Punjabi swag with an angrezi touch: Diljit Dosanjh, Jassi Gill, Guru Randhawa have it
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Punjabi swag with an angrezi touch: Diljit Dosanjh, Jassi Gill, Guru Randhawa have it

Most of the top Punjabi singers are making use of English titles and English words in their lyrics to make the songs instantly relatable to a much wider audience. Here’s a look at why this works.

music Updated: May 29, 2018 18:49 IST
Diljit Dosanjh,Guru Randhawa,Jassi Gill
Top Punjabi music stars, such as Diljit Dosanjh and Jassi Gill, are among those liberally using English in their songs.(Diljit Dosanjh Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Give a Punjabi song an English title, sprinkle the lyrics with some English words and brand mentions, and there you have the golden recipe for a “relatable” song! Recent examples include: High End and Big Scene (both by Diljit Dosanjh); Illegal Weapon (by Jasmine Sandlas, featuring Garry Sandhu); Yeah Baby (by Garry Sandhu); Backbone (by Harrdy Sandhu); Youth (by Mankirt Aulakh); Trending Nakhra (by Amrit Maan); One Million (by Jazzy B); and It’s All About You (by Sidhu Moosewala).

According to the artistes, the idea is to reach out to non-Punjabi listeners, and if the lyrics reflect the everyday style of our conversations, it’s easier to strike a chord. Singer Jassi Gill says, “Lyrics come from conversations. Most people mix Hindi, Punjabi, and English while talking. Words that are used in daily life are catchy for listeners. Today, the songs that become hits are the ones that have simple lyrics. If there are only Punjabi lyrics, then only Punjabis will listen to us.”

Expressing a similar view, Rav Hanjra, the lyricist of all nine songs of Diljit’s latest album, Con.Fi.Den.Tial, says, “English words increase the range of listeners for us. There are non-Punjabi fans, too. English words make the lyrics easier for them to understand.”

Singer Guru Randhawa says that he takes inspiration for his song lyrics from everyday conversations. (Photo: Shivam Saxena/HT)

Singer Guru Randhawa, who has delivered hits such as Outfit and High Rated, says, “I write my songs taking inspiration from everyday life, and add a touch of common English words [that the youth use]. That’s relatable for the audience.”

Emphasising on the importance of a “catchy” title, Jassi says, “The title is released first with the song’s poster, even before the song itself. If people find the title interesting, they’d be curious about the song. An English title generates more curiosity.”

Singer Jasmine Sandlas, one of the top female artists in Punjabi music, had a big hit with Illegal Weapon. (Photo: Facebook/Jasmine Sandlas)

Many songs’ lyrics are also laced with brand names of liquor, cars, apparel, and mobile phones, and occasionally, even matrimonial websites and mosquito-repellent coils. In Gaal Ni Kadni, Parmish Verma sings, “Saraane la k so jaawa Mortein de coil nu.” And in Mini Cooper, Ammy Virk sings, “Mini Cooper lai dunga, vich baith k tu maari gediya.” A line from Diljit’s song High End goes, “Pairan wich Yeezy, munda rehnda baala busy.” Lyricist Rav explains Diljit’s song’s lyrics, “Diljit paaji often wears Yeezy (a luxe sneaker brand). That’s why I’ve used it in the song. Sometimes, a brand suits one’s personality.”

More such examples: “Shadi.com te munda bhal di” (by Sharry Mann); “Munda sohniye ni iPhone warga, jani khani nal hunda ni attach goriye” (A Kay); and “Teri haan di khushi de wich naare Label Black chaldi” (Gupz Sehra).

Jassi, whose song Chitti Lancer was a chart-topper in 2012, says, “I think it’s simply that whatever you do [or use] in your life, lyrics in your songs revolve around it. But, it is not like there has to be a brand in a song.” The singer feels that brands make songs more relatable for listeners. And what about the brands getting free publicity? “See, it’s not like we are that big that if we [indirectly] promoted a brand, its sales start going up. It doesn’t work like that,” says a humble Jassi, whose songs have multi-million views.

Punjabi beats, English names

Style by Deep Jandu

Yeah Baby by Garry Sandhu

Engaged Jatti by Kaur B

Youth by Mankirt Aulakh

High Standard by Himanshi Khurana

Snapchat Story by Bilal Sayeed

Big Scene by Diljit Dosanjh

Trending Nakhra by Amrit Maan

High End by Diljit Dosanjh

It’s All About You by Sidhu Moosewala

One Million by Jazzy B

Illegal Weapon by Jasmine Sandlas

So High by Sidhu Moosewala

***

Brand love

Maybelline naal jehdi laddi akh ni – Pagg wala munda (Diljit Dosanjh)

•Ki aah Gucci Armani Piche roldi jawani – Wakhra Swag (Navv Inder and Badshah)

Shadi.com te munda bhal di (Sharry Mann)

Mini Cooper lai dunga, vich baith k tu maari gediya (Ammy Virk)

Panamera Porsche mere thale (Diljit Dosanjh)

•Saraane la k so jaawa Mortein de coil nu (Parmish Verma)

•Munda sohniye ni iPhone warga, jani khani nal hunda ni attach goriye (A Kay)

•Teri haan di khushi de wich naare Label Black chaldi (Gupz Sehra)

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First Published: May 29, 2018 18:45 IST