Advertisement
Monday, Jul 04, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com
Music

Rhythm Divine

Though he wants to be recognised as a serious singer, he is quite happy to be known as the Badshah of pop

Rhythm Divine
Rhythm Divine
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The surprise package of the recently concluded Jahan-E-Khusrau musical festival was easily Daler Mehndi, who brought Delhi’s music lovers to their feet with his impassioned singing. That Abida Parveen ran out to hug him is testament to how moving his performance was, but the truth is, it is surprising only to people who don’t know him and his musical background. As he points out, Sufism is in his blood. He grew up listening to the hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib sung, and the principle that runs through those hymns, the merging of one’s soul with god, is what binds him to the other singers and listeners at this festival. The fact that he is a classically trained singer is also due to this early grounding in Sikh religious music, which lays great emphasis on raga sangeet.

He was nervous before he went on, and he had barely had any rehearsal time. Muzaffar Ali had been asking him to sing for five years, and Mehndi hadn’t mustered the courage to sing. But, having decided that it was time, he gave it everything, and chose to present a repertoire that was, as he puts it, straight from the heart, and not within the often-heard genre of Sufi music. 
But he is careful not to put his pop image aside completely. Though he wants to be recognised as a serious singer, he is quite happy to be known as the Badshah of pop, famous at home and abroad for the numbers that get people dancing. As he says, "an artist wants to move through different genres". 

It so happens that there is a big Bollywood hit in the making, composed for a Subhash Ghai film that is due very soon, but what has him excited is that he’s in talks with a few companies to produce an album of his Sufi music. For the genre-bending performer, that too will be a step in the right direction, towards god.


This article originally appeared in Delhi City Limits, March 31, 2006

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement