Jagjit Singh

Jagjit Singh( Hindi- जगजीत सिंह) (Punjabi- ਜਗਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ)(Urdu- جگجیت سنگھ) (February 8, 1941) is among the foremost singers of ghazals in Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi, a composer and a playback singer in Bollywood. Jag and Jit (Sanskrit words) mean “World” and “Victory” respectively, thus the meaning of the name is One who has conquered the world.

Family and education

Jagjit Singh was born in Ganganagar (also called “SriGanganager”), Rajasthan. His father Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, employed with the Government of India, hailed from Dalla village in Ropar district of Punjab and his mother Sardarni Bachchan Kaur came from a deeply religious Sikh family of Ottallan village near Samralla. His siblings include four sisters and two brothers and he is fondly called Jeet by his family members. Although his late father wanted him to become a bureaucrat by joining the Indian Administrative Service, he was later reported to be happy with his son’s achievements in the world of music. Jagjit went to Khalsa High School at Ganganagar. He studied Sciences during (after matriculation) from Government College, Ganganagar and went for graduation to DAV College, Jalandhar in Arts stream . He also acquired a P.G. Degree in History from Kurukshetra University, Haryana.

Early years

His association with music goes back to his childhood. He learnt music under Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years in Ganganagar, and later devoted six years to learning Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad forms of Indian Classical Music from Ustad Jamaal Khan of Sainia Gharana. The Vice Chancellor of Punjab and Kurukshetra University, Late Professor Surajbhan encouraged his interest in music. He arrived in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1965 in search of better opportunities as a career musician and singer. His early struggle in the music industry, though not too harsh by his own account, still had its share of trials and tribulations. He lived as a paying guest and his earlier assignments were singing advertisement jingles or performing at weddings and parties.

Rise of Jagjit Singh

During 1970s, in India, the art of ghazal singing was dominated by well-established names like Noor Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, Kundan Lal Saigal, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan. However, Jagjit was still able to make his mark and carve out a niche for himself. In 1976, his album The Unforgettables (On HMV LP Records) hit the music stores. Essentially a ghazal album, it’s emphasis on melody and Jagjit’s fresh voice was a departure from the prevalent style of ghazal rendition, which was heavily based on classical and semi-classical Indian music. Skeptics had their own reservations, purists scorned it but it was widely successful among listeners and the album set new sales records.

In 1967 he met Chitra, also a singer, while doing jingles. After a two year long courtship they got married in 1969. They epitomise the first successful husband-wife singing team. Jagjit Singh, with Chitra, has contributed immensely towards changing the course of this genre of music known as ‘Ghazal’ making it more ear friendly, melodic and enojoyable by a wider audience.

Later successful releases of the duo include Ecstasies, A Sound Affair and Passions.

While the above-mentioned albums were breezy, Beyond Time released in the opening years of nineties was an experimentation with sounds and conveyed a feeling that was beyond space and time. Around this time the duo was struck by grief as their only son, Vivek, who was twenty-one, met an untimely death in a road accident. Not only Jagjit and Chitra, it was a big shock to his numerous fans also. The album is a tour to the soul, ethereal, conscientious and introspective. The ghazals have a moving quality to them since they express the personal loss of Jagjit and Chitra. ‘Someone Somewhere’ was the last album containing ghazals sung by both. After that, Chitra quit singing.

Jagjit Singh continued singing his later albums, including Hope, In Search, Insight, Mirage, Visions, Kahkashan (meaning “Galaxy”), Love Is Blind, Chirag (meaning “Lamp”/”Flame”) also achieved success. Sajda (an Urdu word meaning “offering”), which has ghazals sung by Jagjit and Lata Mangeshkar was another brilliant release and made its mark as a classic Ghazal album. The combined successes of his many albums made him arguably the number one ghazal singer in India. The audience wanted more and Jagjit Singh obliged with his Punjabi albums. Ebullient, effervescent and bubbly, his Punjabi songs are pleasant as well as joyous. Their enchanting ghazals use the choicest poetry by renowned poets including Mirza Ghalib, Ameer Meenai, Kafeel Aazer, Sudarshan Faakir and Nida Fazli…. and contemporary writers like Zaka Siddiqi, Nazir Bakri, Faiz Ratlami and Rajesh Reddy.

