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I do have a special someone: Rabbi Shergill

After a gap of three years, Rabbi has come up with another album Avengi Ja Nahi under the glamorous banner of Yash Raj Films. Excertpts from an exclusive interview that Shashank Chouhan of Spicezee.com had with Rabbi Shergill...

It was the year 2005 when a guitar wielding, mystic looking Sikh sang his way to all music channels, radio stations and indeed the hearts of India. Singing the timeless verses of Bullah Shah, Rabbi Shergill burst on the scene with his fresh brand of ‘Sufi rock’ in his debut album Rabbi. After a gap of three years, Rabbi has come up with another album Avengi Ja Nahi under the glamorous banner of Yash Raj Films. The album has been produced largely in Milan, Italy, by the Italian progressive rock maestro and producer Maurio Pagani, who has also arranged and conducted the strings. The album is a unique mix of love songs, ode to Bilqis Bano, a victim of genocidal communal violence in Gujarat, and to three young men killed for standing up against corruption.
Excertpts from an exclusive interview that Shashank Chouhan of Spicezee.com had with Rabbi Shergill on the occasion of the launch of his album: Shashank What were you upto for the last three years? Rabbi Nothing much...gigging, travelling, recording this album...lazing around. S How did the association with Yash Raj come about? RWell it just took a phone call. There A&R Vijay called up, we met up, chatted and all the rest. S Whats the theme of Avengi Ja Nahi? R There`s no unified theme as such. All the songs were triggered by diffrent impulses. One recurrent motif though is ‘woman’. S What kind of music should your fans expect from this new album? Their expectations would be pretty high after Bulla…. R Fans should keep their hearts open and prepare to be surprised (pleasantly I hope). There`s no reprise of Bulla here though. S What would you say is the high point of the new album, its benchmark? R I`d say it`s production, it`s liveness, it`s realness perhaps. S Have you grown as a musician between two of your albums? R I`ve moved I think. `Grown up` seems to have a gerontocratic ring to it. S Which is your favourite track in this album? R They are all my favourite. S Your songs have a lot of politics and spirituality about them…are you a thinker first or a musician first? R Thinker but that I guess is the case with everyone - normal folks or artists. S Your journey has not been an easy one. Could you recount it for your fans here… R Hmm...lots of time spent alone, some rounds of music companies, met up interesting folks, long drives to the mountains, aaloo paranthas and the like... S What is the one thing that moves you to write songs, compose music and all? R Random inspiration. S You have got sort of typecast into an image of a guitar wielding sikh mystic singer- are you OK with that? R Not really but rebelling against an empty notion is not on my agenda right now. S Tell us something about your Bollywood experience…how did you land up with Dilli Heights? Are there more such projects lined up? R Well I met up Anand Kumar the director in a night club and one thing led to another...No more projects like that. S How different is composing for a film and a private album? R Quiet different! S We know you draw inspiration from a lot of international rock acts. Who are your Indian/South Asian inspirations? R Yes I do admire some international bands but there`s no inspiration for me in the subcontinent though. Having said that Fuzon`s first album was quiet nice. S We hear you are learning music…why do you feel the need? R Yeah! I do feel the need to add more dimension to my artistic expression. I`d like to work on my guitar playing, voice, com position and notation reading-writing etc. S The language of your songs is Punjabi…your music is western-sufi…what would be your genre if I were to ask you? R Punjabi rock. S Why have you adopted ‘Rabbi’ as your professional name and don’t use Gurpreet? R Gurpreet was a formal name given to me, Rabbi is more intimate. S Whats next? Not a long sabbatical I hope… R Shows, shows and more shows. S Finally, is there any special someone in your life? R Yes…