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Contemporary Punjabi folk music that resonates from Chandigarh to NYC

HARI & Sukhmani (Hari Singh and Sukhmani Malik) is a young band from Chandigarh that fuses Punjabi folk music with EDM along with lyrics that talk about life and love. We catch up with vocalist Malik, who will join Singh at Punjab Grill tonight.

The sound
We grew up with Punjabi folk and Sufi music, therefore, we are  strongly influenced by these genres in our sound, possibly even sub-consciously. Our music works with any mood, and especially when driving through bad traffic!

Getting together
We were introduced by a common friend. At the time, I had just finished touring Europe with a musical and Hari had returned from Manchester. We realised we had a common love for poets like Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid, Kabir and Shah Hussain. And the rest is history.

Working with Deepa Mehta
I was invited to a recording session for Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth (2008). Unfortunately, the title song of the film (Kangi) wasn’t working. I stepped in and introduced the band and, as luck would have it, we nailed it!

Current influences
Punjabi folk singers Abida Parveen, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Fareed Ayaz.

On the indie music scene
Restaurants, pubs and clubs want live bands these days. Finally, it is becoming a sought after profession. A lot of kids want to be musicians and parents are quite accepting.

Beyond music
Travelling, bikes and vintage and hot rod cars.

Rs. 1,499 upwards. At Koramangala. Details: 40902161

—Avinash Kumai

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