Undeniable force in the music industry, pop icon Daler Mehndi is one of those rare souls who truly dedicated himself to the art of music and never looked back. Think of Mehndi and you realise be it your childhood, your college life, your way into adulthood his music has been part and parcel of your playlist. To him, music isn’t just about singing those lyrics but it is his bloodline. Not many artistes can claim to be in fame for over two decades and very few can claim to remain as relevant as Mehndi.
His high-octane performance in Metaverse Concert on Republic Day was yet another paradigm of his magnificent personality. Watched over by 20 million people worldwide, Mehndi’s performance took the network of 3D virtual worlds by storm. The Pop star was the first Indian artiste to perform at a Metaverse concert, joining in the leagues of Travis Scott, Justin Bieber, Marshmallow and Ariana Grande. Mehndi has spent the last two decades blazing his own benchmark and surprising his fans with something new now and then. While the world can’t stop raving his latest Metaverse virtual avatar, we caught up with the sensation himself and had a heart-to-heart where he talks about staying in vogue with technology, being consistent and his new project.
Mehndi has been around for over 20 years in the industry and his mantra to stay relevant even today revolves around three things — focus, clear intent and a happy heart. Talking about his journey he says, “It has been a gratifying journey and with 2022 it sky-rocketed to another level. I think deep gratitude and complete focus on my work, clear intent and a happy heart has managed to have generations love my music.”
While most singers struggle with the idea of creativity, the playback singer on the other hand often questions himself on how he can put his best foot forward and entertain his fan. “I have always looked forward to serving with more love and what more I can give to the audience… that’s been my internal dialogue. So, when you operate from this point then everything falls in line for you,” he shares.
With technology penetrating every industry, the world of music has been shaped by its mechanism since its inception. Mehndi’s equation with technology has been quite effortless. He has been one of those who have created and produced some of the world’s favourite albums. “I pioneered the launch of Green Screen Technology in 1998 in music in India, pioneering the use of HD cameras in music and again very honoured to launch India’s first VR music video for Samsung and now in 2022, I have led India into the Metaverse and I am pleased to be, as media calls me, the Metaverse Man. So, I think when you are totally centered and have full faith and trust in yourself and work religiously without any malice towards your compatriots, everything falls in line for you. You know the universe responds with love,” he says.
While Mehndi is a singer, songwriter, author and record producer, he is also a true Brown Munda who fills the room with his hearty laughs and has a soft spot for parathas. He wakes up in gratitude for another day being gifted to him. Talking about a day in his life he says, “Accha khana or accha gana (good food and good song), two things hold the most important place in my life. I love to be at my farm with cows, goats, sheep. I progressively, consciously and mindfully think good and only sow good feelings. Nasha, gande bol, negative vibes se absolute parhez rakhne wala simple insaan. Other than being a singer I am a very blessed soul who loves to be in nature.”
Talking about Mehndi and his pipeline for 2022, the year looks flooded with tons of things that will get his fans excited. “Other than film songs and concerts, there are ghazals, unplugged Daler Mehndi songs, Sufi songs plus my next project is The Real Star… Stay tuned,” he sings off.
1. If not a singer, what would you be?
2. One thing you want to change about yourself?
Daler Mehndi is one in a zillion, would not want to change anything.
3. Top five songs on your playlist:
a) Chaupai Sahab by Daler Mehndi.
b) Ghulam Ali Khan sahab ghazals.
d) Black or White by MJ.
e) Jogi by Daler Mehndi.
4. The filmiest thing you have done in real life?
It’s a secret.
5. One secret talent you have (not related to singing)?
I am a brilliant cook and have immense knowledge of precious stones and Sikh history.
6. One thing that keeps you motivated?
Guru Baba Nanak, Gurbani.