New venture in Punjabi pop

"Fame is ephemeral but class is permanent'', comes the candid reply. For somebody who unabashedly claims to do things diametrically opposite to what everybody else is doing, singer Shael is curiously philosophical about his maiden venture into the world of Punjabi Pop.

``I believe in doing things my own way, not differently,'' he says, when questioned about the wisdom of bringing out the album that has seen waning returns in the same genre. "It's not the genre that is to blame, but the singers that have exploited it to the hilt,'' he laments.

Coming in the age of Punjabi pop, where every album is released with the tagline of difference, "Hasna Kamal'', the maiden venture of Shael, released recently in the Capital, promises to provide a whiff of fresh air. Even if by his own admission.

Best known for his debut album, "Kahan Hai Tu'', released in 1999, a collection of slow paced love ditties with soulful lyrics, his latest effort "Hasna Kamal'' is cast in an entirely different mould. With the title track of the same name, the album comprises eight fast paced tracks with pulsating music directed at discotheques.

"The album has an international touch with techno-beats interspersed with Punjabi folk and a fair amount of Hinglish mixed with Punjabi lyrics. Sadly, experimentation is not welcomed in our industry, every singer knows his niche market and caters to it.'' he says.

Trained in Hindustani classical music, one of the songs, `Tere Bin Kaise', in chaste Hindi, has been composed by the singer himself and sung in "Rag Yaman'' with flute and drums as the sole accompaniment.

For music aficionados still searching extinct melody and soulful lyrics, disappointment has been a steadfast companion. But this one may just turn the tide.

By Our Staff Reporter