Taking It Back To The Old School With Sunny Gill, The Bhangra Beatle
In the Gill household, there’s a debate that always rears its head between me and my dad. Nope, it’s not that Liverpool will never win the league (one day Dad!) but remixes vs originals.
Life without music would be very boring. Everything I know about Punjabi and Hindi music comes from my dad. He’s what I call old school. He’ll be listening to songs which feature a singer and a tumbi- and crackling from a record. He comes from a time where if you wanted a particular song or album, you trawled the whole UK or India for it – a time where you listened to the radio or went to a mela (festival) to hear the latest song.
Nowadays, it’s all a click away.
Even though I was born and bred here in England, his musical choices have rubbed off on me. On a recent trip to India, our taxi driver was genuinely shocked that we asked him to put on some Mohammed Saddiq- the originals. “Even kids in India only listen to the remixes,” he said.
Now this is where the debate starts… I don’t mind remixes when they aren’t naff. And deep down, I don’t think my dad does too. Mohammed Saddiq is probably one of his favourite Punjabi artists along with Kuldeep Manak, AS Kang and Surinder Shinda. There isn’t an album or song we don’t have in our house of these artists and more. Now Punjabi MC is one of my favourites – a musician well-known for his remixes.
Just like Bally Sagoo, Punjabi MC brought old songs back in our midst with his unique sampling and mixes. His first album ‘Illegalised’ brought tracks such as ‘Challa’ and ‘Pyar Wich’ to the attention of those who weren’t familiar with those songs in the first place.
I recently stumbled upon a track called ‘Jeona Morh’ from the album ‘Indian Timing’. When I put it on in the car, my dad started his usual, “what have they done to the track? The original is better. Here let me put it on.”
I then got a history listen, not only of the story Jeona Morh (quite fascinating) but of the song which is originally sung by Gulshan Komal and Surinder Shinda.
The beauty about music is constantly discovering new sounds, songs and artists. If it’s a remix or sample of an old song, why not find the original and give it a listen? You might surprise yourself. And sometimes I feel that Punjabi and Hindi music is best when it is stripped back.
Even the recent ‘Nath Dig Pey’ by Bambi & PBN was sampled from Lal Chand Yamla Jatt- another artist I grew up listening to. Like I said to my dad, if you grew up loving the original you’re probably never going to like the remix more (or show it) but it’s bringing these songs back for this generation.
Which can only be a good thing, right?
Oh and for the record, he says he really likes the new ‘Nath Dig Pey’ tune…