Punjabi singer and actor Ammy Virk, who will perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on November 12 for the first time in his career, learned early on in his life that music and songs know no boundaries or language.
The stupendous success of the video ‘Laung Laachi’ — garnering more than 1.3 billion views on YouTube catapulting him as the most viewed star in India on the site — is proof, claims the singer. He didn’t sing the song, but featured in the clip and its title track, but its mammoth popularity has taught him a few life lessons.
“‘Laung Laachi’ was heard by more than a billion people and they weren’t all Punjabis alone. There were Marathis, Bengalis, Filipinos who loved the song … Someone else had sung the song, but it got such love from all parts of India and beyond,” said Virk in an exclusive interview with Gulf News. This was back in 2018, then the pandemic hit but Virk is back in action.
The singer-actor will join hands with talents including Karan Aujla and Garry Sandhu to stage a power-packed performance in the UAE.
“We have worked very hard to give our fans the most memorable concert of their lives,” said Virk, whose hits include ‘Qismat’, ‘Zindabaad Yaarian’ and ‘Wang Da Naap’.
Accompanying him is singer Garry Sandhu, who will belt out his hits such as ‘Illegal Weapon’, ‘Yeah Baby’ and ‘Banda Banja’, while Aujla will set the stage on fire with his blockbuster tracks such as ‘Mexico’, ‘Don’t Look’ and ‘Jhanjar’.
“It’s a dream come true for me to perform with all these great artists on a stage in Dubai,” said Aujla and Sandhu in separate interviews ahead of their Dubai show.
Organised by E3UK, the show with a solid line-up of Punjabi talents promises to be a spectacular night filled with energetic songs and more.
“Music and a song just needs to have the right vibe,” reminded Virk.
Excerpts from our chat with the prolific singer, actor, and producer Virk as we talk about making melodies, the pandemic, and of course Rihanna’s tweet supporting Indian farmers...
You are spearheading the first Punjabi concert after the COVID-19 global pandemic. What are your thoughts?
It has almost been two years since I have performed live. My last show was in Birmingham where I performed for around 20 to 30 minutes. I hope I get to sing more in my show in Dubai tomorrow. I may have forgotten some of my lyrics, but I will be revising it like how we used to prepare for our exams as students. After this interview, I will be rehearsing with my band and I will be singing all my hit songs and I am excited for my Dubai gig.
What has the pandemic taught you in the last two years?
It was a productive pandemic for me. I didn’t stop making music and gained a massive fan base on my social media accounts, but my movie shoots came to a sudden halt. I even launched a new company to accommodate my new music and it’s grown well now. I learnt a lot during this phase too. I understood the importance of spending time with my family who are so important in our lives. I was fortunate, but there were thousand others whose lives and homes were destroyed due to the pandemic. Their damage cannot be quantified, but an artist like me was privileged enough to spend time with my family.
You wear multiple hats in your career as an actor, singer, and producer. What do you enjoy more?
Each process is an entirely different, but I love creating music and singing. Even the process of creating music videos is liberating for me. But if I am creating music or a song for a film, then I need to take into account if it’s sad or a happy song and the script … I consider singing and acting as a God-given gift. I don’t know how to do anything else so I follow my heart when it comes to acting and singing. I don’t have a method nor do I have any process. There’s no rigid criteria that I follow and my art comes from my heart. The one thing that I am alert about is about the lyrics of the songs I sing. It should be nice.
You wear your Punjabi pride on your sleeve and you have never discarded your roots … How difficult is it to stay on that path?
Yes, I wear my Punjabi roots proudly. But even if I didn’t, all Punjabis would love me anyway because that is their nature and it’s our religion. We accept everyone. For instance, last year we gave so much love to Rihanna because she showed us love. All those who love us, we love them in return.
You made your Bollywood debut with ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ … How was the experience?
It was a good experience. Instead of speaking Punjabi, I spoke in Hindi and only the language changed, the rest of the process remained the same. Perhaps, Bollywood is more profession and systematic, while Punjabi cinema is still a growing industry. We have some good and big films that will be rolled out soon and that makes me happy. Punjabi films are now competing with Bollywood releases and vice versa.
Don’t miss it!
What: E3AE Live concert ft artists Ammy Virk, Garry Sandhu, Karan Aujla, Maninder Buttar, Mannat Noor, G Khan, Vicky and actress Sonam Bajwa.
When: November 12
Where: Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
Tickets: Available on www.E3.AE and can be bought only in sets of two or four; prices start from Dh150 for pair of tickets.
Did you know?
Ammy Virk will soon be seen in Ranveer Singh’s sporting biopic ‘‘83’ in December.