Joined: 13 August 2005
For Jagjit Singh the science writer, see Jagjit Singh (writer).
Jagjit Singh (February 8, 1941 - ) is a popular singer of ghazals in Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi, a composer and also a playback singer in Bollywood. Jag and Jit (both Hindi/Punjabi words) mean "World" and "Victory" respectively, thus the meaning of the name is One who has conquered the world.
Family and education
Jagjit Singh was born in Ganganagar (also called "SriGanganager"), Rajasthan. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, employed with the Government of India, hailed from Dalla village in Ropar district of Punjab and his mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur came from a deeply religious Sikh family of Ottallan village near Samralla. His siblings include four sisters and two brothers and he is fondly called Jeet by his family members. Although his late father wanted him to become a bureaucrat by joining the Indian Administrative Service, he was later reported to be happy with his son's achievements in the world of music. Jagjit went to Khalsa High School at Ganganagar. He studied Sciences during higher secondary (after matriculation) from Government College, Ganganagar and went on to graduate in the Arts stream from DAV College, Jalandhar. He also acquired a Post Graduate Degree in History from Kurukshetra University, Haryana.
His association with music goes back to his childhood. He learnt music under Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years in Ganganagar, and later devoted six years to learning Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad forms of Indian Classical Music from Ustad Jamaal Khan of Sainia Gharana. He was willing to learn from lesser known but talented musicians throughout his college days. The Vice Chancellor of Punjab and Kurukshetra University, Late Professor Surajbhan encouraged his interest in music. He arrived in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1965 in search of better opportunities as a career musician and singer. His early struggle in the music industry, though not too harsh by his own account, still had its share of trials and tribulations. He lived as a paying guest and his earlier assignments were singing advertisement jingles or performing at weddings and parties.
During 1970s, in India, the art of ghazal singing was dominated by well-established names like Noor Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, Kundan Lal Saigal, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan. However, Jagjit was still able to make his mark and carve out a niche for himself. In 1976, his album The Unforgettables (On HMV LP Records) hit the music stores. Essentially a ghazal album, it's emphasis on melody and Jagjit's fresh voice was a departure from the prevalent style of ghazal rendition, which was heavily based on classical and semi-classical Indian music. Skeptics had their own reservations, purists scorned at it but it was widely successful among listeners and the album set new sales records.
In 1967 he met Chitra, also a singer, while doing jingles. After a two year long courtship they got married in 1969. They epitomise the first successful husband-wife singing team. Jagjit Singh, with Chitra, has contributed immensely towards changing the course of this genre of music known as 'Ghazal' making it more ear friendly, melodic and enojoyable by a wider audience.
Later successful releases of the duo include Ecstasies, A Sound Affair and Passions.
While the above-mentioned albums were breezy, Beyond Time released in the opening years of nineties was an experimentation with sounds and conveyed a feeling that was beyond space and time. Around this time the duo was struck by grief as their only son, Vivek, who was twenty-one, met an untimely death in a road accident. Not only Jagjit and Chitra, it was a big shock to his numerous fans also. The album is a tour to the soul, ethereal, conscientious and introspective. The ghazals have a moving quality to them since they express the personal loss of Jagjit and Chitra. 'Someone Somewhere' was the last album containing ghazals sung by both. After that, Chitra quit singing.
Jagjit Singh continued singing his later albums, including Hope, In Search, Insight, Mirage, Visions, Kahkashan (meaning "Galaxy"), Love Is Blind, Chirag (meaning "Lamp"/"Flame") also achieved success. Sajda (an Urdu word meaning "offering"), which has ghazals sung by Jagjit and Lata Mangeshkar was another brilliant release and made its mark as a classic Ghazal album. The combined successes of his many albums made him arguably the number one ghazal singer in India. The audience wanted more and Jagjit Singh obliged with his Punjabi albums. Ebullient, effervescent and bubbly, his Punjabi songs are pleasant as well as joyous. Their enchanting ghazals use the choicest poetry by renowned poets including Mirza Ghalib, Ameer Meenai, Kafeel Aazer, Sudarshan Faakir and Nida Fazli…. and contemporary writers like Nazir Bakri, Faiz Ratlami and Rajesh Reddy.
