The first thing that Academy award fame Sukhwinder Singh does when he lands in Chennai is touch the ground and do a namaskar! “I got the first break in my professional life here”, he tells DC in a free-flowing interview, covering his aspirations and apprehensions.
Recalling how he met Oscar-winner A.R Rahman, Singh says, “Rahman asked me if I wrote songs. I said I loved poetry. He introduced me to Govind Nihalani and I wrote a song. Next Mujhe rang de happened. I expressed my wish to lend my voice as I did not think myself a great poet.”
Not much later, Sukhwinder introduced Rahman to Baba Bulleh Shah’s poetry and Chaiyya Chaiyya happened.
Singh waxes eloquent about Rahman, with whom he is collaborating. “He has a tremendous sense of composition and is a very good technician. He introduces new talent. When I met him first, I did not know how to stand in front of the mic.”
Singh’s understanding of music has evolved over the years, although he was a born singer. “First I understand the content, taking time, and then I perform”, he says.
As an artiste, Singh has one reservation - “The poetry has to be neat and clean. I cannot sing vulgar words. Everybody in the music industry knows that.”
Singh’s style of vibrant music will never be old. “I know songs of yesteryear were good. But to live in the present is the best way. I do upgrade myself. The past is never a graveyard. You learn from it. If someone wants a remix of Ramta Jogi/ Chaiyya Chaiyya, I will be happy to do it.”
About new composers, Singh feels, “they have passion but no experience. The industry is doing good, but not that great.”
The singer, who does not run after concerts, is happy about what he has achieved. “I will do 10-12 songs a year - that is my approach to my passion and profession.”
“My intuition says this is going to be a milestone. 2020 is going to be mine”, he signs off....