Few launch music careers in their 50s, but Chandigarh-born Blory has gone and done just that – and her debut number based on a traditional Punjabi folk song has climbed up Indipop charts within days of its release in early June.
Called ‘Holle, Holle’, the video and audio of the number has a contemporary feel to it, with overtones of hip-hop and rap. Sung by Blory, it is produced by Dr Zeus, a prominent Birmingham-based singer and music producer, with rap contributions by Shortie.
A modern feel-good song
Blory told Hindustan Times: “The main tune of the traditional Punjabi song is the same, but it has been wonderfully blended by Dr Zeus and Shortie for the contemporary age. It seems to have been received well even by the Asian audiences in the UK”.
Besides featuring prominently in Indian/Asian television channels in the UK, the song is also among the most popular on radio stations, including the BBC Asian Network. Talking of her future plans, the singer plans to come out with two more Punjabi songs with similar contemporary feel, soon.
Music runs in the family
Wife of an orthopaedic surgeon and mother of two grown-up children, Blory comes from a music family. Born to singer, lyricist and composer, the late Sardar Gursharan Singh Matwala, she studied at Chandigarh’s Carmel Convent School and later graduated in classical vocal music and political science from Panjab University, Chandigarh.
“Until now I was occupied with family and business, but encouragement from friends, particularly Anjli Paul, and the desire to do something for myself made me venture beyond singing in family situations. I am enjoying this new professional career,” said Blory.
Creating a new genre
The talented singer is the latest in the list of Punjab-origin singers in Britain who have created a genre combining bhangra, rap, hip-hop and Punjabi folk songs since the 1960s. Birmingham is the centre of this genre of fusion-based music in post-war Britain.
The genre has now become mainstream, particularly due to popular contributions over the decades from artistes such as Apache Indian, Bally Sagoo and Panjabi MC. Channi Singh, considered the ‘godfather’ of ‘British bhangra music’, was honoured with an OBE in 2012.