Jagjit also sang (as playback singer) for various songs in Bollywood films including Arth, Saath Saath and Premgeet (all from 1980s). The scores remain popular even today. In fact, all the songs of film Premgeet were composed by Jagjit. His compositions for the TV serial Mirza Ghalib (based on the life of the poet Mirza Ghalib), remain extremely popular among ghazal aficionados. The elusive element of Ghalib’s poetry was sensitively and wonderfully brought out in the soulful compositions of Ghalib’s ghazals by Jagjit Singh. The album could veritably be called a magnum opus.

Compared to his earlier ghazals (sung during 70s and 80s) his later ghazals have acquired a more soulful and poignant demeanour, as in albums such as Marasim, Face To Face, Aaeena, Cry For Cry. But all through this, romance never took a backseat! The journey to the soul is punctuated by romantic pauses like Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin. A testimony to his popularity is his ghazals in recent Bollywood flicks like Dushman, Sarfarosh, Tum Bin and Tarkeeb.

Most of the earlier albums of Jagjit Singh had English titles. Later, these had Urdu names like Sahar (meaning “Dawn”/”Morning”), Muntazir (meaning “In waiting”), Marasim (meaning “Relation”/”Relationship”/”Affinity” ) “Soz” (Pathos) etc.. The switchover may not be deliberate but marks a milestone in his singing. These new albums show a far better selection of lyrics and yes, even the singing has scaled new peaks.

Besides ghazals, Jagjit Singh has also sung Bhajans and Gurbani (Hindu and Sikh devotional hymns respectively) . Albums such as Maa, Hare Krishna, Hey Ram…Hey Ram, Ichhabal and also Man Jeetai Jagjeet in Punjabi, put him in the league of Bhajan singers such as Mukesh, Hari Om Sharan, Yesudas, Anup Jalota and Purushottam Das Jalota. The soothing effect that Jagjit’s voice has on frayed nerves has prompted psychiatrists in metros (as large cities in India are called) to prescribe them as stress relievers.

In addition to cultivating his own successful career, Jagjit Singh has been involved in guiding many new, talented singers such as Talat Aziz, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Ashok Khosla, Siza Roy and Vinod Sehgal. He also lends active support to several philanthropic endeavors such as the Library at St. Mary’s (Mumbai), Bombay Hospital, CRY, and ALMA (an organization that adopts under-privileged students for further education and development).

Jagjit Singh lives in Cumballa Hills, Mumbai.

Jagjit Singh is also accredited with bringing the ghazal genre, which was previously restricted to the elite classes, to the masses. His music direction can be seen to be pioneering in changing the sound layout by adding more Western instruments while mostly retaining the traditional orchestra (which includes a tabla, and harmonium, and a couple of string instruments)

Awards

In 2003, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s highest award for performing arts

