Bhangra king Malkit in Malaysian fund raising concert


Popular UK-based bhangra singer Malkit Singh, the first Punjabi singer to be honoured by the British Queen six years ago, will be performing in a fund raising concert in Malaysia on Nov 30.

Among others, Malkit made waves on the bhangra scene with catchy songs like ‘Tootak tootak thootian (hey jamalo)’.

The concert in Shah Alam, Selangor, is an effort by the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisations (CMSO) to raise funds for its community development programmes, including organising the Kuala Lumpur Punjabi Arts and Film Festival (KLPAFF) next year.

In a letter announcing concert details, CMSO said the KLPAFF 2015 is designed to promote Punjabi/Sikh culture/values and arts and at the same time discover, nurture and promote local talent in the various facets of KLPAFF. The events tied to the festival include short films, photography, fashion and music.

The funds raised  from the concert will also be channelled for what CMSO calls the joint parchaar (Sikh preaching) initiative where they invite qualified parcharaks (preachers) for katha (Sikh talks) and classes, a project that began in 2011.

The funds will also be used for its recently launched English Enrichment Programme and the up-coming Kuala Lumpur Punjabi Arts and Film Festival (KLPAFF), according to the letter.

Another project in the pipeline is the setting up of the Malaysian Sikh Archives and Resource Centre, intended to collect, document and preserve Sikh history and heritage in Malaysia. The centre is intended to facilitate research and study of Sikhi and Punjabiat by being the one stop centre for resources.

“We hope to raise funds for the [various] community development programmes. Please support us,” writes CMSO secretary general Autar Singh.

MALKIT-concert-poster-1411In 2008, Malkit was bestowed the Member of the British Empire (MBE) title by the British Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The MBE is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. It is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people, according to information on a UK government website.

Malkit, 52, was born in Husseinpur, Punjab, and moved to Britain in 1984. His first album two years later became a trail blazer as bhangra grew in popularity in dance halls and night clubs all over Britain, according to one news report.

“True to his name, Malkit, which translates to ‘One Who Rules The World’, has taken his music from the Punjabi vernacular to cross-cultural experiments ranging form rap and house to the Hindi film screens,” according to an article on Malkit’s website.

From the classic debut song ‘Nach gidde wich’, the infectious-feel-good ‘Gurh nalo ishq mitha’, his trademark anthme ‘Tootak tootak thootian (hey jamalo), these songs became the benchmark sound of the 1980s, the same article added.