Honey Singh, from Punjabi folk to International Villager
- Aasma on 18 December, 2012
The rest of the world might be dancing to Korean rapper Psy's Gangnam Style but not India. Here, it's Punjabi rapper Honey Singh who's top of the pops, zooming up the charts with his bhangra beats given a modern update with electropop and hip-hop sounds.
Yo! Yo! Honey Singh, as he likes to be called, earns two places on YouTube's list of top 10 trending videos of 2012. His song Brown Rang makes it to top spot and High Heels, in collaboration with Jaz Dhami, takes fourth spot.
Honey Singh, born in Hoshiarpur on March 15, 1984, studied music in the UK's prestigious Trinity School and began his career as a session musician. He then began to produce bhangra tracks and hit big time when the 2006 song Ch**t went viral on YouTube within days of being released. Lak 28 Kudi Da, in collaboration with Diljit Dosanjh, topped the BBC's Asian Download Charts in May 2011.
On November 11, 2011 - a date that reads 11.11.11 - Honey Singh released his album International Villager and his transformation from folk singer to pop star was complete. The album featured a number of hit songs. Gabru topped Asian music charts including iTunes and BBC. Angreji Beat was featured in 2012's hit movie Cocktail starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone. And Brown Rang is this year's smash hit on YouTube.
Honey Singh was quickly snapped up by Bollywood, with a debut song in 2011 comedy Shakal Pe Mat Ja. In 2012, he sang for Ajay Devgn's Son Of Sardaar, Akshay Kumar's Khiladi 786 and the Anurag Kashyap-produced Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. He has songs coming up in the movies Race 2 and Mastaan, for which he has reportedly received the highest fee ever paid for a Bollywood song.