Movies & Music

Jasvinder Singh to perform in the city

The Ghazal maestro is all set to perform some of his soulful renditions at the Kyra Theatre in Bangalore.

 Jasvinder Singh is one of the youngest Ghazal singers in the country. Jasvinder Singh is one of the youngest Ghazal singers in the country.

One of the youngest Ghazal singers in the country, Jasvinder Singh has charmed audiences across the world with his soulful Ghazals. Son of the famous music composer Kuldip Singh, he has performed on many television shows. In 1999 won the Mega finals of TVS Sa-Re-Ga-Ma, the popular musical programme on ZEE TV. Set to perfrom at the Kyra Theatre on 21st October, MyBangalore caught up with the singer and talks to him about his inspirations, his albums and the Ghazal scene in India.
Tell us about Ghazal as a musical genre and about how got interested in it?
 Ghazal was brought to India by the Mughals during those days it was not in the form it is now. As time progressed the form changed. Gazals before were used to sing praises to the emperor and then the themes changed as years passed on. As for my interest, I come from a musical family. My father is the veteran music director, Kuldip Singhji, who earlier composed melodies such as "Tumko dekha toh ye khayal aaya" and "Itni shakti kamein dena daata". He is not only my father but my guru also and whatever I sing now, it is because of his blessings. As a child I used to listen to him sing and teach and that instilled passion in me and told myself that I have to take this art form ahead.
Where did you get your musical training?
As far as Ghazal is concerned, I learnt that from my father and I started to train in classical music under Dr. Sushila Pohankar and Pt Ajay Pohankar for around 15 years. Apart from this, I also learnt how to play violin and piano.  
Are you deeply influenced by Jagjit Singh?
I deeply admire Jagjit Singhji. He is a source of inspiration and from whom I have learnt immensely and he has also guided me greatly. He is a great artiste but I have always felt the need to create my own style and bring a sense of uniqueness rather than imitating anybody.
How has your journey been s far, since your first album?
My first solo album, "Yours Truly" was released by Tips Music and my second album, "Dilkash" was released in 2003and both were appreciated by music lovers across the world. My third album, "Ishq Nahin Asaan" was released by SaReGaMa HMV recently. It contains seven ghazals and one nazm. The subject of the album is romance and all the ghazals/nazms are written by the master shayars/poets like Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jigar Muradabadi, etc. The music has been composed by Shri Kuldip Singhji.
According to you are Ghazals still popular in India ?
Ghazal took a backseat a few years ago but the times are changing now. One of the reasons is that there are not many new Ghazal singers. We have been listening to veterans like Jagjit Singh and Pankaj Udhaas for decades and they are all our seniors, the listeners now want a fresh voice. If I ask anyone to list Ghazal singers from the newer generation they will fail, because there are not many singers to take this genre forward. But now the atmosphere is changing and people now listen to softer music. When your heart and soul start demanding this, can you deny it?
You have done a lot of concerts abroad. Do you think people there appreciate Ghazals more than people here?
People there are going back to their roots and they are craving for new artistes and good music. The environment there is more conducive to development of such art forms. Someone recently told me that they don't listen to Ghazals and I asked them how will you know what it is unless you listen to it? How will one know the taste of something without tasting it?
The type of Ghazals do you sing...
I emphasize more on melody and poetry, the poetry I select is very simple and meaningful, the compositions I choose are soft and soothing and my theme is the universal theme of love and romance.  
Apart from Ghazal what kind of music do you like?
I love to sing Sufi songs. The difference between Ghazals and Sufi songs is that when you love on a human level it is Gazals and when it grows to love God, they become the Sufi music. I also sing Punjab folk songs. I am probably the only Sardarji who is not singing Punjabi folk but sing Ghazals. I want to tell the world that Punjabis can sing the softer music.
Any comments on the music scene in India, especially India?
Bollywood tries to revive Ghazals and it is proven in history that whenever there have been Ghazals in movies, they have become hits. Composers should try to include more of them in movies, which will be a healthy step towards promoting poetry and good music.
Tags: Tips, Jasvinder Singh, ghazal singer, Jagjith Singh, Pankaj Udas, Saregama

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