He made the audience groove to Desi Punjabi beats with his chartbuster track, 'Dil Le Gayee Kudi Gujarat Di' and 24 years later, he has made a splashing entry once again into mainstream music with his latest song 'Ye Luthrey' from the late Rishi Kapoor's 'Sharmaji Namkeen'.
Jasbir Jassi is currently ruling both the hearts and charts with the song.
Folk and regional singers always have a signature texture to their voice and Jasbir carries the legacy forward with panache. The bouncy, livewire texture of his voice appeals as much to the heart today as it did back when he broke out on the Indian music landscape.
IANS recently spoke with the singer about his latest track, his association with the track's music director Sneha Khanwalkar and the tentacles of ever-growing digitization and algorithm in the age of the Internet.
Although he has been doling out hits in Punjabi music one after the other, it is Sneha Khanwalkar, who designed the song for him courtesy her penchant for exploration of music and sound. Recalling how the song came to him, Jasbir says, "I first met Sneha during the Cannes premiere of 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. Although we were acquainted, I was a huge fan of her because of the work that she had done in terms of music."
Lauding the composer for her acute sense of sound, he adds, "Moreover one day she called me and asked me to lend my voice to a song and told me that it would sound better in my voice. When I listened to the voice, it seemed to be different even though it was relatable. I thank her for giving me such a good song. When I went to Bombay and listened to the sound it was like a cherry on the cake because Sneha did an amazing job with the sound."
Impressed by her understanding of the acoustics, he goes on to call her, "the queen of sound". Furnishing the reason behind the title, he shares, "Because in India there are very few people who work specifically on sound with such interest. Most of the people usually work on lyrics and the composition of the melody. But Sneha is a composer who is better than almost everyone else at working on sound along with the lines of some great composers like Amit Trivedi."
Explaining what the exchange of ideas on the track was like, he says, "When there was the time of exchange between ideas on this song I thought of this as a very folk style song but they wanted someone else to be at the helm of the rap sequence."
He adds, "Moreover I was trying to bring a sense of folk from my own side to the song which Sneha understood, worked on and arranged very well. I was initially tensed on the folk part on how it will turn out to be. However, when they arranged the song they brought it to life it was something which was amazing."
Ask him how can experimentation survive amidst rabid monetization and the resultant, 'play safe' practice of the music industry and he responds, "When it comes to offbeat experimentation, it will never lose its foot in art because no matter what happens, how much commercialisation happens, experimentation finds its way out."
He further mentions, "However, the problem with algorithms is that the people who should be running music cannot actually do that because it's all in the hands of machines and digitisation."
"Moreover while looking at more popular songs through these algorithms which go out, while being mediocre and it feels like it is a loss for the creativity of music and the art behind it", the singer concludes.20220408-131002