Loaded with bling, hands drawn in hip-hop style, tons of gel on the hair and glares to complete that “phoren” look, so characteristic of apna Punjabi singers drooled over and aped by the masses, he looks pretty much of a pop god standing pretty on one of his posters at the reception of his office.
He arrives and the illusion evaporates in thin air. Dressed in a track suit, minus the bling, the gel or the tantrums for that matter, he says, “(I) would have dressed better if I knew you were getting a camera.” He then flashes his million dollar smile and said, “Never mind. Sometimes casual is better.”
Kanth Kaler is the perfect combination that the Punjabi masses want in their singer. Turning teary-eyed sissies out of the brawny brats of Punjab with his blue numbers like “tu chete aaven” and sweeping away the bhangra crowds with hits like “beeba munda vigar gaya”, his is a voice which knows how to balance the extremes and make the best out of them.
Born and brought up in Nakodar, Kaler started learning music at the age of 10 from Ustad R.P. Rana.
“His original name being Harvinder Kaler, he has also been composing his own songs. Kaler’s big break of sorts came his cassette which he casually recorded at home was borrowed by one of his friends. “My friend got the cassette recorded from a shop and the shopkeeper, who happened to be the nephew of famous lyricist Madan Jalandhari, was impressed by my voice and took the recording to his uncle. They asked me to meet them. I was initially reluctant. Didn’t even have enough money to travel from Nakodar to Jalandhar in those days. But I got in touch with Madan and after about two years my first album ‘Hun teri nigah badal gayi’ was released.”
Out of the seven albums that he has cut, his favourite is “Intezaar”.
The artiste is fond of rich lyrics and has even penned some his own compositions. His favourite writers being Gurdiyal Roshan, Ulfat Bajwa, Surjit Patar and Amrita Pritam, he has also cut some religious albums.
He would soon be singing for the film “Chhevan Dariya”.