swedish singer Layla Lacole, the Indian guitar legend Joseph Vijay and fellow Dubai rockers Nikotin. Vin Sinners will head out on tour to support the album in April, starting with the official album launch gig at Hard Rock Cafe, Festival City, on April 5.

cnewbould@thenational.ae