Pammi Bai is a famous singer/dancer/personality from Punjab, India. He is best known for his signature smile and promotion of traditional punjabi folk music, dance and vibrant dress. Pammi Bai is the one punjabi singers who has stuck to his roots and not caved in to the pressures of the ever westernising punjabi music industry.
Pammi Bai, alias Parmjit Sidhu is a singer who has kept himself rooted in the basics of Punjabi folk singing.
Hailing from Jakhpel village in Sangrur district of the Malwa region, known for its richness of folklore, Pammi Bai has been associated with cultural activities for the past 20 years. He is the son of the late Partap Singh Baghi, a famous freedom fighter. His father inspired him to become an artist. An outstanding folk dancer, Pammi turned a professional artiste.
After doing MA in Punjabi literature and Public Administration, he also did LL.B to remain in touch with cultural activities at the university level. Since 1986, he has been to over 20 countries, including Thailand, Mauritius, Norway, the UK, Singapore, the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark and China, to perform as a bhangra dancer and folk singer.
He recorded his first audio cassette in 1987, along with the late Narinder Biba. Then he recorded an audio cassette with Surinder Kaur, a renowned TV and radio artist. One of his songs was recorded by Jagjit Singh in his audio cassette released in 1991. Two of his songs were recorded by Music Today. He has worked with music directors like Surinder Bachan, Charanjit Ahuja, Pandit Jawala Parshad and Ved Sethi.
However the real break for him came with the release of Ji ne jan nu karda, rangli dunia ton…. It was an instant hit. The appeal of this song heralded Pammi Bai into the big league of Punjabi folk singers. From a famed folk dancer, Pammi has now established his identity as one of the leading folk singers.
His critically acclaimed album Nach Pauni Dhamal added a new feather to his cap. Its videos directected by Jagmit Bal have avoided showing scantily-clad models.
Pammi Bai has made it clear to the management of the HMV company, which has for the first time prepared the video of a folk singer, that he would not compromise as far as the quality of visuals is concerned. One of his conditions is that the visuals should be free from all sorts of obscenity.
And all this makes Pammi Bai different from several others.
“Let the winds of change sweep past me, I refuse to be swept off my feet by any of them. There is no creativity involved in giving a westernised treatment to folk songs. But it is certainly difficult to follow the rules of folk music in letter and spirit , and even then win acclaim, “ he says.
The singer says he insists on folk music and dance because he wants the new generation to understand and appreciate their culture. “ What they see is more of disco bhangra. They do not know of the rich art forms like Jhoomar, Malwai Giddha or Dhandas. So I am making efforts to document these for the next generation through my cassettes and music videos., “ he says.
Lambasting the artistes in Punjabi music world , he says that they have desecrecated the folk music and dance of Punjab. “ Where in Punjab would one see a skimpily clad woman dancing to bhangra beats? I have waged a war against such projection of Punjabiyat, and so far feel that I have been successful.” he says.
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