Singing the popular kalams of Baba Bulleh Shah and other Sufi saints, much to the delight of his fellow students and other residents of Bajrapur, a sleepy village near Hoshiarpur, Satinder Sartaaj, who began as a child prodigy has now risen to eminence as an iconic singer of Punjabi folk and Sufiana music in India as well as abroad.
In town for the release of his fourth album, Ranrez, at the James Plaza hotel here in Chandigarh on Thursday, the singer, who has a doctorate in n classical music and Sufiana philosophy from Panjab University, shared his experiences of regaling audiences abroad at prestigious venues es including the Royal Albert Hall, London and talked about his love for stage performances. Sartaaj claims to have maintained his tradition of excellence as a lyricist, a composer and a singer in all the ten numbers in the album, which includes a judicious mix of melody, ornate poetry, technical virtuosity and foreign locales including Shakespeare’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The fast paced folk numbers deal with unrequited love, nature in all its splendour and romantic legends of yester-years.
Expressing grave concern over social evils lik like rampant drug ad addiction and female feticide plaguing Punjabi society, he remarked: “My anguish is reflected in my so songs.”
When asked about turning to Bollywood like many of his contemporaries, Sartaaj said,“Though I’ve received several offers I’m happy to continue with my stage performances. I draw my strength from the warmth and love of my audiences as also by performing at charity concerts like the one coming up in Mumbai this weekend for the benefit of cancer patients.”