“I want to sing for Bollywood, but I can’t compromise on my respect”: Daler Mehndi


Daler Mehndi” is an Indian recording artist, musician, song writer, author, record producer, performer and environmentalist. He is credited with making Bhangra popular worldwide, and setting up a parallel non-film music industry to the pre-Daler era’s then existent Bollywood music. An Indian pop icon known for his energetic dance songs, his distinctive voice, turban and long flowing robes.

If a song is meant for Daler Mehndi, only then will I sing it. I can’t sing for free, pay composers or woo them with gifts to get work. I can’t sing vulgar songs,” says Mehndi.

“I want to sing for Bollywood, but I can’t compromise on my respect. I am not the kind of singer who records a song that 10 others do too. I don’t like to be an option.” says Daler Mehndi.

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Daler Mehndi never feels upset when told that these days he is not getting to sing in movies the way he used a decade back. The only number he recorded last year was ‘Vande Mataram’ for ‘ABCD 2’. Now, he has lent his voice to the title track of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Mirzya’. The singer, who shot to fame with the foot tapping ‘Bolo Tara Ra Ra’ in the nineties, feels that for him it is not the number of songs he records in a year that matters. “I am not one of those singers who feel happy singing ten to twelve songs a year. I am choosy about what I sing and filmmakers know how to use my voice,” says Daler adding that he doesn’t need to bend over backwards to please composers.

Talking about his title track for ‘Mirzya’, Daler says that when he sang the alaap for the song, even the likes of Gulzar saab, Shankar Mahadevan and Mehra himself were teary-eyed. Daler’s upcoming projects are ‘Dangal’ and ‘Bahubali 2’.

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