Dipps Bhamrah ... article

.... Article by Dipps Bhamrah 13 Apr 07, 11:27 AM [ www.bbc.co.uk ]

I have a question for you ... how many artists do you know that appeal to a 6 year child, their 30 plus parents and their 70 plus granparents? How many artists can you think of, that would pay to watch another artist perform? Which artist has the respect to bring together different castes, communities and religions with the power of their music? Does anyone have the amazing ability to have that pull? Well within the world of Punjabi music there is one man who stands alone who can answer these questions….that man is the living legend, Gurdas Maan!

For many people Gurdas Maan is the be all and end all of music. He is the leader of Punjabi music, culture and pride. A singer, song writer, composer, actor, he is the equivalent to Elvis Presley. His song, style, profile, mere presence, has an overwhelming effect on those who are fortunate to see him perform or in person. In my personal opinion, the transition from artist to legend is cemented when the performer doesn’t even need to sing but can give his audience that look and still have them chanting his name. That’s Gurdas Maan! Gurdas Maan has been the undisputed king of Punjabi music since making his debut back in 1980.

His performance of ‘Dil Da Mamla Hai’, which he also wrote, caused nation wide waves in his homeland of India, since then, Gurdas Maan has become the world wide icon for Asian audiences. But why is Gurdas Maan so popular? What is so different about him? What separates him for other artists in the eyes of the public? The answer is simple life and respect. His music is kept simple and to the point. The unique aspect about Gurdas Maan’s music and in particular his lyrics, is that he writes about life, real life. Whereas the majority of the music world sing about drinking, dancing, women and violence, Gurdas Maan’s lyrical content captures the audience’s imagination and has the ability to make them visualise the words in their minds.

His track ‘Chugliyan’ is about gossiping ... how it takes place in all walks of life and the comical results it can have. ‘Mamla Garbar Hai’ translates to ‘There’s A Problem Here’ and talk about the complexity of some of life’s everyday situations. A song which stands out for me is ’Babe Bhangra Paunde Ne’ which translate into ‘The Grandad’s Are Dancing’. The song is a comical smoke screen to highlight the plight and disrespect of the current generation of youth. The hook of the song is ‘Sit down young lad cos now the Grandad’s are dancing’ and that is something that today’s youth might not be able to do when they are older because of their lifestyle. He talks about lighter scenarios, where lads nowadays insist on using gel in their hair because traditionally used mustard oil smells. Laziness, obesity and even the issue of drug taking amongst boys is tackled.

This is the pull of Gurdas Maan’s music and reason why he is so admired, because his music talks about his life, my life, your life ... real life! A song which he’s written for his forthcoming album sums Gurdas Maan up 'You can earn and eat your roti with pride, even if you’re a boot polisher'! Respect! For someone who is the cornerstone of Punjabi music around the world, for someone who can demand anything with the power he has, Gurdas has always maintained a level of dignity and respect which far surpasses those around him. His performances start and end with him praising and looking for divine inspiration.

At the recent Alpha ETC Punjabi Awards, he presented the lifetime achievement award to Ranjit Kaur and in doing so said that he is no position to be giving this award to her, he is in awe of her as well and touched her feet before presenting the award to her. A great mark of respect! In particular songs, he’s penned and praised many of the legends of our music and culture and crediting their achievements. In 'Punjabiye Zubane' (Punjabi Language) he talks to the Punjabi Zubane as a physical being and goes on to talk to it about how its been ill treating treated by some and how its been respected by some.

In the final verse he tells the language that legendry artists like Surinder Kaur, Parkash Kaur, Asa Singh Mastana have all does you a great service, writers and poets like Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Noorpuri have kept the language alive. The song ‘Pind Diyan Galliyan’, ‘The Streets of my Village’, he talks about the way life used to be in the villages of Punjab. In the song he credits another legend of Punjabi music in Kuldip Manak and talks about how he and previous generation all grew up hearing his tones being bellowed across the village.

Gurdas Maan respect is cemented by his own perception on himself. In songs which he has written himself he will write the line 'Marjaane Maan Nimane Nu' within the context of the song ... which means 'Small and down to earth Maan (himself)'. From music to acting, songs about comedy situations to serious life issues, whether you’re a Desi head, hardcore or Hip Hop fan, the legend Gurdas Maan resides in the hearts of all who know Punjabi music. He was, is and forever will be the leader of Punjabi music, culture and lifestyle. From India to Canada to right here at home in the UK, Gurdas Maan is the man who brings a smile to your face with his music and makes you proud to be Punjabi wherever you live! Long live the legend…the living legend…Gurdas Maan!

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