Discography

Sung for films

  • Umar (2006) (playback Singer: “Khumari Chaddh Ke Utar Gayi”)
  • Baabul (2006) (playback Singer: “Kehta Hai Baabul”)
  • Kasak (2005) lyrics
  • Veer-Zaara (2004) lyrics
  • Dhoop (2003) (playback singer: “Benaam Sa Ye Dard”, “Har Ek Ghar Mein Diya”, “Teri Aankhon Se Hi”) lyrics
  • Joggers’ Park (2003) (“Bari Najuk Hai”) lyrics
  • Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai (2003) (“Aisi Aankhen Nahin Dekhi”)
  • Leela (2002) (“Dhuan Uttha Hai”, “Jaag Ke Kati”, “Jabse Kareeb Ho Ke Chale”, “Tere Khayal Ki”)
  • Vadh (2002) (“Bahut Khoobsurat”)
  • Deham (2001) (“Yun To Guzar Raha Hai”)
  • Tum Bin (2001) (Koi Fariyaad)
  • Tarkieb (2000) (Kiska Chehra ab mai dekhun… Tera chehra dekhkar)
  • Shaheed Udham Singh (2000) ()
  • Bhopal Express (1999)
  • Sarfarosh (1999) (“Hosh Walon Ko”)
  • Dushman (1998) (“Chhitti Na Koi Sandesh”)
  • Khudai (1994) (“Din Aa Gaye Shabab Ke”, “Ulfat Ka Jab Kisis Ne Liya Naam”, “Ye Sheeshe Ye Rishte”)
  • Mammo (1994) (hazaar baar ruke ham, hazaar baar chale by Gulzar)
  • Khal Nayak (1993) (“O Maa Tujhe Salaam”)
  • Nargis (1992) (“Dono Ke Dil Hai Majboor Pyar Se”, Main Kasie Kahoon Janeman)
  • Billoo Badshah (1989)
  • Aakhri Kahani (1989)
  • Doosra Kanoon (1989) (TV)
  • Kaanoon Ki Awaaz (1989)
  • Mirza Ghalib (1988) (TV) Hit Serial Directed by Gulzar
  • Rahi (1987)
  • Aashiana (1986) (“Humsafar Ban Ke Hum”)
  • Long Da Lishkara (1986) (“Ishq Hai Loko”, “Main Kandyali Thor Ve” and “Sare Pindch Puare Paye”)
  • Phir Aayee Barsat (1985) (“Na Mohabbat Na Dosti Ke Liye”)
  • Ravan (1984) (“Hum to Yun Apni Zindagi Se Mile”, “Main Gar Mein Chunariya”)
  • Bahuroopi (1984)
  • Bhavna (1984) (“Mere Dil Mein Tu Hi Tu Hai”)
  • Kalka (1983)
  • Tum Laut Aao (1983)
  • Zulf Ke Saye Saye (1983) (“Nashili Raat Mein”)
  • Arth (1982) (“Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar”, “Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye”, “Tere Khushboo Mein Base Khat”, “Too Nahin To Zindagi Mein Aur Kya Reha Jayega” and “Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho”)
  • Saath Saath (1982) (“Pyar Mujh Se Jo Kya Tumne”, “Tum Ko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya”, “Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi”, “Yeh Bata De Mujhe Zindagi”, “Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar”, “Yun Zindagi Ki Raah Mein”)
  • Sitam (1982)
  • Prem Geet (1981) (Hontho se chhoo lo tum mera geet amar kar do: FIRST HIT FILMY SONG)
  • Ek Baar Kaho (1980)
  • Griha Pravesh (1979)
  • Avishkaar (1973)
  • Aankhon Aankhon Mein (1972) (associate camera operator)
  • Heena (TV serial) (1999)
  • Neem ka pead{“Muunh ki baaten sune har koii”} (TV Serial) (1994)

Music composed for films

  1. Leela (2002) lyrics
  2. Sarfarosh (1999) lyrics
  3. Khudai (1994) lyrics
  4. Billoo Badshah (1989)
  5. Kaanoon Ki Awaaz (1989)
  6. Mirza Ghalib (1988) (TV Seriel directed by Gulzar) HiT Album lyrics
  7. Rahi (1987)
  8. Long Da Lishkara (1986) lyrics
  9. Ravan (1984) lyrics
  10. Arth (1982) lyrics
  11. Sitam (1982) (as Jagjit-Chitra)
  12. Prem Geet (1981)lyrics

