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Posted at: Jun 2, 2016, 12:17 AM; last updated: Jun 2, 2016, 12:17 AM (IST)

They got the swag right

Punjabi songs are no longer about singers doing balle balle. They are picking up good lyrics, travelling to exotic locales and using world class technology to capture the mood

All isn’t well

  • Despite everything going for it, the Punjabi music industry does have problems
  • The limited number of video directors and lyricists.
  • No good music recording studios.
  • Limited number of music directors and rappers, as a result most tracks look and sound the same.
  • Apprehensions about spending money on videos. Music companies (especially those based outside Punjab), do not easily invest in Punjabi music videos.

Jasmine Singh

A fellow colleague has recently shifted her allegiance from old Hindi numbers to Punjabi songs after she heard Punjabi singer Navv Inder’s super-hit track Wakhra Swag at a wedding. This colleague then got YouTube to help her with all the recent Punjabi songs...

Lo and behold, she now goes completely ga ga over the Punjabi songs, stylish Punjabi singers, meaningful lyrics (beyond dunaali and jatt), and some amazing music videos. “I happened to watch Sharry Mann’s Hash Tag song and its video reminded me of one of Enigma’s videos Return To Innocence,” she sounds happy with her new discovery.

Just when we are all praise for the rising stature of Punjabi films, a good look at the Punjabi music scene reveals its exponential growth, both in terms of content and look (those who have sworn their loyalty to dunali and Jatt da badla are excluded). Punjabi songs like Soch, Jaguar are finding place in Bollywood films, Punjabi numbers are trending over the Hindi film songs... the regional music scene of Punjab is definitely playing equally well on side B of the cassette! And how—

Thinking out of box

With Punjabi singers performing live in the non-Punjabi dominated places of the world, and back home, states where Punjabi community is countable, they have realised the reach of their tracks, and the need to get really professional about their execution. “Singers are open to collaborations with various artistes, they have become highly choosy about the lyrics, they are ready to invest more money in the videos and they follow the right marketing techniques. Overall, they are open to think out of the box,” shares Punjabi singer Preet Harpal who works with internationally-famed music directors. “Punjabi music is not restricted to Punjab, anymore,” he adds.

Following the write approach

For a long time Punjabi singers did not give much thought to the lyrics of their songs. Earlier, a dhinchak dhinchak sound was good enough. Now, with the coming up of young lyricist, who think young, who can translate real emotions into words, the lyrical aspect of music has upgraded to quiet a decent level. Young lyricists like Jaani or Babbu do not write songs for the heck of it. “We understand the pulse of the generation, we understand the mood, and we write is relatable. We don’t believe in selling our songs in bulk, our approach is also choosy,” shares lyricist Babbu.

Give it a shot

From regular locations in Tricity to moving to Delhi, Mumbai or Goa to shoot for a song, video directors are exploring newer locales. And what more, they are drawing inspiration from Hollywood videos! Directors like Navjit Buttar like to give an international look to his videos whereas video director Arvindr Khaira tries to give a fresh spin to the concepts’.

“Singers demand for their songs to be shot in countries like Istanbul, Turkey, Germany. They want the entire look of the video to be sleek.” At the same time, video directors are also more than willing to come up with unexplored concepts, making videos look like short films. Model watch

Bollywood faces are being seen in Punjabi music videos; models who are popular in Delhi and Mumbai fashion circuit, sing and run around in the videos. And yes, they don’t wear the regular salwar kameez, you will have more fashion exploding in a Punjabi music video than anywhere else in Punjab.

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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