Sukhwinder says that Bollywood musicians don’t know what Sufism means | music | Hindustan Times
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Sukhwinder says that Bollywood musicians don’t know what Sufism means

Playback singer Sukhwinder Singh has also sung several Sufi numbers. He feels that too many Bollywood musicians now brand themselves ‘Sufi’ without any deeper understanding of the genre.

music Updated: Apr 17, 2017 18:10 IST
Samarth Goyal
Sukhwinder Singh was once questioned by show organisers for not looking like a Sufi musician at a Sufi concert.
Sukhwinder Singh was once questioned by show organisers for not looking like a Sufi musician at a Sufi concert.

Sukhwinder Singh, one of the most successful playback singers of Bollywood, is also known for his songs in the Sufi genre. Speaking of Bollywood’s relationship with this genre, which has devotion and spirituality at its core, he says that most singers in the film industry these days don’t understand the meaning of Sufi music.

“Those who claim they are Sufi singers/ musicians have a few things in common. Firstly, they’ll all have long hair. Then their hands will be forever up, pointing towards the sky, and finally, every sentence of their song will have the word maulaz, or ali maula. That does not make the song Sufi, or classify them as Sufi musicians,” he jokes.

“It’s disrespecting the original Sufi saints,” adds the 45-year-old singer, who has been a household name since the release of his song Chaiya Chaiya, from the 1998 film Dil Se. “Sufism is about what you feel and how you feel it, inside your heart. Har baar jhuk ke gaane se, apne chehre ko baalon se chupaane se aadmi Sufi nahi ban jata. It’s a pious thing, and these people don’t even know what it means. They are using it to become famous.”

Sukhwinder also jokes about a concert, in which organisers specifically asked him to sing Sufi music, and were surprised when he didn’t “look like” a Sufi singer. “They (the organisers) had booked me for a Sufi rock concert. When I turned up for the concert, they were surprised. They said, ‘Sir aap toh lagte nai ho Sufi musician. Aapke baal bhi lambe nahin hain.’ I told them Sufi music dikhaya nai jata, mahsoos kiya jata hai,” he recalls.

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