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Rabbi Shergill:The new rocker
« on: July 12, 2008, 10:41:41 AM »
Rabbi:The new rocker
28 Jun 2008, 0000 hrs IST, RAJAT GHAI ,TNN



Three years ago, Rabbi Shergill appeared on our homescreens for the first time, wearing the traditional Sikh turban and a pair of spectacles strumming a guitar.

A complete antithesis of the quintessential rocker. But with his new-age rendition of Punjab’s legendary Sufi, Baba Bulleh Shah’s famous kafi, Bulla Ki Jaana, his first album Rabbi stormed the music charts and billboards. His second album, Avengi Ja Nahin, released recently and the musician is all agog. “It is my best work so far. I believe that language and art can always be used as a form of protest. In this album, I have protested against increasing globalisation,” says Rabbi. Bulla was a huge success. Has it been a tough act to follow? “People do expect an encore of Bulla. But, I am not into conjuring formulas of success and revisiting them.”

Rabbi’s lyrics, imagery and videos are an eclectic mix, bordering on themes such as joy, love, contemporary issues, philosophy and mysticism. Explaining his music’s contemporary feel Rabbi says, “I am not an insulated person to remain unaffected by what happens around me. All societies generate pressure. Artistes are like a society’s pressure valves.” Having been termed as a “Sufi rocker”, what explains his mystic side? “Well, most of my music is rock. I have been deeply influenced by rock bands and artistes like Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Edge and Sting. If you call it Sufi, I wouldn’t mind. The element of mysticism in me is because of being raised in an academically-oriented family. My father was a Sikh preacher. My mother, a Delhi college principal, has been writing Punjabi poetry for as long as I remember. My sister too writes Punjabi poetry,” says Rabbi, an alumnus of Khalsa College, Delhi.

Rabbi (whose real name is Gurpreet Singh Gill) has been termed as ‘Punjabi music’s urban balladeer.’ Does he see a paradox here since Punjabi music is mostly based on the province’s rural and agrarian lifestyle? “The present age is one of urbanisation. Even Punjabi life has not escaped it. Many Punjabis are today concentrated in urban areas of India, Pakistan and other countries. In being an ‘urban balladeer’, I am trying to resolve the various psychological contradictions of my lineage,” says Rabbi, whose ancestral village, Chak Mishri Khan is in Amritsar district.

And no, he doesn’t want to do playback singing for Bollywood just yet. “The stock role of a playback singer does not interest me. If I meet interesting people, collaborations may happen. But I am not hell-bent,” says Rabbi, who has sung for Delhi Heights.
So, what is next? “I would be promoting my new album full-time. Since my team and I have taken a lot of chances in producing it, I would be doing lots of shows in the months ahead.”

Punjabi Janta Forums - Janta Di Pasand

Rabbi Shergill:The new rocker
« on: July 12, 2008, 10:41:41 AM »

 

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