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PUNJABI POP – IT CROSSES LANGUAGE BARRIERS





PUNJABI POP – IT CROSSES LANGUAGE BARRIERS
Prof. Surinder Malhi
Punjabi Pop emerged on the scene when rap had made an entry into the music world and lndian PoP was ready to take off, lts sudden Popularity has taken the world by " surprise. Daler Mehndi is 'Bolo Tara Tara' has become the rage of the nation. So much so that even the ex-super star Amitabh Bachan had to bank upon the Daler Mehndi's 'Na Na Na Re' to provide a boost to his come back film 'Mrityudata'. ln'Ziddi' Mera Dil Le Gayee Kammo Kidhar Played a major role in the success of the film..Nevertheless Prof. Surinder Malhi draws a word of caution here saying that too much exposure of Puniabi pop music may Prove detrimental to the longevity of this fast paced and foot-tapping music. (OCR- MACHINE TYPING. E&OE)

Currently it is not only a rage of the nation but also is renowned in great demand in discotheques abroad. Perhaps it is due to such all pervasive fascination of this kind of music that ' Washington University (U.$.A), as, a token of recognition, has recently honoured Hans Rai Hans  the famous Punjabi singer. This international award is given after every three years to an artist whose compositions reflect a distinctive and universal appeal. Hans Raj Hans is the second Asian , singer to receive this rare honour  the first being late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. This University has also awarded a special fellowship to the crooner to popularise and teach Punjabi music in America.
While accepting this award, the renowned 'Punjabi singer modestly mentioned, 'lt simply shows that our art of singing is now gaining an international recognition. Further more, it also establishes the eclecticism of our music which can easily subsume all the foreign or Western melodies in its vast texture." This king Pin of the rendition made this observation since Punjabi pop is breaking both the national and international bariers in a comprehensive fashion. . Take a cursory glance at the home front. lndians  from 'mehndi' parties to mid night soirees  have been besotted by this new musical malaise. These days, it iS 'in'thing to have a Punjabi song dance numbers at any function or partY.  
Neverthless, this boom time for Punjabi pop is not a new rage. As a matter of fact, Punjabi repertoire has been setting in the North for a long time. Gurdas Maan liberalised the traditional Punjabi folk by initiating a low Western instruments in his compositions. This fresh and innovative attempt can be seen in his earlier albums like Mamla Gadbar Hai and Dil Da Mamla Hai. Even now, he continues to make new experiments in his albums like Apna Punjabi. ln direct contrast to this, Baba Sehgal intermixed bhangra beat with Hindi Punjabi mixed lyrics and came out with some funny but popular numbers like Thanda Thanda Paani and Kudi Ban Than Ke Nikli. These became instant hits.
Bali Brahmbhatt also quicklY visualised the flexibility and potential of Punjabi music. Like Baba Sehgal, he too, exploited this rich repertoire and flooded the market with Hindi raP interlacedwith Puniabi PoP. His numbers like Khr'ch Soota and Amma Dekh made their mark. It was however, Bally Sagoo's remixes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's (Kinna Sona) and Mehnaz's (DilCheez Ha) numbers which provided prestige to Punjabi pop. Then, Apache lndian's hybrid songs highlighted the magnetic charm ' of the bhangra rhythm. His compositions, though sometimes quite ungraspable, became instrumental to demonstrate the power of bhangra beat. No doubt, these singers along with Malkit Singh, directly or indirectly, popularised Punjabi pop in a comprehensive fashion, but it is Daler Mehndi who actually put it on the top of the world music charts. With his very first album Bole Ta Ra Ra, followed by another popular album Dar di Rab Rab Kardi, he broke all barriers of communication and his fans knew no bars of language, caste and creed"
Admittedly, before the arrival of Daler, Gurdas Maan has been a popular singer, but the chirpy, cheery 'surd' dramatically changed the whole scene. The only difference between the two singers is that while the latter primarily focuses on pure bhangra, the former has a lot of every thing, so he is a hit even in the South, although not many can follow the language. To be more specific, Daler came at a time  when lovers of pop music were looking for something new, something they could dance to. Punjabi pop today seems to have invaded almost all satellite channels. Due to this, two regular and exclusive programmes  Bhangra Tap and Apni Boli Apna Des  are shown daily to satiate the thirst of current music rage.
To meet an increasing demand, various music companies are now, rapidly churning out albums. Overnight Punjabi singers seems to have mushroomed. Besides the compositions of Gurdas Maan, Daler Mehndi, Hans Raj Hans and Sardool Sikander, Harbhajan Maan (Wadhayian Ji Wadhayian), Durga Rangeela (Pagh Shagna Dil, Lakhwinder Lakha (Prande Pichhe), Suriit Bindrikhiya (Ten Vikda Jai Kurc), Sukhbir (Punjabi Munde), Aadesh Shrivastva (Khich Kaanta) and Manmohan Waris are a few others who have entered this field.
From the commercial point of view, Punjabi pop is becoming so popular that even the biggest in Bollywood are using it to react  people of all ages. The fact that ex super star Amitabh Bachchan included Punjabi number Na Na Na Re to boost his comeback film Mrityudata reflects a strong craze for these songs. ' As a matter of fact, there is a visible mad rush for Punjabi songs among film music directors. The odd number from Ziddi became popular but more than that it was Mera Dil Le Gayi which had the audience go in frenzy. It also justifies the background against which A.R. Rahman included a Punjabi pop number in Ram Gopal Verma's ‘Daud’.
Explaining the impact of Punjabi music in present Hindi films, Gurdas Maan offers the view: 'Basically these songs are inspired from the traditional music, only the rhythm gets faster and people start dancing, so it becomes pop. lt is films like 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' with it: Punjabi flavour and song like Ghar Aaja Pardesi and Raja Hindustani which had many Punjabi folk based numbers like Pardesi Pardesi, Kitna Sohna and the use of dholak, the prime instrument in the North, which actually brought in the trend of Punjabi songs."
 Maninder Gill, a Canada based, businessman who also runs Raja Entertainers Audio Video cassettes company from Chandigarh, gives a different logic. According to him the major reason for the popularity of Punjabi pop could be the constant, and compulsive use of hook lines and catchy words, 'These lyrics' says he, "are simple and rhythmic, so they contribute to the popularity.' As a corollary to this development, the prices of established singers are now assuming, astronomical proportions while earlier Daler used to charge Rs. 60,000 per performance, today he is demandiig anything ranging from ten to twelve lakhs. Again, Hans Raj Hans in Auagust recently charged rupees ten lakhs to record an album for TSeries company. Nevertheless the purists and  the traditionalists view this craze with suspicion and are even skeptical, Thus, for example, Jagjit Singh Ziwi, the celebrated classical singer, claims that "it is Daler who made new innovations and dramatised the concept of Punjabi folk. No doubt, he gained instant popularity but I think that tlp hype and over exposure will kill this craze after sometime.
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