Jagjit also sang (as playback singer) for various songs in Bollywood films including Arth, Saath Saath and Premgeet (all from 1980s). The scores remain popular even today. In fact, all the songs of film Premgeet were composed by Jagjit. His compositions for the TV serial Mirza Ghalib (based on the life of the poet Mirza Ghalib), remain extremely popular among ghazal aficionados. The elusive element of Ghalib's poetry was sensitively and wonderfully brought out in the soulful compositions of Ghalib's ghazals by Jagjit Singh. The album could veritably be called a magnum opus.
Compared to his earlier ghazals (sung during 70s and 80s) his later ghazals have acquired a more soulful and poignant demeanour, as in albums such as Marasim, Face To Face, Aaeena, Cry For Cry. But all through this, romance never took a backseat! The journey to the soul is punctuated by romantic pauses like Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin. A testimony to his popularity is his ghazals in recent Bollywood flicks like Dushman, Sarfarosh and Tarkeeb.
Most of the earlier albums of Jagjit Singh had English titles. Later, these had Urdu names like Sahar (meaning "Dawn"/"Morning"), Muntazir (meaning "In waiting"), Marasim (meaning "Relation"/"Relationship"/"Affinity" ) "Soz" (Pathos) etc.. The switchover may not be deliberate but marks a milestone in his singing. These new albums show a far better selection of lyrics and yes, even the singing has scaled new peaks.
Besides ghazals, Jagjit Singh has also sung Bhajans and Gurbani(Hindu and Sikh devotional hymns respectively) . Albums such as Maa, Hare Krishna, Hey Ram...Hey Ram, Ichhabal and also Man Jeetai Jagjeet in Punjabi, put him in the league of Bhajan singers such as Mukesh, Hari Om Sharan, Yesudas, Anup Jalota and Purushottam Das Jalota. The soothing effect that Jagjit's voice has on frayed nerves has prompted psychiatrists in metros (as large cities in India are called) to prescribe them as stress relievers.
In addition to cultivating his own successful career, Jagjit Singh has been involved in guiding many new, talented singers such as Talat Aziz, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Ashok Khosla, Siza Roy and Vinod Sehgal. He also lends active support to several philanthropic endeavors such as the Library at St. Mary's (Mumbai), Bombay Hospital, CRY, and ALMA (an organization that adopts under-privileged students for further education and development).
Jagjit Singh lives in Cumballa Hills, Mumbai.
Jagjit Singh is alleged by Pandit Bholanath to have made ghazal a very much commonplace and commercial stuff. Unlike Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Talat Mehmood, his singing lacks the purity of ghazal rendition as deviates from classicism and imparts on light singing, mostly influenced by mass culture.
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Joined: 24 February 2006
Here's a list of songs arranged alphabetically. Some of them are listed twice bcause they are compiled in two or more albums, follow the links to the page for the album itself.
Joined: 04 July 2005
Joined: 31 August 2005
Joined: 13 August 2005
|Jagjit Singh shares his passions
By MIO Team
Aug 22, 2006, 07:30
Deterring the trend of mechanical music, which is in vogue he says, "A lot of garbage is being played. A number of DJs and RJs who have no knowledge of music are mixing songs. But I am sure enough that this trend will go away. Classical music will make a comeback," he quotes. He has been in the music scene for 30 years now and his principle of life still continues to be hard work. "You should never think that you know too much. Hard work and quest for knowledge are two most important things in life," he wraps up saying.
Joined: 27 October 2005
Thanks Bob'da and Kanta....
He is my favorite favorite ghazal singer......
jaate jaate vo mujhe achchhii nishaanii de gayaa
umr bhar doharaauuNgaa aisii kahanii de gayaa
us se main kuchh paa sakuuN aisii kahaaN ummiid thii
Gam bhii vo shaayad baraaemeharabaanii de gayaa
sab havaayeN le gayaa mere samandar kii koii
aur mujh ko ek karatii baadabaanii de gayaa
Khair main pyaasaa rahaa par us ne itanaa to kiyaa
merii palakon kii kataaron ko vo paanii de gayaa
Joined: 31 August 2005
Banned for Advertising
Joined: 24 February 2006
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