I am a Simple Man: Babbu Mann
source: Darpan Magazine
With a hugely successful show, presented by Desi Doordarshan, here in Vancouver recently, Babbu Mann's popularity is at a all time high. There was a huge turnout and people were enthralled with Babbu's music and singing. He surely didn't disappoint all those who were present at the show.
Babbu showed passion for music right from his early childhood. Born, Tejinder Singh Maan in the village of Khant, Maanpur, district Fatehghar Sahib Punjab, India, Babbu first performed on stage at the age of seven at a school function. From then on it was no looking back and he followed his passion for music vigorously. He studied at Government College in Ropar and then at Punjab University, Chandigarh where he studied History and Urdu. While at college he learned how to write songs which at present is his strength. His first album, Tu Meri Miss India was released in 1999 under Cataract Music. Tu Meri Miss India was followed by Saaun Di Jhadi in 2001. This album was a huge hit and established Babbu as one of the leading figures in Punjabi music world. From here on it has been an upward journey for Babbu. After Saaun Di Jhadi, Babbu has delivered many hits like Ohi Chann Ohi Rataan, Pyaas and Mera Gham in Hindi. Pyaas, released in 2005, won the Best Album of the Year award.
A versatile personality, Babbu not only sings but writes as well as composes for his songs. He can play harmonium, mandolin, guitar and drums. He has also acted in Punjabi films like Hawayein and Rabb Ne Banaiyan Jodiean. One more film, Hashar is currently underway and is slated to be released in August. Recently while shooting for Hashar, a crowd of about 8000 gathered around to see him. They waited the whole day while the shoot was going on. Not to disappoint his fans, Babbu gave an impromptu performance for them at the end of the day. Needless to say, the fans returned home with happy faces. A humble and down to earth human being, Babbu acknowledges the support of his fans. They have made me what I'm today, says Babbu.
Babbu has set a new trend in Bhangra music. His sad songs are heart rendering and soul touching. While in Vancouver for his show, Babbu took some time out from his busy schedule to speak to Darpan.
Darpan: Tell us briefly about your childhood.
Maan: In my early days I grew up like any other normal kid. I come from a middle-class family, nothing special and like any other kid I was always up-to something. We had a big joint family, all my uncles and cousins lived together. Slowly everybody moved out and went in their own direction.
Darpan: Any siblings?
Maan: I have two older sisters, both married and residing here in Canada.
Darpan: Your family, especially your sisters must be very proud of your achievements?
Maan: They are and I think even if I was not this famous, they still would have been proud of their brother.
Darpan: Were you always fond of singing?
Maan: From as long as I can remember, I have always been a singer. First it was in school and then amongst friends and slowly I matured into a professional singer.
Darpan: When did you decided to take up singing as a profession?
Maan: Even when I was young and used to sing amongst friends even at that time I was sure that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I was very firm from the beginning to make it big in the singing field.
Darpan: Did you ever take any lessons from anyone?
Maan: I never believed in having an instructor or a mentor and nor did have one.
Darpan: When was your first CD released?
Maan: It was released in 1999, Tu Meri Miss India, under the Catrack music banner.
Darpan: Did you do any live stage shows before launching your first CD?
Maan: I used to do live shows long before my first CD was launched. In fact, I would say that live shows were my starting point as a singer.
Darpan: How supportive was your family of your decision to take up singing as a profession?
Maan: They never stopped me from anything. All they wanted was to make sure that I was on the right track. They always kept an eye and would always inquire about what I was doing. I only asked them for their patience and told them that they would come to know about what I was doing in the due course.
Darpan: Apart from singing, you have also acted in Punjabi movies as well, how has been the experience?
Maan: My first movie Hawayein was a big hit. However I was not satisfied with my second movie, Rabb Ne Banaiyan Jodiean and that is why I decided to do, Hashar which will be released shortly, on August 22nd.
Darpan: Outside of India which city or country you like the most for live performance?
Maan: I have enjoyed every city and all of my stage shows abroad.
Darpan: Out of all the songs that you have sung, do you have any favorites?
Maan: I like all my songs because I have written all of them and they are all close to me. There are few others that are not released yet but they too are very close to my soul and my feelings.
Darpan: Any plans of settling down?
Maan: Not yet. I want to achieve a lot before I think about settling down.
Darpan: What are your future plans?
Maan: I want to focus more on Hindi and Bollywood music in coming years.
Darpan: Are you satisfied with what you have achieved so far?
Maan: I'm very happy with everything that has happened to me in life. I have achieved my goals and life is going very smoothly, so I'm very satisfied. With god's grace I always been able to do whatever I wanted to do in life.
Darpan: What should we classify Babbu Maan under: a writer, a singer, a composer or a simple man?
Maan: I'm just a simple farmer's son who happens to be doing what he loves the most and that is my music.
Darpan: Any message for your music lovers?
Maan: Enjoy life to the fullest and keep listening to Punjabi music.