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Getting lucky

From calling it quits and wanting to head to Canada, to having a successful debut in the world of music - Nishawn Bhullar knows the roller coaster that life offers

chandigarh Updated: Jul 04, 2012 18:19 IST
Navleen Lakhi

When you are completely new in the entertainment industry and your friends have funded your first album, you play safe by choosing the right lyrics that would make your album a hit. And when it does turn out to be a grosser, you are pronounced lucky. Such is Punjabi singer Nishawn Bhullar aka Balraj Singh's case - who created a rage with his songs Hummer and Teri Photo Kyun Ni Bhagat Singh - and who has been fortunate at every step that he took. Talking to HT City, he shares about his recently released second album, his acting debut and more.


Starting up
Nishawn, 26, who traces his roots to Bathinda, but has grown up in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, shares, "My passion for singing started in school, when I used to sing Kuldeep Manak's songs instead of regular poems. Since everyone started appreciating, I pursued graduation in music from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. Later, I spent two years at Bhairoopa village, with Bhai Chamkaur Singh and his dhadhi jatha. That's where my actual lessons and learning comes from."

He shifted base to Chandigarh in 2005, heeding to a common saying in villages that marks coming to the city with being a singer and cutting an album. "I worked in the Centurian Bank of Punjab for a year, and later thought of going to Canada since nothing was working out," recalls Nishawn.

First break
But the singer-to-be was not destined to go to Canada. "My friends encouraged me to take out my album and also assured that they'd spend whatever amount was required," he says. Nishawn then started working on his debut album, The Folkstar, in 2008 and released it in 2010. "I was very choosy about the lyrics, as we knew that choosing the right songs would make the album a hit. And that's what happened," he declares. The singer shares an incident that talks of his success, "A month after the release of my album, our car was stopped at a naka and when the ASI learnt that I was sitting in the car, he told me how much he appreciated my song, Bhagat Singh."

Return of The Folkstar
Now that his second album, Return of the Folkstar, released this June 15, it's got Nishawn excited all over again. Says he, "Like my first album, this too has some great songs such Udham Singh and London. Music has been given by DJ Sanj, Tigerstyle and Jeeti & Popsy."
Nishawn will also lend his voice to a religious album with music by composer Popsy and will sing for another album, Hyper 2, which features songs by various singers and music by Popsy. He has also sung the promotional song of Ajj De Ranjhe, an upcoming Punjabi film by Manmohan Singh.

Acting calling
The acting bug has already caught the singer, who will make his debut with Gul Panag-starrer Punjabi film Sarsa. "I play a character called Fateh, who is the leader of one of the groups. Acting wasn't a difficult task for me since I have already faced the camera when shooting videos for my songs," Nishawn says.

However, his acting abilities might be seen better in another upcoming Punjabi film called Nabar, which has the singer in the lead. Directed by Rajiv Sharma, Nishawn says the USP of the movie is its script and music.

"It's the story of perseverance, courage and belonging. Channi Gill directs the music of the film, with there being ample experimentation. But it has no mention of alcohol or girls. From a shabad to a Sufi song or Chandi Di Waar; Nabar's songs are sung by Sufi singers such as Barkat Singh and Jyoti Nooran of the Nooran-sisters fame," he signs off.