Bhangra king Daler Mehndi says he is too expensive for playback singing in Bollywood as he will never sing for free.
"I want Rs 5 lakh, a business class ticket and lots of other things. Other singers do it for free. I cannot do that. I work hard for my singing and cannot do it for free," Mehndi said in an interview during the launch of Jasveer Singh's album here. The 46-year-old Punjabi pop sensation has sung for 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 'Rang de Basanti', 'Singh is Kinng', 'Action Replayy' and several other Bollywood movies.
"If I feel there is any need to lend my voice for playback, I will. But if I think I'm being used I won't go for it," he said. Mehndi is a passionate sufi singer and has also taken an initiative to nurture more talents in this genre of music.
"We are likely to come up with 'Sufi Sultana', an initiative through which we are planning to audition children from 13 years of age across the country who are good at sufi songs and promote them worldwide. I want to promote sufi music globally," he said. The 'Tunak Tunak Tun' hitmaker, who is the brother of singer Mika, says he feels ashamed to hear songs which are laced with vulgarity. "I feel ashamed to hear Hindi songs nowadays whose lyrics are full of slangs. Such songs are degrading our culture.
What will our children learn from them? They should be banned," he said. Not a regular judge on reality show, Mehndi says such shows do not promote young talent as singers in such shows come and vanish without tasting success.
"We want to bring singers from the remotest corners of the country and give them opportunity to launch their music. Not like reality shows where they come and go," he said. In the past, Mehndi has been responsible for launching talents like Ghazal maestro Hussain Buksh, UK Bhangra Icon Safri Boys and comedy king Raju Shrivastav through his home label DRecords.
After he composed and sang an election campaign song for the Congress party, there were speculations that he is going to join politics but Mehndi says he has no such plans. "I am not in any mood to join politics. I am ready to sing but I'm certainly not in election mood," he said.