SIKH HERITAGE AWARDS GALA 2011: ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2011 | Cipriani | 55 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005
Sukhbir - "The Prince of Bhangra"
Sukhbir was born in India but moved to Nairobi, Kenya at an early age. There, young Sukhbir honed his singing and music production skills under the watchful eye of his classically-trained father. This apprenticeship laid the groundwork for the musical side of his Bhangra career. He spent 18 years in Nairobi, and moved to London for a year and a half, before moving to Dubai in 1994.
His first album (New Stylee) was recorded in Dubai and had many foreign influences. It was nominated for the 1996 Channel V Awards in three categories: Best Debut Album, Best Male Vocalist and Best Music Video (for "Punjabi Munde".) Sukhbir can sing in nine languages, and his album Oi Teriesto has many Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili vocals and music. His second album (Gal Ban Gayee) was an amazing success, selling half a million copies in the first week! He was awarded The Prestigious Golden Disk Award by Indian music society for this. The title song (“Gal Ban Gayee”) was a huge hit. He received a platinum disc for this. His third album (Hai Energy) was another huge success. The album sold in the millions and contained hit songs like “Ishq Tera Tardpave,” which Bollywood sensations Hrithik Roshan/Abhishek Bachan/Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoors say is their all time favouite song. His video for the song “Sauda Khara Khara” features Bollywood actors Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu. His other album Dil Kare includes hit songs like the title track “Dil Kare, Nachle Soniye.” The video to the song “Girls Girls Girls” featured Indian beauties such as Priyanka Chopra, Aishwaria Rai Bachan and Celina Jaitley.
Sukhbir's music is a unique fusion of traditional Bhangra, rap, techno, reggae and demonstrates a strong African influence. The juxtaposition of these musical styles is enhanced by Sukhbir’s use of original Bhangra instruments like the dhol and dholak. In Oi Triesto his music was complemented by Spanish and Portuguese rhythms. He also uses instruments like tablas, congos, guitars and keyboards. Sukhbir has often been labeled as the “Michael Jackson” of India due to his energetic and powerful live performances!
He is known to have revolutionized the way Indian music videos are shot and is known to have created his own unique style! He has collaborated with Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy and has recorded a song with popular Indian singer Shaan. He sang the song “Dil Laga” from the Bollywood Blockbuster Dhoom 2 for Hrithik Roshan. After the 2004 tsunami, he released a song with Jassi Sidhu, Shin, DCS and Taz of Stereo Nation. Suhkbir’s album Tere Naal Nachna reached the number one spot within the first week of release and stayed there for a record five weeks. Sukhbir also produced a spiritual album titled Nirgun Rakhliya on which he has superstar Akshay Kumar sing a Shabad! His latest production is the spiritual album Bandhanaa, with Manika Kaur on vocals, to raise funds for the first ever Gurudwara in the Middle East.
Sukhbir recently won “Face of the Year” in Masala Lifestyle awards in Dubai. He has performed on numerous occasions, live on stage with bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Sukhbir also performed live for Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain. He resides in Dubai with his wife Dimpy.