Ev­ery song needs to have a mean­ing, oth­er­wise it is just noise

JASLEEN AU­LAKH

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI - By Kavyan­jali Kaushik

For Jasleen Au­lakh, the in­spi­ra­tion was hid­den in her mother’s diary. While her mother stowed away lim­er­icks in it, Jasleen fos­tered a deep love for mu­sic, con­struct­ing a make- be­lieve stu­dio in her room as a child and record­ing songs. And when she fi­nally dug up her mother’s un­pub­lished

songs and po­ems, Jasleen knew she has to do jus­tice to them.

Q. How did ‘ It­te­faq’ hap­pen? A. I stum­bled upon my mother’s diary in which had lyrics and po­ems. I stole some stuff from it and made a tune! That was a big it­te­faaq, co­in­ci­dence. From then, there was no look­ing back, now I com­pose mu­sic with her and will re­lease my first al­bum next month. It is called “Polly’s Diary”, af­ter my mother. Q. What genre in­spires you?

A. I am in­spired by Pun­jabi, Hi­machali and Ra­jasthani folk mu­sic. I like to keep my mu­sic acous­tic. I use un­con­ven­tional in­stru­ments like de­buka or a jimbe or a rubab. When I travel, I pick up lo­cal in­stru­ments and use that with folk tunes. For ex­am­ple, in my song ‘ Paisa Paisa’, I’ve used a dan­moi, a Viet­namese ver­sion of mor­chang, a Ra­jasthani in­stru­ment.

Q. How did au­di­ence re­act to that?

A. Most peo­ple have taken to my mu­sic and I am grate­ful for that. But then there also some who just don’t have an ear for se­ri­ous mu­sic. It is re­ally an­noy­ing when peo­ple come up to you and re­quest you to sing ‘ Munni Bad­nam Hui’ Q. How is con­tem­po­rary mu­sic from Pun­jab evolv­ing?

A. I see a lot of scope for Pun­jabi mu­sic now. Our folk mu­sic is some­thing we should cher­ish and I am try­ing to make peo­ple aware of and value our tunes. There’s so much more depth and mean­ing to Pun­jabi mu­sic than what peo­ple per­ceive. Q. Do you think your ex­per­i­ments with folk mu­sic are work­ing?

A. It seems to be work­ing. I keep it earthy and that is the rea­son why I didn’t go elec­tro. I am not chang­ing the genre too much and keep the essence of folk alive. Some­times, peo­ple just want to hear some­thing new. So I am pre­sent­ing the same thing, with a new flavour. I adore Sufi mu­sic and am wait­ing for the day to ar­rive when peo­ple un­der­stand its real mean­ing mu­sic and don’t just term any Bol­ly­wood song “Sufi”.

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