With his foot tapping compositions, Daler Mehndi is credited with changing the definition of Punjabi music. And the singer says he feels proud to see Punjabi music climbing up the popularity charts.
"During the initial days of my career, I used to go to private parties where a lot English songs were being played and I used to see all Indians dancing away on those songs. I used to feel bad and think our culture is so strong, our music is so strong then why don't these people enjoy Indian music," Daler told IANS at the launch of his new album "Tunak Tunak Tumba" in Big FM studios.
"Then I decided to create 'Bolo tara rara', which was a hit and one could see even foreigners dancing away on that song. It makes me happy to see that Punjabi music has become so popular," he added.
A trained classical singer, Daler has been singing since the age of six. However, he rose to prominence in 1995 with his album "Bolo Tara Rara", which became an international hit.
"The popularity of Punjabi pop singers is so much that whether its Sukhwinder Singh, Mika or Jassi, Bollywood is actually calling them and making them sing in their films," Daler said.
"Where everybody is copying others, it's really nice to see that Punjabi music retains its charm," added Mehndi, who has sung songs like "Rang De Basanti" from the film of same name, "Aila Re Aila" from "Khatta Meetha" and "Bhootni ke" from "Singh is Kinng".
After a gap of five years, Daler is returning with his new album "Tunak Tunak Tumba".
"For the album, we have roped in classical exponents like Ustad Rashid Khan, who plays banjo. When I approached him he said, 'what do you want from me for your album, our time is gone. It has been 10 years since we entered a studio'. And I told him that the music you feel is lost somewhere, we want to bring that charm back," said Daler.
The album has 13 songs of various genres.
"For those who think I can sing only a particular genre of songs, this album is an attempt to prove my versatility," said Daler.