Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.
— Stevie Wonder, American singer-songwriter
An artiste creates and the viewers accept. Or, they don’t! But the process of creation is a risk well worth taking. If Afsana Khan’s Titliaan had the perfect collaborators, then Harnoor had the dedication to give his best in Waliaan and Tony Kakkar’s effortlessness shines in Shona Shona… Different reasons for succeeding! If you are wondering what’s common between all the three, well, all these Punjabi songs have got themselves an English cover — a different version sung for the original song.
The song Titliaan has become quite a sensation. Little wonder then, Bharti Singh and Kiku Sharda created a funny act out of it backstage on The Kapil Sharma show, while Bollywood bhangra choreographer Manpreet Toor made its dance video and YouTuber Emma Heesters created an English cover, which gained 2.2 million views in a mere two weeks. “Whenever your hard work pays off, you feel happy. This has become my favourite creation and I am thankful to the team — be it the lyricist Jaani, musician Avvy Sra or the artistes, Sargun Mehta and Harrdy Sandhu, who featured in it. It has crossed the 300 million mark already,” says the singer Afsana Khan.
She adds, “Nobody wants to give a flop song. And to create something, one puts in all the hard work and dedication. To be honest, I sang it in one-take and it took 10-15 minutes. It was the dummy version which got released, not even the final recording. I have heard the English version and really appreciate the translated version.”
Caught by surprise
“I had heard the Titliaan song cover by Emma Heesters, but never knew I would get to listen to mine afterwards,” says the Waliaan singer Harnoor. On December 27, the Dutch singer, Heesters, posted a teaser of Waalian with the caption, “Waalian… This one was highly requested… What song you wanna hear next” on Instagram and on New Year’s Eve, she uploaded the cover of the same. While the song garnered 76 million views, its cover song bagged Emma 55k views in eight hours!
Harnoor, who is originally from Amritsar and resides in Houston, Texas, USA, says, “I have been living in the US since 2018. In 2019, I began my music career. I came to know about the cover song through followers and fans who slid this post in my DMs (direct messages on Instagram). I instantly felt connected to her version of my song. I believe the cover singer has been honest with the composition as I was and tried to retain the originality of the lyrics.”
Harnoor plans to come up with more singles and will also collaborate with lyricist Gifty, who wrote the lyrics for Waalian. Another of his songs Moonlight was released on December 28 and he believes Punjabi music is creating waves. Way to go!
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