We recently caught up with Malkit Singh who was in Mumbai for a Vaisakhi show to bring you this Exclusive Interview!
After taking Bhangra Music to Queens House, which heights are you looking at now to take Bhangra music to?
First of all Jee Ayaan Nu to all my fans out there, and my best wishes to all of them and their family members for Baisakhi.
It’s the Music and not me that has cast its spell at that level, but it’s an achievement for me to have taken Punjabi Music to an unparalleled peak, it’s one thing to be appreciated by your own people and in your country, but it’s a different feeling of great contribution when Royals from a far off country honor you for your contribution in an art field.
Regarding my remaining ambition, I don’t really plan ‘castles and empires’ but believe in making best out of what comes my way, however one thing that I want to do is take Pure Punjabi and Bhangra music to British Charts and American Charts (Billboards).
No matter how much we proclaim our music’s influence, those charts represent what people are listening to. I want to take it beyond just “Punjabis listening to Punjabi’.
Who were your initial influences which pulled you towards singing and Music?
My influences when I started are my influences even today; I was really pulled towards music by folk singers like Kuldeep Manak and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Ji.
I have been lucky enough that he was my guru in my initial years. He is a legend and his impact on my music has been to large extent. My period where I was trained by Nusrat Ji remains the most formative period of my music life.
What are the latest projects you are working on and will they be bigger than your previous hits?
The Audience decides what is hit and what is unfit. I can only make sure than I give my hundred percent with different music styles and lyrics. I have always tried to give the audience something fresh and original and so far they have embraced it.
I am working on a new album containing 9 tracks (releasing around the end of May 2009). I have tried to bring in new sounds and have collaborated with talented people like Rishi Rich and PMC.
It’s a great blend of pure Punjabi sound with new world music and the result will be out soon for everyone to see and appreciate.
A humble request for everyone ‘Buy Original’.
What do like to listen to; from Bollywood, Bhangra or English?
You will still find cds of old Punjabi folk artistes playing in my car that too in repeat mode. I enjoy as well as get inspired from such music. I’m a big fan of Sufi music and as I mentioned before listening to Nusrat Ji remains very important.
I also quite like the new generation of Bollywood singers like Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala and Sonu Nigam. I think all are very talented and deserve to be wherever they are.
Which is your own personal favorite (close to heart) song from your own sung numbers? And why?
Well it’s difficult to choose best among your own children, but one song which will remain as relevant at all times is ‘Maa’ I have seen people go to weddings all the way to India and all of them crying and hugging their family members after the song on an occasion like marriage.
It just affirms that how this song has stirred them emotionally. It’s a great feeling for as an artiste.
Do you wish to Sing or as a co-singer with any particular composer such as AR Rahman.?
I definitely want to work with good musicians and new talent, but all in the effort to give audience something novel and fresh. As I told earlier, I don’t plan or wish very big things. I owe whatever I have to the almighty and am God fearing person.
Sometime you can dream and aspire to build Rome, but it may not come true because you focus too much on that one thing and miss the enjoyment of the journey.
I had never planned or thought of the exact status of place wherever I am today , and I enjoy it that way, and hence do the best with whatever I have at present.
Piracy has been affecting Indian and global music markets in a very terrible manner? Do you get affected by it as you are involved in so many live musical shows??
The answer is obvious. Piracy is equivalent of stealing. I can afford to do shows after more than 20 years in this profession. But not every newcomer will have that opportunity in the beginning.Whenever an album comes it’s not like that the main artiste who earns huge chunks of profit but Studio costs, expense of the musicians and marketing, everything depends on the single fact that whether the listener will buy the product in an authentic way.
The worrying fact is that if the users don’t listening to piracy, they will soon be complaining about no new artistes coming up , but the fact is the new artistes need support in every way to sustain a career.
Also its pure disrespect to the artist, who has poured his soul and heart in the product. I guess if everyone would know the process of making a half decent music album, most of the people would stop listening to pirated music.
Piracy is Theft. Period
From all the countries that you have performed in, which has been you favorite location and which you look forward to go there again?
I have been lucky enough to have been performed in all good places. My current place of residence (Birmingham) UK is great place with great people.
Among the other places that I have performed, I particularly like Singapore for its round the year great weather and peaceful nature of people. The streets and markets are very spic. I just like forward to go there whenever possible. The hospitality seen there is also something to learn about.
What is you message to all young aspiring artistes in this music industry? Should they keep on persisting till they break through or give oneself a target?
We are waiting for the youth to come and take the current Punjabi music forward, and moreover I will lend all my support.
But, Music is not monkey business; it’s a deep and pure form of art which has to be persisted for years together. It is like religion which is to be followed.
But what we are rather seeing is power of money and marketing dominating the markets. This set of Myspace musicians is more inclined towards shortcut to fame and money. What are your thoughts on that?
There is no harm in having a desire for anything, but that should not become the reason for you to choose music as your profession.
When I started music, we never thought of becoming rich and having money as the first thing, it was the dedication.
One more things to remember is there is absolutely to substitute to ‘Hard work’. If you have talent and are ready to give whatever it takes to reach out to people, no should have any second thoughts about your position or possession.
Finally, what is you massage to all the readers at SimplyBhangra.com throughout the world reading your Interview?
Thank you to Simply Bhangra for the Interview. Punjabis or anyone listening to this, my message is that remain humble and polite in your attitude. Whatever you do in life, put in lot of effort in bring out the best.
Never think about how much money that person has whom you are talking to and treat everyone with respect. I try do this till this date.
Give every single one the basic respect of being human being. Each one deserves it.
SimplyBhangra.com would like to thank Malkit Singh for taking time out to conduct this interview.