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Malkit Singh MBE is a Punjabi Bhangra singer. Most famous for the songs "Gur Nalo Ishq Mita", "Tootak Tootak Tootiyan", "Kurri Garam Jayee", as well as recently, "Chal Hun". Whilst "Jind Mahi" features in the blockbuster "Bend It Like Beckham" soundtrack.
He has recently released "21st chapter" featuring the hugely popular and classic "Jago Aaya". Singh and his backup band Golden Star have toured in twenty-seven countries.
Awards and recognition
- In 1997, he was given the Recognition of the city of Los Angeles for his service to the Indian community.
- Listed in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest selling Bhangra artist of all time.
- In 2001, Singh was awarded the 27th Convocation Gold Medal Award Doctorate by Guru Nanak Dev University.
- Known as the unofficial "king" of bhangra and Punjabi folk music.
- Performed at UCLA's Bruin Bhangra - 2006
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.
- Revealed he supports Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 3 show of Panjabi Hit Squad on the BBC Asian Network.
In the news
‘I feel really proud of being a Sikh’ at Screenindia.com by Rajiv Vijayakar August 29, 2008
With the Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire (MBE) and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Award for Global Indian, Malkit Singh is doubly thrilled that his years of dedication have borne fruit He has been based in London since 1984 and that’s where he cut his first album in 1986. “I have received lots of awards in my career, par yeh Queen-wala prestige khaas hai and that’s because I am the first Asian, not just the first Indian, to receive the MBE. Another honour I treasure is the one conferred on me by the Canadian Prime Minister. And after all this, it is especially thrilling ke ghar mein aake bhi Rajiv Gandhi award jaisa bada sammaan mila,” he says.
The honours are fully deserved of course. “The Punjab Chief Minister invited me home recently,” says Malkit. “I have spread not just Punjabi folk but also Indian culture in 36 countries for over two decades,” adds the creator of Gur naal ishq mitha and Tutak tutak tutiya. “I have presented bhangra live and Bally Sagoo began with a remix of my song.”
In 21 albums, Malkit has never collaborated with anyone other than Apache Indian in one and a Garage music band named Pay As You Go. “I concentrate on shows. When I perform in Spain, Italy or anywhere else, it is because they want to hear India ka music! People respect you only if you love your own culture! My style is consistent - it will seem as if I went to England just two years ago! It’s pure desi gehu (Indian wheat) ka music!” The lyrics have substance and even deal with issues like cross-border harmony, he declares.
He admits that it is a challenge maintaining his touch with his roots and culture while being based abroad and travelling around the world. But it is an even greater challenge to be different from the herd of Punjabi poppers who have appeared.
Says Malkit, “So many musicians are using the bhangra-pop name but sometimes it is not bhangra at all. The media is responsible for spreading such myths.” But Malkit is proud of the fact that the industry finally made a film with a Sikh hero in Singh Is Kinng. “I feel really proud of being a Sikh,” he says. Most of us still consider our pagdis sacrosanct.” But again he is not too thrilled about the overdrive of Punjabi lyrics and music in film songs. “Non-Punjabis like it because the words and beats sound good. But we think, ‘Yeh kya ho rahaa hai?’ These people are not even familiar with our music, the correct grammar and the right pronunciation!”
However, Malkit definitely wants to add film music direction to his resume and is signed for Atul Pandey’s new film.Laughs Malkit, “My song Jind maahi was used in Bend It Like Beckham. But Indians have this belief that unless you do a film, aap itne bade nahin ho! So what if you have performed in Buckingham Palace!’
A graduate in music from Jalandhar’s Khalsa College and Guru Nanak University in Amritsar, Malkit admits that the initial struggle was tough since the youngsters in U.K. did not like Punjabi music. “Today it is much easier,” he admits as he sets out to release a new album on Universal Music. “I have my band of ten people called The Golden Star. I compose, write the words and sing, and they are my musicians,” he sums up.
- Nach Gidde Vich (1986)
- I Love Golden Star (1987)
- Put Sardaren De (1988)
- Chott Nigary Lawo (1988)
- Up Front (1988)
- Fast Forward (1989)
- Hai Shava (1989)
- Dhotakada Bai Dhotakada (1990)
- Ragga Muffin Mix (1991)
- Gal Sun Ja (1991)
- Tere Ishq Nachiyanv (1992)
- Singho Ho Jo Kathe (1992)
- Chak De Dholia (1993)
- Midas Touch (1994)
- Forever Gold (1995)
- Akh Larr Gayee (1997)
- Malkit Millennium Mixes "Kini Sohni" (1999)
- Nach Nach (2000)
- Kudi Patole Wargi (2000)
- Murh Watna Nu Jana
- Paaro (2001)
- Mighty Boliyan (2001)
- Midas Touch II (2003)
- 21st Chapter Nachna Aaj Nachna (2005)
- malkitsingh.com Official website