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Exclusive Premiere: New York Trumpeter Sonny Singh’s Symbolic Video for ‘Mitar Pyare Nu’

The jazz fusion Punjabi language song is part of his debut solo album ‘Chardi Kala,’ produced by Grammy winning Wil-Dog Abers from hip-hop/rock group Ozomatli

Anurag Tagat Aug 25, 2020

Brooklyn trumpeter, dhol player and fusion artist Sonny Singh. Photo: Shruti Parekh

Part of brass-meets-dhol fusion act Red Baraat and previously of multi-genre act Outernational, Brooklyn-bred artist Sonny Singh leaps into the world as a solo artist with his debut song “Mitar Pyare Nu,” influenced by traditional Sikh kirtans as well as fusion templates.

Produced by Wil-Dog Abers (from Los Angeles’ Grammy winning act Ozomatli), Singh released the song on August 18th and is now out with a music video shot in lockdown in L.A. by filmmaker and photographer Shruti Parekh. Reimagining a composition by Sikh guru and poet-philosopher Gobind Singh, “Mitar Pyare Nu” was written when the 17th and 18th century spiritualist was “alone in the jungle, separated from his family, after a long day of battle with the oppressive forces of the time,” according to the trumpeter.

In the video, Singh too is shown in isolation with his trumpet, evoking gentle notes as well as roaring, emphatic portions of horns as he’s stood in a tent, poppy fields and other urban settings. “[Guru Gobind Singh was] isolated, but not alone because of his connection to the Beloved Friend, the Divine. That was the spirit we hoped to capture in a simple video with a one person crew and very little access to camera gear. Eventually we started getting shots of me in different locations around Los Angeles and Southern California, still always isolated in each shot, but never alone.”

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The song is part of Singh’s upcoming album Chardi Kala, which takes on more Sikh traditional music and infuses them with his own multihued music sensibilities, aided by Abers. Sonny says, “Every song has an original vibe to it, eclectic and unique, from a bolero-mariachi Sikh shabad on one track, to a qawwali song with a reggae bass line on another, then a bombastic Ghadar Party tribute in Punjabi and Spanish on yet another.”

Singh is plotting to release a new track every couple of months, given the current restrictions on touring with his newly assembled band for his solo project. He mentions he played shows early this year and had an in-progress tour with Red Baraat canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Everything is different now, of course, and we’re all taking it day by day, week by week,” he says.

By early 2021, Singh may just release Chardi Kala in its entirety and hopes touring will be a safer prospect. “I miss the stage deeply, and especially miss connecting with audiences in person. In the meantime, at least we have the internet – and perhaps some more informal outdoor distanced performances as well,” he adds.

Watch the video for “Mitar Pyare Nu” below. Stream on more platforms here.