The USP of Punjabi balladeer Rabbi Shergill’s music lies in its uniqueness, opine many listeners. The music of his songs, says he, draws inspiration from genres such as Rock, Sufi as well as Punjabi folk music. But for Rabbi, his work is just an expression of his roots and the Punjabi culture that he has grown up in.
“I am the son of a farmer, the I grandson of a Punjabi lady who was also a farmer. So, my music is an expression of what I have grown with,” says Rabbi, who was in Amritsar on Sunday for an event. Akal Purakh Ki Fauj the event’s organisers, also honoured the singer with ‘Sikh Gaurav Sanman’ of the year for being a Sikh with unshorn hair.
After receiving the award, Rabbi confessed that he had cut his hair when he was in college, but his grandmother’s words inspired him to grow them back. “I feel that in today’s times, we all face an intellectual battle of image and visuals. The Sikh youth might face an inferiority complex regarding their looks, which can only be overcome if they understand that our model of beauty and being handsome is different,” he said.
He said he believed his physical appearance was his strength, his ‘niche’.
Coming to his music, Rabbi says his music is about staying true to his identity. “I
love rock music and have grown up on Punjabi poetry and music. So, all of this finds expression in my music,” he says.
Riding high on the popularity of his latest song, Jhalla, from the film Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Rabbi says he had a great experience being a part of the song, especially because talented artistes such as Gulzar, AR Rahman and Yash Chopra were associated with it.
Having also been a part of some live shows, Rabbi exclaims ecstatically about the response he got, “You should have been at my shows. At two of them, we had to request the audience to calm down fearing that the balcony will break from all the dancing.”
The singer says he will next be heard in another Hindi film song, while a video of a song from his next album is currently being canned.