Legendary qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's six-octave voice will now boom in discotheques and nightclubs. Kangana-fame Dr Zeus aka Baljit Singh has come up with a new album, Immortal Nusrat, wherein he has remixed and reproduced the great singer's famous tracks in hip-hop and rap music style.
Sounds strange. "Why? It is my way of paying a tribute to the legendary singer," says the Birmingham-based Punjabi singer and music producer in Chandigarh on Thursday for the album's launch.
Before we prod him further, he makes clear: "I am not trying to ride on the popularity of the great singer. I am already popular, doing my shows all across the world. This album is my effort to take one of the greatest Sufi singers ever to the younger generation."
He says that the problem with youngsters is that they don't listen to anything that does not have bass or fast beats. "The quality of music and lyrics has deteriorated. This album aims at taking Nursat's soulful music to the younger audience but in a cool avatar. I am sure music lovers will love the mix of hip-hop and Sufi," says Dr Zeus.
He says while there are tracks which have a soothing effect, there are other tracks, such as Main Yaar Yaar and Wich Pardesan, that have a mix of rap and fast beats, perfect for clubs and cars.
Rapper Shortie, his accompanist for the past 10 years, has also chipped in this album. Also present at the launch, Shortie says, "We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves recording this album which is a blend of urban and Sufi culture."
While the rapper says that he has had a pleasant association with the singer, Dr Zeus says in a lighter vein, "We are like husband and wife! None of my songs are possible without his rap, we are family!"
Married to a Punjabi girl, Dr Zeus who traces his roots to Jalandhar, adds, "Music is in my blood and I don't follow anybody's style."
Why Dr Zeus? "It struck while I was still in school. Zeus was the king of Greek gods and I wanted to become the king of hip-hop and rap music. 'Dr' was prefixed later as I wanted to sound highly educated," he chuckles.
He says he has tied up with UK-based singer Kanika Kapoor and G Sharmilla for his upcoming folk music album. "A promotional track, Jugni Ji, from the album is available on the net," he informs.
He has also collaborated with young Pakistani singer Bilal Saeed and soon they will work on a new album. Since his famous song Kangna has recently been used in Hindi film Chaar Din Ki Chandni, does he have any more tie-ups in Bollywood? "I have a few offers but I can't divulge too much right now," he signs off.