Ghazal albums

  • The Unforgettables 1976 lyrics
  • A Milestone 1980 lyrics
  • Main aur Meri Tanhaayee 1981 lyrics
  • The Latest 1982 lyrics
  • Ecstasies 1984 lyrics
  • A Sound Affair 1985 lyrics
  • Echoes 1985-86 lyrics
  • Beyond Time 1987 lyrics
  • Mirza Ghalib (Two Volumes) 1988 TV Serial Directed by Gulzar lyrics
  • Passion / Black Magic 1988 lyrics
  • Ghazals from Films 1989 lyrics
  • Emotions
  • Man Jite Jagjit 1990 lyrics
  • Memorable Ghazals of Jagjit and Chitra 1990 lyrics
  • Someone Somewhere 1990 lyrics
  • H O P E 1991 lyrics
  • Sajda (Two Volumes with Lata Ji) 1991 lyrics
  • Kahkashan (Two Volumes) 1991-92 TV Serial Directed by Jalal Agaa lyrics
  • Visions (Two Volumes) 1992 lyrics
  • In Search 1992 lyrics
  • Rare Gems 1992 lyrics
  • Face to face 1993 lyrics
  • Your Choice 1993 lyrics
  • Chiraag 1993 lyrics
  • Desires 1994 lyrics
  • Insight 1994 lyrics
  • Cry for Cry 1995 lyrics
  • Mirage 1995 lyrics
  • Unique 1996 lyrics
  • Come Alive in a Concert 1998 (CD) lyrics
  • Live at the Wembley lyrics
  • Love is Blind 1998 lyrics
  • Silsilay 1998 (Lyrics by Javed Akhtar) lyrics
  • Marasim 1999 (Lyrics by Gulzar) lyrics
  • Saher 2000 lyrics
  • Samvedna 2002 (Atal Ji’s poetry) lyrics
  • Soz 2002 (Lyrics by Javed Akhtar) lyrics
  • Forget Me Not 2002 lyrics
  • Jaam Utha lyrics
  • Muntazir (2004) lyrics
  • Tum To Nahin Ho (Lyrics by Bashir Badr) (2005) lyrics
  • Best of Jagjit & Chitra Singh (includes Mere Darwaaze Se Ab Chand Ko Ruksat Kar do by Ali Sardar Kaffrey)
  • Koi Baat Chale – jagjit & Gulzar

 

5 thoughts on “Jagjit Singh

  1. Dear….. you have done a very unique job……. I have no word to explain it…….. Jagjit Singh always bless you from heaven…….

  2. ¤ KAHAAN BHUULA HUUN TUMHAIN – 43 ¤

    JAGJIT THE TO ZAMEEN PAR UUTARTE RAHE MEER , MAZAZ AUR GHALIB
    UUNKI FANKAARI KAA LUUTF UUTHATE RAHE MEER , MAJAZ AUR GHALIB

    DAG , FIRAQ , JIGAR KI GHAZALE.N JAB BHII GAATE WO
    FALSAFA-E-ISQ ME.N UULAJH KAR RAH JAATE MEER , MAJAZ AUR GHALIB

    NAZME.N GULZAR KI JAB BHII BARASTE UUNKE LARAZTE HUUE HOTHO.N SE
    WAAH – WAAH KAHNE KO MACHAL UUTHTE MEER , MAJAZ AUR GHALIB

    JAVED , RAJESH , NIDA , ANJUM KII KALAM SE ABB NIKALTE KAHAN KOII UUMDAA SHER
    AISA MANZAR DEKH HAIRAAN RAH JAATE MEER , MAJAZ AUR GHALIB

    MAHFILO.N ME.N GHNSHAM , ASHOK , VINOD , TALAT KII DEKHII JO CHHALAKTI HUUII AA.NKHE.N
    APPNE AA.NSUUO.N KO BHII CHHUUPAA NA SAKE MEER , MAJAZ AUR GHALIB

    -KUNDAN SHRIVASTAVA

    copyright- kundan shrivastava

  3. ” रात दिन उसकी नज़्मोँ , गज़लोँ मेँ डूबा रहता है वो शख़्स

    देखो कैसे उस मोहसिन की ख़ातिर तड़पता रहता है वो शख़्स ”

    – कुन्दन श्रीवास्तव

    RAAT DIN UUSKI NAZMO.N , GHAZLO.N ME.N DOOBAA RAHTAA HAI WO SHAKHS

    DEKHO KAISE UUS MOHSIN KI KHAATIR TADAPTAA RAHTA HAI WO SHAKHS ”

    – kundan shrivastava

  4. i’ve always felt his breaths in my chest coz’…i always see as ‘eklavya’…i’m a most unlucky student…i couldnt meet him persnally….bt he ll remain in my voice n heart….n my soul will surly meet him once….om shanti

  5. i’ve always felt his breaths in my chest coz’…i always see as ‘eklavya’…i’m a most unlucky student…i couldnt meet him persnally….bt he ll remain in my voice n heart….n my soul will surly meet him once….om shantiiii

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