Punjabi Music: Bhangra Bonanza

  • Punjabi Music: Bhangra Bonanza

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

With his foot-tapping compositions, Daler Mehndi is credited with changing the definition of Punjabi music. And the singer says he feels proud to see Punjabi music climbing up the popularity charts.

“During the initial day s of m y career, I used to go to private parties where a lot of English songs were being played and I used to see Indians dancing away to those songs. I used to feel bad and think our culture is so strong, our music is so strong then why don’t these people play and enjoy Indian music,” said Mehndi at the launch of his new album Tunak Tunak Tumba.

“Then I decided to create ‘Bolo Tara Rara’, which was a hit and one could see even foreigners dancing away to it. It makes m e happy to see that Punjabi music has become so popular,” he added. With the increase in popularity , Punjabi songs com e in very entertaining flavors that include the bhangra songs, Sufi, folk, pop and rock to name a few. Many modern day Punjabi singers take traditional Punjabi music to the next level by adding a touch of hip hop and rap into their music, some examples include, RDB, Kailash Kher and Jay Sean.

With the rich, entertaining, and dynamic music, Punjabi songs have am assed a fan base in not only in the subcontinent but also in the West. Singers like Jazzy B (who spent most of his life in Vancouver, Canada but never forgot his roots), introduced a fresh new image to the world of bhangra. He has fans far and wide and has performed at concerts in Canada, England, the US and m any other parts of the world where there is a large desi population. Following the same path is Dutch-born Pakistani singer Imran Khan, who became a household name after his song “Amplifier”.

Looking at the ballooning popularity of this genre of music, the ‘King of Punjabi Pop’ Mehndi say s he’s proud the rich culture is being promoted and appreciated all over the world. Mehndi, who has been singing since he was six years-old, rose to prominence in 1 995 with his album Bolo Tara Rara, which became an international hit. “The popularity of Punjabi pop singers is so much that whether it’s Sukhwinder Singh, Mika or Jassi, Bolly wood is actually calling them to sing in their film s,” added the singer.

“Where everybody is copying others, it’s really nice to see that Punjabi music retains its charm ,” said Mehndi, who has sung songs like “Rang De Basanti” from the film of the same name, “Aila Re Aila” from Khatta Meetha and “Bhootni ke” from Singh is Kinng.

After a gap of five years, Mehndi is returning with his new album Tunak Tunak Tumba. “For the album , we have roped in classical exponents like Ustad Rashid Khan, who plays banjo. When I approached him he said, ‘What do you want from m e for y our album , our time is gone. It has been 10 years since we entered a studio.’ And I told him that the music you feel is lost somewhere, we want to bring that charm back,” said Daler.

The album has 13 songs of v arious genres. “For those who think I can sing only a particular genre of songs, this album is an attem pt to prov e m y v ersatility ,” said Mehndi.

Source By : The Express Tribune