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Soul of the song

brunch Updated: May 29, 2013 09:36 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Autocar India
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Almost a decade old in the Punjabi music industry, singer Kanth Kaler is happy that he has been able to survive and retain respect for his music. At the launch of his 21st album — Armaan: The Endless Quest For Love — at Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27 on Tuesday, Kaler revealed the reasons for sticking with sad/romantic songs and his latest work.

The voice behind songs such as Tu Chete Aave, Kaash Kite Oh and Asin Kehra Tere Bina, Kaler is blessed with a voice that makes hearts melt. But, the inspiration for his songs does not come from a broken heart, says the singer. “I don’t sing sad and romantic songs because of a heart break or because a girl dumped me. My voice is a blessing of God,” he says.

Interestingly, Kaler, who belongs to Nakodar in Jalandhar district, was born as Harvinder Kaler. “I was brought into the music industry by Madan Jalandhari (a renowned lyricist) in 1996. It was he who noticed the pain in my voice and named me Kaler Kanth.” Later, a spiritual guru that Kaler believes in asked him to put ‘kanth’ before Kaler and gave him the name he now goes by. “Sufi singer Ustad Puran Shah Koti counted me as one of the three Punjabi singers born with a heart-touching voice that expresses pain. That was a driving force for me,” the singer recalls.

Kaler’s latest album, Armaan… comes a year-and-a-half after he released Tere Bin, his previous music album. “My listeners complain that I take more than a year to release an album, but this is because I don’t do four films a year or sing for the heck of maintaining a record. For me, the song’s lyrics, music and composition should please my heart,” says Kaler.

Meanwhile, Armaan… has nine tracks, one of which is Kaler’s own rendition of Challa. “One of the tracks is called Maape, a soulful melody dedicated to parents. Then another one, Ik Mera Dil, is already on YouTube and has garnered four lakh hits so far. I appreciate that people have given a good feedback.”

On one account, Kaler is disappointed – the present scenario in the Punjabi music industry, which he believes is not conducive to nurturing of talent. “Like others, even I work to earn. But, along with money, respect is also important for me. There are times when people ask me to lie and say that I am in the US or Canada to show that I am busy. But, I don’t want to be fake. God has been kind to me and I’ll remain honest,” he signs off.