Gurbani Kirtan shared in honor of the birth of Guru Arjan Dev ji for Sikh Dharma International’s 2021 special Gurpurb celebration from Sonny Singh!
About the Artist
Sonny Singh has brought his fiery trumpet playing and vocals to audiences around the world for the last decade as an original member of the Brooklyn Bhangra outfit Red Baraat. Now he is launching a solo project inspired by Sikh kirtan with boundary-defying Punjabi anthems to uplift & ignite.
Sonny’s first musical outlet as a child of immigrant parents in North Carolina was singing Sikh devotional music in gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship). His energy shifted to other types of music as he became a more serious musician: ska, reggae, funk, punk rock, bhangra, and more. In 2003, Sonny co-founded the political rock band Outernational and recorded an album produced by Tom Morello. As a singer and trumpet player, he has been central to the sound and raw energy of Red Baraat since the band’s inception in 2008, touring globally and recording 5 studio albums.
Sonny is currently finishing his debut solo album, produced by Wil-Dog Abers of Ozomatli, entitled Chardi Kala, the Sikh concept of revolutionary eternal optimism. His first single, Mitar Pyare Nu, premiered on NPR’s All Songs Considered and Rolling Stone India.
Sonny’s music is a reminder that hope, love, and devotion are crucial to our struggles and our collective survival. Chardi Kala is a return to Sonny’s Punjabi & Sikh roots, but with the lens he’s developed over the course of his life as a touring musician, educator, and activist. Musically, the project embodies the many spiritual, political, and aesthetic elements that have shaped Sonny: a bolero-mariachi Sikh 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. His live band, which includes harmonium, electric guitar, tabla, and drumset, provides listeners with an experience of both introspective reflection and fervent urgency.