Daler Unplugged

  • Daler Unplugged

    Friday, July 25th, 1997

In his first strat track he managed to steal the thunder from Amitabh Bachchan. The Na Na Re song sequence was one of the highlights of Mrityudaata. But now other stars are wary of sharing screen space with him. When he first cut an album Bolo Ta Ra Ra he was dismissed as a wannabe who was not hip. From starlet Deepshika to the ravishing Lisa Ray in Jalwa (from the Tunak Tunak album) even his videos are happening now. Meet Daler Mehndi, the uncrowned Badshah of Bhangra pop who makes albums sell even in times of recession and has set a trend for Punjabi Pop and how! Has Mehndi changed as a singer over the years? "I am essentially the same singer. Yes, I may have evolved more in terms of understanding music, for one learns of understanding." And is it tough handling his celebrity status? "My special friend up there has been really kind enough to give me the vision and insight to handle my celebrity status as you call it." he says modestly. What about his starry connection Mehndi has done two song sequences in Mrityudaata (the only highlight of the film was Na Na Na re where Mehndi and Amitabhpuy on their dancing shoes) and the forthcoming Arjun Pandit (where Juhi Chawla is Sheher di kudi).

How was it working with Bachchan? "My experiences for both movies have been enriching. I met very interesting and inspiring Amitji for one is an earlier talented person. I worked in a very charged atmosphere and everyone involved with the film was so dedicated and hardworking. Overall, you could say that working in films has been a good experience. In the soon-to-be released Khauff (Starring Sanjay Dutt and Maisha Koirala) I have a song sequence too and I had a great time doing that," Mehndi remembers.

"He had very humble beginnings. You know we used to perfrom at live shows and he didn't have a great fan following those days. Just the usual Punjabi listeners. But I was amazed by his die-hard determination. I admire him a lot as a singer his track record is unrivalled and enviable." feels Pradeep roy, city based Pop singer.

So far all his albums right from Bolo Ta Ra Ra to the recently released Tunak Tunak Tun have been huge hits. "There's no boom in the Indipop market but Daler Mehndi is the only name that guarantees sales. Bolo Ta Ra Ra sold over 25 lakh copies, Dardi Rab Rab sold about 15 lakh copies, Ho Jayegi Balle Balle sold * lakh copies, Best of Daler Mehndi sold abot 10 lakh and Tunak Tunak Tunhas already sold around 13 lakh (and is still selling).

If we have an all time superstar in Indipop, Daler Mehndi is the one, "say Kunal Sarin branch manager, Magasound, Delhi. Which of his albums hasn't done as well as expected? "Al my albums have done super successes. The credit goes to my entire team for making that happen. Daler Mehndi A singer for all seasons.

Source :- Somashukla Sinha Wallunjkar