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Folk and Sufi, Punjabi way

Folk and Sufi, Punjabi way
‘I am not allured by the glitz and glamour of Bollywood. It does not suit my image, neither do I intend to make stars dance on my numbers’, asserts Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaj.

He rose to fame with Cheerey Waaleya. Since then, his popularity has seen a constant surge. ‘My journey in music has been predominantly overseas. My shows abroad aim at bringing Punjabis together,’ said Sartaj.

An exponent for the past 17 years, Satinder holds a doctorate degree in Sufi music from Punjab University. ‘I am most comfortable on stage. Right now I am in the happiest phase of my life,’ quipped Sartaj.

But does singing solely in Punjabi make him lose out on Hindi audience? ‘I am a representative of my culture. There are plenty of Hindi poets and singers who are making a mark. I am not cut out for anything apart from Punjabi music,’ said the 32-year-old.

Satinder, who idolises Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, calls himsef both a Pakistani and an Indian Punjabi and feels that content is a powerful tool to represent any culture. ‘I aspire to promote social messages through my music. Stigmas like deforestation, poverty, corruption form the crux of my songs,’ he said.

At his recent concert in the Capital, he belted out his masterpieces like Sai Ve Sadi Fariyad Tere Tayi’. The event was held as part of the Annual Literary Award function organised by the Punjabi Academy.

The North America-based singer calls his music the amalgamtion of folk and sufi genre. ‘My first stage performance was in Class 3. If not a musician, I would have been a architect as I am in awe of heritage monuments and buildings,’ said Sartaj. ‘Punjabi music needs some serious revival. Instead of dhol baja, content should have more emotions,’ he said.
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