The lyrics of many of his numbers were considered offensive – vulgar and misogynist by many, with even the courts being approached…writes Sukant Deepak
He remembers not snatching anytime for himself when the sailing was smooth. He laments the fact that while anxiety and depression are discussed, they barely scratch the surface. “One particularly dangerous condition is the mania phase in bipolar disorder. It is something I would not wish on anyone, even those I do not like,” rapper, singer, and songwriter Honey Singh tells.
Singh has known fame, well more than ‘known’. His Punjabi album ‘International Villager’ was released in the year 2011. The track ‘Gabru’ from the album, featuring singer J-Star, topped the Asian music charts, including the official BBC Asian charts. It was reported that he was paid the highest fee ever for a Bollywood song (as of 2012) of Rs 7 million for a song in the films ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Mastan’.
The singer also topped the chart of trending videos of 2012 and earned two places on YouTube’s list of top 10 trending videos of that year. His song ‘Brown Rang’ made it to the top spot. ‘High Heels’, in collaboration with Jaz Dhami, took the fourth spot.
The lyrics of many of his numbers were considered offensive – vulgar and misogynist by many, with even the courts being approached.
“My focus has always been on pursuing what brings me joy and fulfillment. In return, my audience has been appreciative of my work. People will always have an opinion about everything, but it is up to me to decide which ones to take seriously and which to brush off.”
But Singh was in the fast lane, high on popularity. And then came the crash – around the year 2016. Rumours were in full swing, with many news outlets publishing his interviews never conducted.
The singer, who had become a prisoner of his own mind, withdrawing in a shell says, “My two cents to people struggling to seek professional help is – do not suffer in silence and try to maintain a facade of positivity. With the right support, it is definitely possible to overcome mental illness.”
Even as his newly released album ‘Honey Singh 3.0’ breaks new records, Singh asserts he is full of hope. “I can feel the energy. The comeback is in a truly Yo Yo Honey Singh style. My parents have been my backbone during the darkest time, their unwavering support has been a source of immense strength, and for that, I will forever be grateful to them,” says the singer whose songs were part of films like ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Fugly’ among others.
Singh, who will be live during Season 5 of Red FM Swag Fest, to be held on March 11 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital, stresses being on stage is an electrifying experience and the energy he receives from the crowd is indescribable. “There is something beyond special about performing for a crowd of people who love and appreciate your music. It is the support of youngsters that motivates me to continue doing what I do. I am thrilled to be performing at the on-ground event in Delhi, my hometown” says Singh whose songs have been played by Red FM ever since he started out.
With ‘Honey 3.0’, he is creating an album after nine years, the last one being ‘Desi Kalakar’. Stressing that he and his team have raised the bar on every aspect of this project – sound, music, the vibe, the singer feels the album features a unique blend of old and newer elements, allowing the audience to relish in the nostalgia of his previous avatar while enjoying the freshness of the newer version.
“This time, I have taken on the responsibility of writing and composing the songs myself. Bass Yogi and Hommie Dilliwala have taken on the role of music producers. We began the process in September, and by the end of October, we had created about 30 songs. From that, we have selected the top 10 for the album.”
Singh, who recently collaborated with actor Akshay Kumar for the song ‘Kudi Chamkeeli’ and is in the process of working on the visuals for the album, adds, “Owing to the Pandemic, we have not been able to shoot outside India, but will soon do that. The concept is to always to shoot internationally while being unapologetically desi,” he concludes.
ALSO READ-Taylor Swift honoured with Best Music Video award at Grammy