Punjab is known as the soil of Gurus, warriors and versatile talented people in the field of art and culture.One of the such talented is hidden in the voice of a legend ‘’Deedar Singh Pardesi’’, born in Pattar Kalan, Jallandhar who started his singing career the age of 5, specialized in folk singing, shabads and Bhajans.In 1951, Deedar Singh migrated to East Africa, where he became renowned radio singer at that time.He was known as Mohd. Rafi of East Africa.Mohd.Rafi applauded his mind-blowing voice for singing soulful songs. During that time, famous Sarod player Ustad Ali Akbar Khan got influenced by his singing for ‘’Heer Waris Shah’’ and started giving him music lessons.
Deedar became the first Asian singer to make records with Philips Music Record companies in East Africa.His strong voice for ‘’Salma’’ and ‘’Toota dil’’threw a wave in Bombay Film Industry and eventually, he was invited to Bombay by Kuljit Pal, the Producer of films ‘’Vaasna’’and ‘’Arth’’ to contribute his voice in many films.He worked with many renowed film directors and singers like Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor and many more.
After greater career success, he migrated to the UK in 1975 and in 1978 recorded his first Punjabi Folk album ‘’Ambi Da Buta’’.Later on, he followed to pursue Urdu Poetry ‘’Salma Ki Yaad Mein’’.Both these work was highly appreciated by the people living in the UK.
To Date, he contributes his valuable time in singing Gurbani Shabads, Bhajan and Ghazals in Punjabi, Urdu and Gujrati, although singing is his hobby.He never had a formal training in music and still gathered a huge respect and name in the music world.Deedar’s only wish is to return to his hometown and recollect his beautiful childhood memories in the lap of motherland ‘’Punjab’’
Written By Sukhin Kaur Chawla