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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Bollywood Goes Balle Balle

The producers want it,the music directors swear by it and the films are incomplete without it. When it comes to Hindi films,the “Punjabi music element” is a sure shot ingredient to create a winning formula.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor |
October 20, 2011 12:03:51 am

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan,Sunidhi Chauhan,Neeraj Shridhar — renowned playback singers from Hindi cinema are happy lending their voice to Punjabi films

The producers want it,the music directors swear by it and the films are incomplete without it. When it comes to Hindi films,the “Punjabi music element” is a sure shot ingredient to create a winning formula. And while the whole world danced to the Punjabi tunes,courtesy Bollywood,the Punjabi film industry remained oblivious to it.

But in 2011,things have changed. The Punjabi film industry is welcoming prominent voices from Bollywood to sing for their films. Sunidhi Chauhan sang with Apache Indian for the film Dil Apna Punjabi,Neeraj Shridhar lent his voice to the Desi Dude song in Yaar Anmulle while Atif Aslam sang Rona Chadita in Mel Karade Rabba. And who can forget Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s melodious rendition of Main Tenu in Virsa. Be it the soulful voices of Sumitra Iyer and Tulsi Kumar singing for Yaara O Dildaara or late Jagjit Singh’s shabad in Khushiyan,Punjabi films have got a new lease of life with Bollywood singers giving playback.

“Punjabi film industry is finally making modern and contemporary films. It’s no longer the Jatt-di-zameen or Jatt-da-badla genre of filmmaking,nor is the sound loud and jarring,” says singer-composer Shridhar of Bombay Vikings fame,who was based in Jalandhar before he moved to Sweden. After singing for regional cinema down South,Shridhar got the call for Punjabi film,Yaar Anmulle. “The song (Desi Dude) was hip and young,and I jumped in. Although it was difficult to get the accent right,but it was fun singing it,” says the singer,adding that music composers in Punjab should rope in more singers from Bollywood because they are,after all,Punjabi.

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But Rajeev Sharma of the Seven Seas channel feels that more than the kind of music being generated in Punjabi films,the associations that come into play. “Take,for instance,lyricist Irshad Kamil. He writes in Urdu Punjabi,like Sadda Haq and Katiya Karo (both for Rockstar) — and singers are familiar with the words,” he says. Sharma makes another interesting point: “The regional cinema is going international,and the Punjabi cinema is no exception. It has a solid NRI fan base,which is a major draw for the singers,” he says.

Actor-producer Jimmy Shergill,who belongs to Punjab,agrees,“There are more investors and producers in the Punjabi film industry,besides bigger budget and starcast. As a result,music too is undergoing the change and is sounding better.”

Music director Jaidev Kumar,who has given music to many Punjabi films,says,“We’ve given Master Saleem,Mika,Lehmbur Hussainpuri and Jazzy B to Bollywood,and now,they are coming to us.” “Compositions are changing and there is new talent. Taur Mitran Di,a film that will release next year,has all new singers from Mumbai. Another Punjabi film,Dil Tehnu Karda Pyaar,has Shahid Mallya giving the playback. He sang Ik tu Hi Tu Hi in Mausam and belongs to Jalandhar,” adds Kumar.

As Bollywood’s best voices are signing up for Punjabi playbacks,filmmaker Navaniat Singh makes a point. “When it comes to singers and actors,Punjab surely has the best. But we still need trained technicians,cinematographers,directors of photography and line producers.” That day may not be too far.

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