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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

Music redefined

Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times   December 13, 2012
First Published: 10:30 IST(13/12/2012) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(13/12/2012)

Having started their music journey together four years ago, Chandigarh’s Hari Singh and Sukhmani Malik have succeeded in making a mark in world music, a feat not many can boast of in such a short period of time.


In city’s Satva in Sector 26 on Wednesday to perform along with Sukhmani at the lounge, Hari talked about producing and engineering music and the duo’s upcoming gigs. The two have to their credit several reworked Punjabi folk songs, including Sammiye, Kale Rang Da Paranda and Chhalla, which were made popular all over again, from New Delhi to New York. About his music partner, Hari says, “With Sukhmani, planning our goals has never been a problem. Our wavelength is same and we have never thought differently. She is a trained artiste.”

Lately, Hari, 30, and Sukhmani collaborated with Indian percussion wizard Trilok Gurtu on a documentary-travelogue show, The Dewarists, which airs on Star World and features musicians from different parts of the world collaborate and create original music while travelling in India. Says Hari about the show that won bronze at Cannes Lion 2012, “Trilok Gurtu needs no introduction; he is 60 and extremely knowledgeable. I came back more confident after the guru-chela bond that I shared with him.”

He adds, “Trilok sir has shown a lot of faith in us, in terms of production.” Some time ago, Hari had stated about Gurtu in the Indian edition of the music magazine, Rolling Stone India, “He’s a big guy but it was mad for us to be collaborating with him because he was so engrossed in himself.” Indeed, the musician’s mind is changed now.

However, this isn’t the duo’s first TV appearance, as they were last seen on Coke Studio. Comparing the two shows, Hari comments, “Both are big platforms for a musician, but The Dewarists puts two different artistes with varied backgrounds together to produce an original product, which is quite a task.”

With no plans of churning out an album, Hari announces that their next single, Maati, will be out in December. Their collaborations with other artistes will also continue, shares he. “Post a recent fortuitous meeting with Pakistani pop band, Noori, comprising siblings Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, we collaborated with the band for a track titled, Yaarian. We even plan to perform with the Pakistani band at a gig in Delhi next week.” With US-based hip-hop artiste, Mandeep Sethi, they have yet another track, that releases in December as well.

Discussing his lifestyle of a new-age musician, made of stage performances, single tracks, collaborations and online releases, Hari says, “We are known for our stage performances as we have a unique style. In the future, we will focus on that as well as on collaborations and singles. We want to be known as serious musicians.” 

As he announces the commencement of his April tour to Norway and its districts, the musician adds, “YouTube is a bliss for all the young musicians these days; even online releases are in vogue. So, it’s more important to evolve than to do something different,” he declares before signing off.

The Dewarists: unplugged with Hari and Sukhmani
The Dewarists has organised a special treat for Chandigarh’s music lovers, as they bring Hari and Sukhmani to perform here. The show had the two shoot with co-collaborator Trilok Gurtu on the outskirts of Chandigarh. This episode, which captures their soulful singing and Trilok’s instrumental genius, airs on Star World on December 23, 2012.

The show explores artistes’ journey as musicians and the struggles they face in expressing themselves and their music, while celebrating the fact that no hardship can deter them from composing and writing music. Hari and Sukhmani will perform at Satva, SCO 40, Sector 26, Chandigarh, on December 12 & 19; January 9 & 23, and February 6 & 20.

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