Exclusive Interview! ‘Rab Manneya’ singer Lakhwinder Wadali: I want to work with AR Rahman; I have a lot of admiration and love for his work – Times of India


Son of Padma Shri Ustad Puran Chand Wadali Ji, who is a part of the famous ‘The Wadali Brothers’ from Patiala Gharana, Lakhwinder Wadali rose to fame in the world of Sufi music, with his scintillating voice. He mesmerised the audience with his stage presence during live shows. With the song ‘Rab Manneyaa’, Lakhwinder who’s been around in the music industry for over a decade now, made his Bollywood debut as a playback singer. When ETimes got in touch with him, he opened up about his creative process and the qualities he has imbibed from his father. Read on…

‘Rab Manneyaa’ is your Bollywood debut as a playback singer. How was the experience?

Since the composition was old, reinventing and moulding it to suit the needs of our generation was a new thing for me. It felt nice having the creative freedom to craft it my way. Rochak (Kohli) composed the song really well; I had a lot of fun singing, and living in the moment, while approaching it.

As a singer, I am really choosy about songs in terms of lyrics. You’d notice that the lyrics of this song are so meaningful. When I heard the piece for the first time, it was an immediate ‘yes’ from my end to add my voice and make it worth humming to.

What’s your creative process like?

Every song has its own style and nature. Different people work for different aspects of the song. For me, what’s important is that the director and I are on the same page while I approach a piece. Since I have a different style of my own, I talk about it in detail before recording. Somewhere, it feels personal too, since I try adding in a part of my own to make it more authentic and stand out.

How was it working with Rochak Kohli?

He is very sweet and laughs all the time. I had initially dubbed the song from Punjab. But he requested me to come to Mumbai, so that we bond and work for it together. I love the way he works and brings out the best in me. As I said earlier, he gave me a lot of creative liberty to work my way. For an artist, it is really important to have that sort of relationship and guidance. He made me feel comfortable and allowed me to approach the song my way.

You’ve been in the music industry for a long time. What has been your biggest takeaway?

Kaafi Zabardast! (Quite stupendous)
. It has been 15 years now that I have been here. I started with a show called ‘Rashqe Qamar’. I’ve been blessed to go places, work with my favourite artists, and reinvent myself. I’ve been receiving a lot of love for the track and song. I’ve been humbled by this Bollywood debut.

Now that you are being recognised and making a mark, do you feel pressurised to keep up to it?

I was approached for songs two years back too but those didn’t match my nature. Yes, there’s pressure to live up to the mark, but the fact that I am choosy in picking a piece, helps me to explore, and put my best foot forward. As they say, quality over quantity. I don’t wish to compromise on the quality of the song no matter what.

What qualities you have imbibed from your father Padma Shri Ustad Puran Chand Wadali ji?

Words demand emotions, and, as a singer, it’s very, very important to pay attention to that. One can create magic that way.

Who are the musicians and composers you want to work with?

I want to work with AR Rahman. I have a lot of admiration and love for his work; he is so creative!

Do you plan on writing songs too?

I haven’t really thought of getting into that space yet but let’s see, if I feel it from within, I definitely will.



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