Jaswinder Singh, a critically acclaimed and celebrated Indian Ghazal and Sufi singer, has performed over 500 live concerts all over the globe. Son of legendary composer Kuldip Singh, he was awarded “The Young Ghazal Maestro” by Indian Music Academy. The talented singer with a mesmerizing voice, also performs a unique theatrical concert Titled “Kaifi Aur Main” along with Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.
First of all thank you for the OpenBeast interview and giving me the opportunity to connect with my fans and music lovers. I am a Ghazal singer and my forte is Romantic Ghazals. I belong to a Musical Family and grew up in the environment of Classical music and poetry. My Father Shri Kuldip Singh who is also my guru (teacher) and composer of the evergreen melodies like “TUM KO DEKHA TO YEH KHAYAAL AAYA” (FILM SAATH SAATH SUNG by LATE JAGJIT SINGH) and soulful PRAYER “ITNI SHAKTI HAMEN DEY NA DAATA” (FILM ANKUSH) taught me the nuances of Ghazal Gayaki and he always Motivated and encouraged me to learn more and more. I have been a great admirer of Mehdi Hassan sab and Jagjit ji, so listening and singing ghazals has always been my passion as a child. I have also learnt Indian Classical Music from Dr. Sushila Pohankar and Pt. Ajay Pohankar. I was also lucky to spend four years with the Ghazal Samrat Jagjit Singh ji and got motivated and encouraged by him.
What is “Kaifi aur Main” all about?
Kaifi aur Main has been a very pleasant journey performing all over the world and sharing stage with the Living Legends Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar. I have learnt so much from them as a performer and they have motivated and have been a strong support. Kaifi aur Main is actually a play but we call it a Theatrical Presentation, as it is a very unique combination of Prose, Poetry and Live Singing. Kaifi aur Main is a celebration of renowned Urdu poet and film lyricist Kaifi Azmi’s life and works seen through the eyes of his wife, noted theatre and film actress, Shaukat Kaifi, brought to life by his daughter Shabana Azmi and son-in-law Javed Akhtar. Kaifi Azmi’s recollections are brought to life by Javed Akhtar Sab and are interwoven by Shabana ji, with the memories of her mother Shaukat Kaifi, whose impressions make the narrative a heart-warming account that rises above the personal to document the politics of an era in a distinctly female voice. This theatrical collage has received standing ovations and rave reviews in India and across the world. In Nov-Dec 2006, 14 shows of this production were staged in USA-Canada-UK in cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and others. It has also been staged in Singapore, Dubai, Muscat, Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkatta, Chennai , Lucknow and many more.
How do you get inspired?
I get inspired by the nature and the beauty created by the nature, any musical note which sounds soothing to ears inspire me. I get a lot inspired by hearing the maestros like Jagjit ji and Mehdi sab and certainly the receptive audience during live performance does inspire to perform better and better (smiles).
What would you consider as your one best achievement thus far?
Well, I still consider myself a student and each day I try to learn and improve, however receiving so much love, appreciations and blessings from my fans and mentors are my biggest achievement. The fact that OpenBeast wants to interview me is also an achievement, people want to know me and enjoy my music and all that are my achievements. However, as I said the journey has just begun and I have a long way to go and achieve greater heights by improving the quality of my singing.
Any upcoming projects or initiatives you could like to discuss?
I am planning to release few Romantic Singles and have plans to do playback. I would also like to inform you all that I have all the plans to tour US and Canada this November, and there are possibilities that I might perform in St Louis!
What are your leisure time activities?
Music, Music and Music!
To follow Maestro Jaswinder Singh visit, www.JaswinderSingh.net