Rumana, the new member of the SB crew meet up with Channi and Mona at the recent event; “Bhangra Legends - Alaap & Heera @ The Barbican (29.11.08)”.
Alaap were the creators of this uniquely British Asian sound, mixing eastern and western instrumentation into a trend-setting genre. They opened the path and set the tone for more groups to follow.
What emerged was a self-sufficient British Asian Music industry led by labels such as Multitone, OSA, and Arishma, and they went on to export this diasporic hybrid sound worldwide!
Boasting producers, composers, musicians, and guests such as Asha Bhosle (THE Asha Bhosle!), Johnny Kalsi(Dhol Foundation), Kuljit Bhamra(Spnm, Far Pavillions, Bhaji On The Beach), and Nawazish Ali Khan(Fundamental), Alaap remain the undisputed stars of British Bhangra-beat!
“Keeping up the Tradition” Channi Singhs’ mission is preserved as he enters the stage at the Barbican, London, wearing a typical 80’s Punjabi glitzy red and black shirt and strutting his stuff with his traditional giddah moves.
The lead singer of legendary Alaap, aka the Godfather of Punjabi bands made the crowd jump with joy to celebrate his long awaited return and kept the dance floor occupied throughout his performance. Channi has recently been involved in producing music for the Bollywood scene and paired up with Mona Singh in the recent Hindi hit movie Mr Bhatti on Chutti.
Channi started to sing at the age of just 3 and idolised the all time favourite Mohammed Rafi. Early in his career he was idolised himself by Mona, who would sit by his side humming during rehearsals from the age of three, began to practise her raags by the age of four and gave her first performance at the age of six.
Mona lit up the stage in her golden diva outfit. The low cut, sleeveless, fitted short kameez, showered with sequinze’s, worn over a flowing chiffon langha was a one off piece designed and stitched to perfection. Her performance, the opening after the interval, was spectacular.
In an interview after hours, she commented upon her heartbreaking experiences gained during her 4 year break, which have nourished her as an individual and have also been an inspiration to her music. This was the main influence when naming her current album “stronger”.
Channi and Mona are currently working on a single together, to be released on Mona’s new album due during summer next year. This single has taken longer than anticipated as the lyrics needed to be appropriate for their relationship as father and daughter.
Alaap have compiled a 4 CD golden hits collection, which is due to be on sale during the Christmas season, and, are currently working on an album hoping to be released by September next year.
“Thank you for loving us ‘til now and please continue to love us in order to help maintain your roots, culture and tradition” is the message Channi Singh sends to all his fans.