“Our mu­sic and thoughts are in­ter­con­nected,” says ac­tor Khushboo Grewal

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI - As told to Su­man­tha Rathore

I’ ve grown up in a city where a car is con­sid­ered in­com­plete with­out loud mu­sic and con­stant honk­ing. Cars fit­ted with mas­sive am­pli­fiers are an in­sep­a­ra­ble part of Chandi­garh. Th­ese and other “rhythms” around us make us what we are, and I re­alised this while grow­ing up in the city beau­ti­ful. That said, there is no dearth of real mu­si­cal tal­ent here and else­where in Pun­jab. Our mu­sic and our thought process are in­ter­con­nected... both are pumped, pas­sion­ate and re­flect our never- say- die Pun­jabi at­ti­tude.

Like any other Pun­jabi kudi, dance is an in­sep­a­ra­ble part of who I am, and all it takes to pull me onto the dance floor is a peppy track that has a lot of

dhol beats pul­sat­ing in it. I was al­ways drawn to­wards tra­di­tional Pun­jabi melodies and have grown up lis­ten­ing to a mix of folk songs, Gidda,

Bhangra, then Pop and Pun­jabi-English rap, from Apache In­dian to Safri Broth­ers.

Mu­sic has al­ways been the soul of my city and state. I grew up lis­ten­ing to pop­u­lar tracks like Apna Sangeet and Dupatta

Tera Sat Rang Da and Chamk­ila but was later drawn to new age Pun­jabi Sufi mu­sic with tracks like Nus­rat Fateh Ali’s Night and Sanu Ik Pal Chain Aave.

If you look at Pun­jabi film al­bums, they too have some­thing for ev­ery­one. It doesn’t mat­ter if you want to dance like a happy nut­case or sit back and lis­ten to a soul­ful track while sip­ping your morn­ing cof­fee; our mu­si­cal al­bums have a wide range to of­fer and earn a mass ap­peal. Even the Hindi film in­dus­try would vouch for Pun­jabi mu­sic’s pop­u­lar­ity. Our mu­sic also has a longer shelf life when com­pared to Hindi pop­mu­sic, which seemed to have died out be­cause of the emer­gence of the great Bol­ly­wood mu­sic genre.

In Pun­jab, the ma­jor source for good Pun­jabi mu­sic for decades were the pri­vate al­bums. Our singers were al­ways con­sid­ered su­per­stars. Gur­daas Maan, for ex­am­ple, is a liv­ing le­gend. No mat­ter how many new- age singers ar­rive, his fans will al­ways have his songs synced on their iPods. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, there is also a lot of scope for new mu­si­cal tal­ent, who can achieve great heights and make a name for them­selves if not be­yond but at least at par with Gur­daas Maanji.

We do have a huge hip- hop in­flu­ence in our con­tem­po­rary mu­sic but then there is the orig­i­nal Pun­jabi mu­sic that is be­yond the mod­ern beats and per­cus­sions. Soul­ful lyrics can cre­ate magic, Rahe

Rahe Jaan Waliye is a clas­sic ex­am­ple of one such song; and it is also my favourite. I wish we never lose the orig­i­nal­ity of our Pun­jabi folk mu­sic, which is the soul of our mu­si­cal be­ing.

The author is an ac­tress


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