'Punjabi music is popular across the world'

Chandigarh, Feb 16 (IANS) Punjabi has made its presence felt in every corner of the world, says Britain-based music composer Rajinder Singh Rai aka Punjabi MC, who uses a lot of Punjabi folk and bhangra in his fusion music.

Rai, who visited Chandigarh to promote his new album "Indian Timing", told IANS: "Punjabi has become a cosmopolitan language that has made its presence felt in every corner of the world. Even my new album 'Indian Timing' features international artistes like Jay-Z and Ofra Haza. In fact, no Bollywood movie is complete without a Punjabi song."

Talking about his stint in European countries, he said: "The response is awesome and people there are mad after remix Punjabi music. Audience there like the amalgamation of Punjabi and hip-hop tunes. They like fast rhythms and loud drum beats."

Rai says fusion is in his blood and there are no boundaries or set limits of music.

"Fusion is in my blood as I was born and brought up in the UK in a Punjabi family. I love experimenting with music, like to mix urban club numbers with traditional folk music or with modern bhangra beats," Rai said.

He became popular in 2003 in the US and European music circuit when his single "Mundian to bach ke rahi" was remixed by American rapper Jay-Z.

Rai said he wanted to "stay connected" with his roots, adding, "That is why I have made it a compulsory point to visit Punjab at least once a year. This time I will also shoot here for my next album."

"Indian Timing" has 20 tracks and is produced by Universal Music Group. It has a remix version of Bappi Lahri's famous song "I am a disco dancer".

"I am late with this album because I was busy in my world tour. I believe that music knows no religion, caste or creed. It is indeed equal for everyone, I have seen Europeans enjoying on Punjabi music equally vociferously as we hard core Punjabis do," Rai said.

Rai, who is also open to Bollywood, said: "I do not want to rush things and I am waiting for the right opportunity to come in my way. I am very impressed with A.R. Rahman and believe that he possesses a good chance to win an Oscar award."

Giving a piece of advice to youngsters, he said: "There is immense talent in Punjab and I want to advise the youngsters here not to get carried away on seeing others."

Rai said there are many cases of youngsters selling off their ancestral property to fund their albums. "This is not the right thing; rather they should keep on working hard and just wait for the right opportunity to come," he said.

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