The Rise And Fall Of Yo Yo Honey Singh
From Hirdesh Singh to Yo Yo Honey Singh… Who ever knew that a small town guy born in Hoshiarpur (Punjab) would grow up to become one of the highest paid artistes’ in Tinsel Town? After studying music at the prestigious Trinity School in UK, Singh changed his name – and that also changed his destiny perhaps. Honey had once averred, “I started as a music director in Punjab and then started singing. At that point, Punjabis from all over the world admired my work, and there was a buzz in Bollywood as well.”…And from there on, he only went up, higher and higher. His album International Villager took his career on a further upswing. From his debut song, Meri Shakal Pe Mat Jaa to Aao Raja, his songs created a huge buzz, and soon Yo Yo Honey Singh was proclaimed as the kind of NewGen rockstar.
Singing for the Begum,Badshah and Shehenshah of Bollywood… The halo of luck continued to shine upon Honey as bright as the bling details on his suits. He got lucky in 2013 when he bagged the opportunity to sing for Chennai Express - his album Lungi Dance received 69 million plus views. Later in 2014, he sang for Amitabh Bachchan’s film Bhootnath. Soon he was heralded as the original rockstar of Bollywood, and rubbed shoulders with superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan, fashionista (Sonam Kapoor), and the Greek God of Bollywood (Hrithik Roshan). He was definitely on seven skies and flying high. So much so that he even once commented a tad arrogantly, “Mujhe pyaar karte rehna mera saath dene waalo, Main khaali CD bechu toh bhi bikhta rahunga. (Love me always my fans. Even if I sell an empty CD, it will still sell…)
The King of controversies… But even when he was scaling the skies, Yo Yo Honey Singh was flirting with controversies. People had a love and hate relationship with this Punjabi lad. In fact, as much as his songs were loved and appreciated by the youth, they were also criticised by many. Certain audiences found the lyrics of his songs to be obscenely vulgar - obviously, because for some, chaar bottle Vodka isn’t kaam roz ka. To clear the air, Honey had said, “I have written a song on Shaheed Bhagat Singh as well, apart from writing on the problems of youth migration, alcoholism, and drug addiction. But I can guarantee that most people have not listened to these songs. But the fact is that people listen to what they really like. There might be some youngsters who like listening to Ghazals and Sufi music but when I see millions of hits on my videos on YouTube, I know that I’m on the right track.” Perhaps he was right but then from the right track, why did the man suddenly go off track?
The Dark Side: Arrogance? Attitude? Success? Alcohol? Or… Suddenly after a phase of just hearing one name – Yo Yo Honey Singh, suddenly the biggest sensations in the fraternity of music disappeared for well over 18 months. Rumours were abuzz – some said, he was phased out, others insisted he was in rehab. However, Honey Singh clarified later, “The last 18 months were the darkest phase of my life, and I wasn’t in a state to talk to anyone. I know there were rumours that I was in rehab, but I was in my Noida house throughout. The truth is I was suffering from bipolar disorder. It went on for 18 months, during which I changed four doctors, the medication wasn’t working on me and crazy things were happening. I must confess that I was bipolar and an alcoholic, which aggravated the condition.” He also added “At one point, I thought I would live in this darkness forever. I had cut myself off from everyone. I didn’t come out of my room, forget stepping out of the house. I had a beard and I didn’t get a haircut for months. For someone who has performed in front of a crowd of 20,000, I was scared of facing 4-5 people. That’s what bipolar disorder does to you.”
The Rising Competition In the meanwhile, the 18-month absence took a toll. There were other Punjabi Munda’s slaying the music scenario with their swag and talent - and a few prominent names amongst them were Badshah, and the unstoppable Raftaar. And also an artiste who not only is a singer but also an actor - the handsome hunk from Udta Punjab Diljit Dosanjh. Suddenly Honey Singh was nowhere, a lot of people just wrote him off and he was said to be totally out of the reckoning. And even his contenders (read Raftaar) made digs at him - Raftar’s album ( Swag Mera Desi), challenged Honey Singh with Ab Yeh Karke Dikhao – ironically Honey’s own words.
Comeback? But we are still placing our money on him. After all, despite his dark past, Honey Singh has successfully picked up the pieces of his life and has become a music director in the upcoming film Behen Hogi Teri. Supposedly, he will also release a single that will narrate his struggles with bipolar disorder. Indeed, this desi kalaakar will always remain a rockstar regardless of whether he is in the studio and rolling or at his Home Town – after all, music lovers are eagerly waiting to once again dance his tunes on Manali Trance. Yo Yo Honey Singh, Coconut Main Lassi Milaake aajao aap Mood Banaake. The day the clock of fortune strikes once again, the man, we hope, will rock once more.