Davinder Singh Sandher, better known as 95 Stretch or 95 Smoke, is a British Hip Hop/Rap recording artist and producer from Birmingham, West Midlands. In January 2014, Stretch signed to London-based independent record label Dream City Records.
95 Stretch was born "Davinder Singh Sandher", in Sandwell, West Midlands. Stretch was raised both by his mother and father, who were both shopkeepers. His auntie would let Stretch listen to her 80’s and 90’s pop collection which she used to purchase and collect on CD, when he was young. Then one day when Stretch was six, he saw Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I” music video appear on TV, and his mindset shifted towards Hip Hop/Rap. When Stretch started his first year at high school, one of his friends had showed him his collection of Dr Dre, which he had on his iPod. Shortly after Stretch started writing his own rap material at the age of 11. Outside of school, Stretch had a friend who also did what he did, write Hip Hop/Rap material. Jermaine Wright was 2 years older than Stretch, and taught him the ropes of how to flow when rapping his own material, how hooks come about and also what Hip Hop/Rap Stretch was missing out on. Jermaine lent Stretch a copy of N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton”. Every night instead of doing his homework, Stretch would listen to that album and write his own verses into each one of the tracks. Stretch started recording off with a £5 cheap desktop microphone at home, which connected straight to his laptop. He would play out loud instrumentals from YouTube and at the same time record his vocals. For his 14th Birthday his Mom bought him a M-Audio USB condenser microphone with Pro-Tools software. Stretch started to learn by himself how to work with the software, and record high quality vocals.
Before 95 Stretch.
Stretch had a couple previous artist/stage names before he became “95 Stretch”. When he first started rapping at the age of 11 he was called “MC Dav$ta”. MC Dav$ta remained around for 4 years. When Stretch became 15, he called himself “Young D”, which was stable for 3 years. Not finished yet, at the age of 18 Stretch called himself, “Dav”, which was his actual nickname that most of his friend had named him by at school and outside of school. Now at 19, Stretch never had his mind on changing his artist name however, his dearest close friend, Jermaine Wright passed away at the age of 21 in March 2014. Shortly after his dearest friend’s tragic death, “Dav” became “95 Stretch”. Stretch calls himself “Stretch” because, Jermaine used to call him that back when they were kids at the age of 11 and 13 writing Hip Hop/Rap music, and also to the fact that Stretch was skinny. The “95” comes from the year “Davinder Singh Sandher” was born, 1995. Stretch chose the name “95 Stretch” to remember who Jermaine was to him, a friend, a mentor and also like his own brother. Stretch chose 95 Smoke to separate his artist name (95 Stretch) from his producer title (95 Smoke).
Stretch grew up in an area where a lot of thieving used to take place, and still to this day does. Dudley Port, Tipton. At a young age Stretch was around a lot of gang activity, however realized it wasn’t the way to go as he saw gang-affiliated members get killed. Stretch grew up with 2 sisters and no brothers. One sister is a year older than him and the other is 6 years younger.
Stretch first began rapping seriously in his 11th year of high school, actually working on an independent project with no record label signed to him. In July 2012, Stretch released an EP titled “The Road To Success” via UniMo Digital Distribution, which is now known as Tunecore Digital Distribution. Not catching that much attention because of the budget he was on, he couldn’t really promo the EP except for posting up the iTunes link on Twitter & Facebook so that his friends could see. Still no attention from the music industry, and in March 2013, he released yet another album titled, “See You Soon” as the artist “Dav”. He released this via Tunecore Digital Distribution and also on his own Bandcamp profile. His fanbase after this release started to increase in figures, he obtained over 1 million and a half plays on his SoundCloud profile. He managed to gather a following, however no industry attention. Still not giving up, Stretch has now been able to acquire some industry links via Music X-Ray. Also during the process of writing his first album as “95 Stretch”, he signed to an independent label based in London, United Kingdom called “Dream City Records” in January 2014. Stretch released a free download titled “Hypnotized” on his SoundCloud in April 2014, which shortly after got aired on radio by BBC WM 95.6FM. Stretch is currently working hard to get his music out there for everyone to hear what he is all about, and how he differs himself from the current UK Hip Hop/Rap scene.
Growing up and to this day Stretch says he listens or listened to, Snoop Dogg, Suga Free, Ice Cube, Jay Z, Nas, Eazy-E, MC Ren, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., King Tee, Drake, LL Cool J, Kurupt, Dr Dre, DJ Quik, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Bob Marley, Wu-Tang Clan, Big L, Three 6 Mafia and Pharrell. Moreover, he credits N.W.A, Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik for being the biggest influences to his music.