Allah Hu, Bismillah, Namoh Namoh, Garda, Hum Ghar Layenge Gold, Jagga Jiteya are some of the tracks that are on top of his playlist, says popular singer Daler Mehndi. Riding high on the success of his latest song Garda, for the Akshay Kumar-Sara Ali Khan-Dhanush-starer Atrangi Re, Daler says music is his “communique with the Divine.”
The always-smiling singer burst into the popular music scene with Bolo Ta Ra Ra in 1995—a song that catapulted him to fame, selling over 20 million copies and establishing him as a bona fide pop star. A year later, he released Dardi Rab Rab, which surpassed the sales of Bolo Ta Ra Ra, and there has been no turning back.
Another number that Daler is also known for is his 1998 release, Tunak Tunak Tun, the music video for which was produced on a then-unprecedented budget of Rs 25 million. The song and video were not only a success in India, cementing Mehndi’s status as India’s biggest popstar at the time, but became an international success as well.
For someone whose entire life has been based on music, one does wonder what the singer himself thinks of the connection. Daler defines his life as “music, music and more music,” before adding that “with so much afflictions and sorrows around the world,” music is the sound that holds everything in its place.
“Music is the best healer to overcome sorrow and grief or any dilemma,” says the singer, adding, “With the world suffering from this deadly disease, pure music heals, rejuvenates the cells, makes you feel good.”
Daler goes on to explain that music unites people and gives them hope, stating that while writing songs, his utmost focus is to motivate his listeners and inspire them with his music.
“I am blessed to have this opportunity to help people with the power of music. I am very conscious of the power of this gift and I use it wisely,” opines the singer, adding, “If your music can uplift, make someone feel good, help them connect with their own higher selves, that is the best service that you can offer.”
Daler recently collaborated with another legendary musician, AR Rahman, when the two came together for a song in the film Atrangi Re. The singer defines his experience by saying, “After Nachlae and Rang De Basanti, it was great to work with someone who is devoted to music like this. The composition just doesn’t leave you. In simple words—it is powerfully entertaining.”
“He lets an artist play with the song, at least that’s what’s my experience,” he says of Rahman, further adding, “He honors what a singer brings to the song. I was told by Anand L Rai that Rahman ji had decided during the narration of the film (two years back) to have Daler Mehndi sing at this situation in the film. Garda is truly a garda.” However, Daler surprisingly adds that he found out that the song will be featuring Akshay Kumar and Sara Ali Khan only when he had gone in to record the number.
Umang Sharma is a media professional, avid reader, and film buff. His interests lie in making the world a better place through the power of the written word.