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Premiere: Sonny Singh’s Spirited New Video ‘Chardi Kala’ Connects Brooklyn and Patiala

The New York trumpeter and singer has released the title track from his upcoming debut solo album

Anurag Tagat Feb 26, 2021

Brooklyn-based artist Sonny Singh. Photo: Shruti Parekh

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When Brooklyn-based Punjabi origin artist Sonny Singh made his debut as a solo artist in August last year, he’d released “Mitar Pyare Nu,” off his upcoming album Chardi Kala. At the time, he did yearn for the stage and a full release of the album by 2021. With a few changes in plans, Singh still keeps the faith with the vibrant title track, released with a music video that bridges Patiala and Brooklyn. 

The third single — one that follows “Koi Bol Ram” — is Singh’s first release of the new year. He says in a statement, “Now is the time to release the song ‘Chardi Kala,’ which is a celebratory anthem of hope. Millions of Punjabi Sikh farmers and workers in India have been protesting pro-corporate policies that threaten their livelihoods in what is arguably the largest strike in human history. They cease to back down after months of struggle against a system that prioritizes profits over humanity, epitomizing the spirit of ‘Chardi Kala,’ of ever-rising spirits against all odds.”

In the video directed by Heera Singh, footage shot by Shruti Parekh in Brooklyn is juxtaposed with film captured by Jay S Jas, showing children running around rural Patiala in Punjab. As is the case with a lot music off Chardi Kala, the title track is a kirtan. Singh, however, notes, “Musically, this is not traditional kirtan in any way, but a sincere attempt to embody the many spiritual, political, and aesthetic elements that have shaped [me]: a bolero-mariachi shabad on one track, a Qawwali song with a reggae bass line on another, a bombastic Ghadar Party tribute in Punjabi and Spanish on yet another.” 

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The album is produced by multi-genre act Ozomatli’s Wil-Dog Abers, who counts it as “one of the most epic pieces of music I’ve ever been a part of.” He adds, “With the help of a bunch of our talented musician friends, we were able to create a sound that does justice to the uplifting call to action of ‘Chardi Kala.'” 

Watch the video for “Chardi Kala” below. 

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