20 Questions With Diljit Dosanjh: How Quarantine Pushed His Music to a New Peak - DMT NEWS

Breaking News

20 Questions With Diljit Dosanjh: How Quarantine Pushed His Music to a New Peak

20 Questions With Diljit Dosanjh: How Quarantine Pushed His Music to a New Peak


Diljit Dosanjh has dominated just about every stage in the entertainment industry, from his nearly two decade-spanning music career to a mass of Bollywood film credits, and he’s taking his show to an even more elite level in 2020 with his eleventh album G.O.A.T.

Released in July, the Punjabi powerhouse’s latest record has created some of the biggest noise of his career, evidenced by his debut on the Social 50 chart, dated August 8 and the 52 million views and counting accrued on just the video for the album’s title track. Despite the irony of achieving a new peak of worldwide success at a time when so many are isolated at home, it seems to perfectly match his views on the communal, unifying nature of music.

“I believe music transcends across all cultures,” Dosanjh tells Billboard. “Music is my first love. I am humbled by G.O.A.T’s success on various worldwide charts including Billboard, and this kind of recognition motivates me to keep working on my art.”

Below, learn more about how quarantine life has impacted Dosanjh’s music and acting pursuits, the long-lasting inspiration from his hometown’s legendary folk singers and exactly what G.O.A.T. represents for his career.

1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?

It was a tape cassette of the late music legend Kuldeep Manak. He is regarded as the best Punjabi singer of all time, and he was known for singing a rare genre of Indian music known as Kaliyan.

2. What was the first concert you saw?

It was actually to see poet Professor Mohan Singh in my hometown Ludhiana, India. This was a mela (indian fair). He was instrumental in the growth of modern Punjabi poetry.

3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?

My father worked within local transportation services whilst my mum managed the household. We encountered financial struggles during my childhood which meant I had to leave education. Both parents taught me the meaning of hard graft and humility, which are life lessons that stay with me today.

4. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

Ludhiana has influenced me massively. It was here that I fell in love with Punjabi folk music. The city has produced many folk artists including Muhammad Sadiq, Amar Singh Chamkila and Lal Chand Yamla Jatt, who pioneered the Tumbi instrument. This instrument was used by a majority of the main bhangra singers in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. You would’ve heard the sound of it in Panjabi MC’s “Mundian To Bach Ke” featuring American rapper Jay-Z. Folk music has been the central inspiration to my sound which you can see on the eleven music albums that I have worked on.

5. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

I would say my music teacher Mr. Sharma Ji instilled confidence in me during my earlier days. Based in my hometown, he’d asked me to recite one of his favourite poems. Following his feedback on my vocal abilities I remember knowing then I had found my career path.

6. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?

Seeing Michael Jackson perform live would have been great. His concerts set a precedent for everything a concert should be because the concerts were about the entire experience for the audiences, visual and musical.

7. How do you balance your music and acting pursuits?

No doubt it’s challenging for sure, but I’ve tried not to lose sight of one over the other. For example, whilst on set shooting, I’ll grab some time to listen to my music or explore new sounds with my team. More recently, with filming being on hold due to lockdown I’ve managed to re-focus on my music. As a result I have produced a 16-track album – a double album some would say!

8. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?

To be honest I don’t have a bucket list. My career journey feels like such a whirlwind and I remain grateful for everything God is sending my way! I am already living the dream!

9. Which lyric from any of your songs describes you best?

Definitely a lyric from the title track of G.O.A.T that speaks about my long journey of success. The line emphasizes my commitment to music following an 18-year strong career. Determination and perseverance got me here. That’s why that line sums me up.

10. What do you think sets G.O.A.T. apart from the rest of your catalogue?

With this album I have given audiences insight into my personal thoughts and feelings about my journey and outlook in life. For the first time in ages I managed to stand still and look back to see how far I’ve come. I would credit G.O.A.T with being a mark of celebration of my career and successes thus far.

11. Who would be your dream producer to collaborate with?

My decisions to collaborate are driven by a mutual appreciation of each other’s talent. I’m open to work with any producer that feels my music offering will add value to their venture.

12. What’s the last song you listened to?

I listen to Amar Singh Chamkila’s album in full every other day because I remain fascinated with his folk music creation in the album.

13. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your sets?

It’s what I see after my performances that leaves me bewildered! I have had fans follow my car for the entire stretch to my home — on motorbikes! But every fan remains special for me and I have so much gratitude for everyone that fills a seat during my performances. I recently met with audiences in Oakland Arena, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and this was a dream come true. I never get tired of connecting with people that appreciate my music.

14. Where is your favourite place to listen to music?

Perhaps not the most adventurous but it has to be while travelling in a car. Since I’m often on the road, the car is a bit like having a moving journal. I sit back and reflect, and can be alone with my music.

15. What’s your karaoke go-to?

“Peerh Tere Jaan di” (“The pain of your leaving”) by living legend Gurdas Maan. Whilst I am fortunate to have collaborated with him on a track, I enjoy singing my heart out to his solo tracks any day of the week!

16. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

Without question the song that makes me emotional is “Swaah Ban Ke” (“Becoming Ashes”) from my movie Punjab 1984. It’s a story that sheds light on the 1984 Sikh Massacre. Music has the ability to tell stories and evoke emotions that we can otherwise be immune to. I feel honoured to have been entrusted with bringing the human stories behind this tragedy to the awareness of cinema audiences. I feel personally invested with the movie, having understood the trauma of the families who were affected.

17. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?

This is a hard one, especially since there have been times when fans have announced news about a film or music release that was unknown to me!

18. If you were not a musician, what would you be?

Genuinely speaking, I have never been in pursuit of a plan B. Music will always give my life meaning.

19. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

To appreciate that various stages in life will demand different versions of you. Maintain self-belief in your capabilities and keep going.

20. What is one principle you are proud to have not compromised on?

That I didn’t compromise my cultural identity through my music career or whilst transitioning into the Indian film industry. My turban was deemed unconventional, but my determination to remain true to myself paid off and I have been a lead actor in several successful movies. I feel proud to have paved the way for equal opportunities in the cinematic space.

via https://www.DMT.NEWS/

Bryan Kress, Khareem Sudlow, DMTDaily