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
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.”
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.