This is a generation of copycats
At this year's Cannes Film Festival, on May 11, as the Indo-Hollywood production 5 Weddings premiered, one person who was beaming in absentia was singer Daler Mehndi. U U Yeah, the title track of the film starring Bo Derek, Nargis Fakhri, Rajkummar Rao and Casey Clark, has been rendered by Mehndi. "I couldn't have been happier. Even if I couldn't make it to Cannes, my voice was there," says Daler, whose costumes have also found place in a recently opened interactive music museum launched at Bengaluru.
Title tracks seem to be a Mehndi thing of late, including two films on hockey. Besides 5 Weddings, he has sung titles of Soorma along with Shaad Ali, Harjeeta, Subedar Joginder Singh (Punjabi films), Happy Bhaag Jayegi Returns and Sui Dhaga. "Soorma and Harjeeta are motivational tracks," he says, adding, "I think Punjabis needed a motivational song amidst the halla gulla of pop numbers. I was recommended for Soorma by Gulzar saab. It's every singers' dream to work with a legend like him." Giving credit to his classical training that still holds him in good stead in the sea of younger, pop singers, Mehndi says the base of his music since childhood was Gurbani. "I don't know why music directors are giving me title tracks, but I do think that it's my strong base from the formal music training, and roots in Gurbani, the ragas, qawwali, Sufi, ghazals that have held my music since the last 19 years." Commenting upon pop music, even though he says his track Tunak Tunak Tun in 1998 was one of the first in that genre in the industry, Mehndi is critical of the current generation's disregard to the soul of music. "It is sad that for a state that is heavily into music, modern singers are exploiting lyrics to portray an image of Punjab that is false. Daru, kudiyan, bandookan, gadiyan…is that all Punjab is about? To those who don't know this state, the image broadcasted through music is this," rues Mehndi pointing towards another paradox when he says, "Though Punjabi music production is highest among regional music, unfortunately Punjabi films don't sell on their music, like Bollywood does." Calling modern singers ‘copycats’, he says, "We have a generation of copycats now, busy sending out images of being cool dudes, wearing fake imitations of brands, being high on drugs, and gathering fake online views." Despite modernity, Mehndi says he is proud of his signature style. "The only thing different about me was the weight I had gained over the years. I had gone from 72 kgs to being 92. But now, I have shed that too and gone back to my weight of 25 years ago," he laughs.Source By : Times of India