In the career span of about 20 years, Punjab’s very own folk singer and dancer Pammi Bai has made an identity for himself that is unshaken and respected. So much so, that even when his 12th music album, Meri Jugni, is all set to release in an era when music and lyrics tend to fall under the scanner of vulgarity, lewd lyrics and misogyny, Pammi Bai stands evidently calm, sporting his eight-track album.
In these two decades, nothing has changed -- neither his folk style, nor the shape of his moustache.
As he keeps twirling the ends of his moustache, his sustained love for colours also strikes us — an orange turban and tie — at the release of his eight-track album, Meri Jugni, in Chandigarh on Thursday.Coming up with an album after a gap of two years, Pammi says, "A solo song came out in 2013, but for the past two years, I had been working solely on this album. Almost a year went into scouting for tracks from various lyricists. The album now has tracks such as Jogan, Arhi, Taur, Jaa Ni, Dil, Koi Na and Putt."
When asked about the title track, Jugni, which has earlier been sung by various other singers, Pammi says, “Jugni is a folk song of Punjab. Artistes from both the Punjabs have their own renditions of it. A lot of them lent a modern touch to it. My version, however, is garnished with my signature folk style.”
So, which singer’s rendition has won his heart over? “Renowned Punjabi singer Gurmeet Bawa’s Jugni remains unmatched. I still remember, long ago, she had to perform the same at Wankhede Stadium.
After her performance, everyone in the audience was left spellbound. I was awestruck to see the response. Then, from Pakistan, Jugni tan Alam Lohar di hi hai. Arif Lohar has sung a modernised version of it,” says he.
Pammi, who believes in keeping himself updated with time, talks about the online response his Jugni is receiving. “I understand that physical sales are deteriorating day by day. Online presence is very important and that’s what I’m focusing on. Listeners are appreciating the tracks on iTunes and we are getting a good number of downloads.”
Pammi also spills the beans on Coke Studio: “They asked me to be a part of it in the previous season, but the negotiation couldn’t come through. But if I get any offers from them now, I’m open to it.”
With the fellowship that he has received from Punjabi University, Patiala, next on his cards are projects involving folk instruments. He says, “Currently, I’m working on compiling information about folk instruments of Punjab, which will come out in the form of three versions of books.”