Indian regional cinema has grown over the years, and the fact that Bollywood stars are investing in it is testimony to that. Popular Punjabi actor-singer Gippy Grewal, who garnered worldwide popularity after singing “Angrezi beat” with singer Honey Singh, is now working with Akshay Kumar on the star’s first Punjabi production. He talks about this partnership, his music, film projects and more.
What’s the project with Akshay Kumar about?
The film, Paaji In Trouble, is Akshay’s first Punjabi production. It’s a comedy that we’re hoping to release around September. It stars Om Puri, Harbhajan Singh (cricketer) and me. Akshay doing a cameo and has also sung a track.
Do you plan to enter Bollywood next?
Yes, I have signed a film and it will go on the floors this year. I’ve been offered roles before, but I wanted to start with a good project. There are subjects in Punjabi cinema that deserve to be made in Hindi to reach out to a wider audience.
Will you be singing for Hindi films as well?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t like the way the Bollywood music industry works. The composer composes and then approaches the singer. I don’t like it that way. I was offered some songs, but I did not record them as they were neither Punjabi nor Hindi. Everything loud is not Punjabi.
Is the film industry in Punjab threatened by Hindi cinema?
Names like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Ranbir Kapoor scare us. But if you leave these big stars aside, Punjabi cinema fetches more eyeballs. I remember my film Mirza (2012) and Housefull 2 (2012) released simultaneously. The team of Housefull 2 got perturbed about the film’s business in Punjab.
‘Angrezi beat’ became really popular. How did it come about?
I was shooting for a film in Canada when Honey spoke to me about his album, International Villager. He felt the album was incomplete and asked me to contribute to it.
We took ‘Angrezi beat‘ as the punch line. We recorded the song in a small studio there. I finished my part in five minutes and Honey took the song to Punjab and modified it there. I was surprised when it went viral.
What are your upcoming projects?
There are three songs with Honey yet to release. One is on the lines of ‘Angrezi beat‘, another one is a Punjabi folk song. I will also release a single soon. I’ve recently worked on a track called ‘Kangana‘ with Dr Zeus, the UK music producer.