So, Bruce Springsteen Inspired Rabbi to Make a Sufi Album in Punjabi

Rabbi Shergill.jpg It sounds like a joke right? So, Bruce Springsteen, a Rabbi and a Sufi walk into a bar? Well, I did take some liberties, he’s not a Rabbi, he’s a Sikh (oh, that makes it simpler) named Rabbi Shergill who recorded a song commonly referred to on the web as the “Bulla ki Janna” number (I have no clue, I just found him b/c Mira Nair compared him to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.)

Shergill is a crossover fusion artist who combines Western and Eastern music, but the articles I’ve read aren’t precise. Sometimes they say he draws upon Heavy Metal, and othertimes Rock. Sometimes they say he employs Punjabi Folk, other times Sufi Music (which is punjabi, and not classical, but hardly folk either). Here’s his backstory:

Shergill fell in love with music after he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert while at school. Now he has a fan following that includes the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and V.S. Naipaul. [cite]

I like his look and attitude:

But why an album in Punjabi? “Did you know Punjabi is the ninth most spoken language in the world?” is his swift retort before he adds, “It is my pride.” [cite]

He clearly has the ambition to match:

He asserts that he aims big – big stadiums, a large audience and loads of fame. “My father’s anonymity, despite his talent, made him scream aloud. I want to be heard. I use my ego to further my cause.” [cite]

23 thoughts on “So, Bruce Springsteen Inspired Rabbi to Make a Sufi Album in Punjabi

  1. I wonder why there are two different statistics for Punjabi (Eastern & Western) on the site referenced in the above comment. Has 50 years of a political boundary really influenced the language that much on either side of the line? Or does it just refer to difference between the scripts employed (Gurmukhi vs. Shahmukhi)?

  2. OMG – Is that Gurpreet “Ricky” Malik? I’d recognize that erudite tone anywhere!

  3. I can vouch for how good his stuff is. I’ve been listening to his album continuously for the past couple of weeks and i’m still not sick of it (7 of 9 songs atleast). When Mira Nair and VS Naipaul say good things about something there’s probably something to it. He’s a little more pop/electronic than Springsteen though.

  4. I haven’t seen too many Desi Springsteen fans wherever I’ve lived. I’m quite not sure why, because so much of his earlier material (as well as Tom Joad) has such a working class feel to it that most first or second generation immigrants should be able to relate. Maybe it’s the fact that none of his songs have a happy ending. But I’m gonna have to check this guy out now.

  5. I bought it at MusicWorld (or perhaps it was Landmark), Spencer’s Plaza, Chennai (Madras) for the incredibly low price of Rs.150.

    My impression is that Phat-phish is an indy-type label that hasn’t figured out how to sell the album abroad. You can try contacting them via their website.

  6. Rabbi Shergill has poured magic in his album Rabbi. His number Bulla Ki Jana Mein Kaun has caught the spiritual mind of mine. The song has deep meaning. The gr8 saint Bulla Shah appears to be a very strong sufi saint.

    The other songs are equally gr8 and especailly Jugni captures my thought bout India. But initself the album shows the gr8ness of India. Which inspite of many attacks has maintained its identity.

    Thanks Rabbi

    Gaurav Garg

  7. I heard this album today in my local Indian grocery, they told me who the artist was, and I went straight round the corner to the video/music shop and found it… all this in Rockland County, NY. Great album, worth looking for!

  8. Hey guys! The Stat about Punajbi as number 9 is correct. You wonder about th eguys intentions when he puts down 26 million people speak Punjabi only. The PUnjab State of India alone has more than 26 million people. That dont say about 60 million in Pkaistan or other parts of Inida like haryana and himachal and international countries. Paharhee and Haryanvi are Punjabi Dialects also.

  9. Thanks guys…. I am looking to buy the album by Rabbi Shergill. sure will find it in Edison NJ. But am looking to buy online.

    Couldnt find it on Itunes, but contacted and asked them start selling it.

    I found the music good enough, to buy it, even though there are link where i can download them for free for now.

    Rabbi, your music is great … good work. Bulla Ki jaane rocks …. very deep meaning and beautiful music.


  10. Hi friends , well i sing a lot frm ver begining and hv won a few prizes too but after BUlla ki jaana i m despo to become futurez Rabbi and i wud be pleased to share wid u tht today i won 1st prize singing bulla ki jaan ana tere bin in a competition. love akhil

  11. Rabbi Shergill, you are a versatile singer. There is no match of your singing. People who compare you with others are underestimating your talent. I love all your songs but TERE BIN and AJJ NACHNA the most. I listen to these two songs atleast 100 times in a day. You are fantastic singer……. Gud Work….. Keep it up.