I dream of projects which makes my listeners happy: Gurinder Rai
A bit about yourself
I was born in Moga and brought up in Ludhiana and started singing when I first realised my talent during my college days. I have a bachelors degree in technology. I took up my passion as a career, and started learning from my teacher, Guru Jatinder Singh. and owe it all to the ultimate power, Guru Granth Sahib. My professional career initiated with the launch of my debut album in 2010, Rabb Rakha, and the journey began leading to beautiful opportunities of performing live for my fans. My single launched in 2015, Baagi Jatt, with popular singer, rapper and producer Badshah is another presentation of Sony Music. I was also offered acting roles in South Indian cinema, but my current focus remains in singing.
Did you train as a singer, or did it happen by chance?
Singing was my childhood love. It wasn’t by chance, I would always spend time on listening to Mann Saab (Gurdas Mann), or playing the Harmonium. As I grew up, I began taking it seriously. I got the guide and support of my teacher, Jatinderpal Singh ji, who taught me everything about sur-taal, music and vocals.
You have a B.Tech degree. Was it an easy decision to not pursue academics any more and get into the singing industry?
It is never easy to switch careers. But I never regret having studied technology. I had promised to myself I would complete my studies first before taking a step towards my passion. After all, life is always about taking risks to reach to success, and singing being my passion, it demanded some risks. But one also needs to be strong on the research and analysis part before going ahead and taking risks.
How supportive was your family?
I have always been blessed with everyone around me who has stood by my side at every step. My sister has been supportive of me always. She would always listen to my good and not so good vocals, and always be highly appreciative of whatever I would do. My brothers Anmol Chahal and Rajdeep Dholan have been my biggest strengths. And of course, without my teacher, Jatinderpal ji’s guide and support, this wouldn’t have been possible.
The Punjabi music industry has been the most receptive and supportive towards a number of genres, including rap. To what do they owe this attribute/quality to? Are they a lot more open minded than they rest of India, in terms of music?
The Punjabi music industry has definitely seen a drastic change in the past few decades. And specially, rap has been welcomed with open arms. I personally feel Punjabi industry is running equal to the Bollywood music industry in terms of trying and experimenting new styles of music. So it wouldn’t be very appropriate to say the rest of India is less open. For that matter, if we talk about rap, any and almost every fast beat number that we listen to everyday is included with a must-have rap feature. Its not only in English or Punjabi music, but also the Bollywood industry is seeing a lot of raps in item-numbers and dance numbers.
Share your experience of working with Badshah. Do you have any plans of collaborating with Honey Singh?
It is always a pleasure to work with Badshah Bhai on every project. He is like a big brother, he teaches like a big brother, he supports like a big brother. There’s always a lot to learn from him, and as I get to know him more and more everyday, I get deeper into the ocean of music. His thoughts, his ideas sometimes really leaves me star-struck
It would be an honour for me to get a chance to work with Honey Singh.
If an opportunity comes by, where you can collaborate with any artiste in the world, but only one, who will that person be and why?
Like I said, this industry is a deep ocean and to name just one would not be right.
But still if you ask me about artists from outside of India, I have always been a die-hard fan of Enrique (Iglesias) … His music, his concepts are out of the world.
If we talk about India, it has to be (Gurdas) Maan Saab for sure.
You said Pitbull was a dream project. Having realised that dream, what are you dreaming of these days? How long till you realise it?
I’m just dreaming of playing good music. Pitbull was a dream project because of the response we got from it. I dream of doing projects which makes my listeners happy. Having said that, my next project (dream) will be soon shared. …
Have you identified your friends in the industry? How receptive were they when you first emerged?
My friends are my fans, followers, my teachers, my directors-producers, my entire team that worked day and night with me… I am fortunate to be a part of the industry where everyone is truly supportive, appreciative, and even a good guide to new-comers.
When will we see Gurinder Rai crooning in Bollywood?
Hahahaha! I just want to do good work! Let Waheguru handle everything for me…
If 10 was the maximum point you could rate for good, how many points would you put in your corner?
I don’t think I would be the right person to answer this question. How much would you give me out of 10? Lol
Who are the people who inspired you to take up music?
A long list, but of course, Mann Saab (Gurdas Mann), and I guess all those were an inspiration who told me “you have something within you … do it”
What do you do when you're not singing? What do you do apart from singing?
I sleep! Lol … I love to be with my folks. Whatever time I get, I stay home, call my friends over, eat good food, and relax.
Have you mastered the tricks of your trade? What's your mantra?
It's always a learning process. I am just a few years old. My mantra is to think good, and good will happen. Music, apart from being a career for me, is also about purifying myself. So if I am able to have good thoughts while playing music, that’s my mantra of having a successful