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Interviews |  13 Feb 2010 15:00 |  By RnMTeam

Gurdas Maan - "I will not compromise on lyrics to collaborate with International artistes"

He is often credited with raising Punjabi folk music from a regional level to international heights. Hailed once as the King Of Bhangra, Gurdas Maan is adept at juggling singing, acting and performing with panache.

Excerpts from a conversation -

You have been a singer and performer, have you ever considered making a film on the lines of a Rockstar, or about your life? Also, was it a conscious effort on your part to keep your singing and acting career separate?

I do have intentions of doing something on those lines. There are too many personal bitter experiences and good experiences too. Every emotional up and down of my life, I feel I need to portray in some film. You never know, maybe in the coming year, you will get to see that film of mine.

And no, it was never a conscious effort to not make a singing or dancing film, mostly it depends on the director how the film is going to turn out.

How do you strike a balance between singing, performing, making albums and acting?

I believe everything is linked. To be honest, my album got delayed due to my film, and also due to the film I did - Chak Jawaana..., as I have written the songs for both the films. That's why my private album got delayed. As for balancing time, if you are committed to what you have decided to do, then there are no complications regarding time. With stage performances, once done, you can get to relax. However with films, after every 15 minutes or so, the shot is ready, sometimes you have to wait for an hour or two, as someone else's shot is going on. So you have to give a total hundred per cent of your time. But if God has gifted you with such abundance of talent, he also gives the power to sustain and deliver it.

Over these years, how and in what way do you think your career, your music or your style has changed?

According to me, the audience and my fan following is just increasing. As long as you do your work with complete and absolute love, with good intentions and dedication, you are always blessed with recognition. So whatever you write is what people feel. If you can feel it, it shall definitely touch the hearts of your audience. Maybe, that's the reason even today people shower me with the same love and respect.

You were the one who gave Indian folk music international recognition. Today, Bhangra music is mixed with western beats by well known artists in Bollywood. What is your take on that? Would you ever consider collaborating with any international artistes or may be even with A R Rahman?

Even we believe in inventing good and new sound quality, our music director Jaidev Kumar has always done the best. The audience also accepted and loved the music. The lyrics in the music have to be good, with some message, plus the entertainment factor also has to be there. When all these factors are present, people fall in love with the songs. Today even A R Rahman has been nominated for Grammy awards. It's a big honour for us and for all Indians. If something so honorable comes my way, I'll never back out. But at the same time, I shall never change who I am, the kind of melodious and meaningful lyrics I write will always be a part of me. There shall be no compromise on the same. The poetic side of lyrics can never be taken away from the song.

Have you ever considered starting a school, where the essence of Bhangra is taught as an art form of performing?

To be honest, I still consider myself as a student. So the question of being a teacher or headmaster is secondary. Of course, it's only fair that this unique love for this art form should be passed down to the new generation. However, what's in store in the coming days depends on my new movie Sukhmani..  with Juhi Chawla, that is ready for release.

Will we ever see you acting or hear you singing in any Bollywood movie?

My voice is more suitable to a stage performer's voice. The requirement for a film playback singer is of a real refined voice. A more practised and learned voice. I honestly have never learnt anything in the practical sense. I can rarely follow the director's rules. Maybe, that's my weak point.

Your song, Dil da mamla... is still popular amongst the younger generation. Do you think you can flow with the current trend and make a reinvention of that song and present it again in a brand new package?

Yes, I have given it a thought, and would like to do it. However, I need to invest valuable time to focus on that. Currently, our Australia tour will be starting soon enough. Post that is the US tour. Then I will be touring many Indian cities during the festival season. Of course, there are many beautiful songs that have gone unnoticed, and through this medium of reinventing,  we can make them flourish again with a new fragrance.