February 24th, 2015 witnessed the 5th Annual GiMA Awards where the Indian king of pop, Daler Mehndi was called upon stage by Mika Singh to be graced with the Best Live Performer Award. This is the first time GiMA has included best live performer category. Paaji was honored to receive the award and even sung a song which everyone crooned along to.
The singer was extremely pleased to see that veterans of Indian classical music were honored at the event. He greeted and met stalwarts such as Harsiprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Jasraj, Zakir Hussain and Anandji of Kalyanji-Anandji fame.
Upon being asked where the future was headed and whether Indian music will be the same, he replied,
“Indian musical roots are spread across various influences and genres. I am very keen on experimenting with Sufi music. I plan on mixing the elements of Sufi with pop music; I think it will make an interesting combination that has not been tried before. Whenever I perform, people always request me to play a Sufi song on a pop concert or vice versa. It has got me thinking and I am working towards the collaboration of two to make something superbly unique.”
Daler Mehndi, who has often been critically acclaimed for his deep roots in musical knowledge and has made several contributions in different genres such as Indi-pop, Bhangra, Sufi, Bhangra Rock, Gurbani and Bollywood to name a few. He has made waves in the Indian pop industry and is continuing to do so with a world tour lined up this year.
In its continuous service to the Indian music industry, GiMA continues to add gems to the crown of the Indian musical milestones. We witness a large addition to this crown, with what we would call the crown gem of Indian pop, Daler Mehndi.