Renowned singer Gurdas Maan,who celebrates 25 years in music with a new album,feels the portrayal of Punjabi culture is stereotyped in Bollywood.
The singer,who lent his voice to Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Veer-Zaara’,rues the one-track characterisation of Punjabi people in most of the Hindi movies. “Most of the time it is buffoonery. Punjabis are shown as funny people. The music is always loud and full of meaningless lyrics. And now they are after the folk music of UP and Bihar,” said Maan.
‘Jogiya’ is Maan’s 35th album besides his movie career and stage performances but the artiste,who is often credited for popularising Punjabi folk music world over,says he never planned to make music his career. “Music is a way of life in Punjab so it was always something that attracted me but I wanted to go into physical education. I never thought music will become my profession but that was God’s will. The success of ‘Dil da mamla’ in 1981 decided my future,” Maan says.
“But my training in sports helped me in my stage performances where great energy and stamina is required to continue performing. It has not been a waste. You need to stay connected with the audience and that requires energy,” says Maan,who also has earned a black belt in Judo.
The musician is all set to perform at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in UK in April,which he considers a great honour. “It is for the first time I am going there and it is a great honour for me. I have prepared a list of favourite songs for my fans,” he says.
Maan,54,stuck to his roots of Punjabi folk music at a time when many artistes went the Indi-pop way and perhaps that’s the reason for his longevity.
In his latest album,which comes after two and half years,Maan says he has tried to retain all the colours of Punjab. He also counts the influence of masters like Shah Hussain,Baba Bulleh Shah and Kabir on his music. “Why should I opt for rootlessness when I have such rich source. The trends come and go but quality sustains. Jogiya has different colours –social,romantic,and energetic tracks,” he says.
Asked about the delay,Maan says he was busy with two films,where he also doubled up as a lyricist and singer. “I had two films ‘Chak Jawana’ and ‘Sukhmani. I wrote the lyrics and songs with the help of Jaidevji. And you need to have something new to make an album,” he adds.