Uttarakhand Stories

Narendra Singh Negi – The Voice of Change

by Pragati Chauhan
Sep 28, 2015

Narendra Singh Negi’s name is embellished with gold in Garhwali music industry for giving a reputed name to the folk music of Uttarakhand.

Narendra Singh Negi is a name that shines out brightly in Garhwali folk music. The eminent singer is blessed with goddess Saraswati on his throat and his blood overflows with unconditional love for his homeland. Narendra Singh Negi was born on 12 August 1949 in Pauri Village. He started his career as a folk artist from Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The singer’s debut album was ”Garhwali Geetmala” which comprised of 10 different parts. Negi Ji found it difficult to manage Garhwali Geetmalas as they belonged to different companies, so he released his cassettes under separate titles. The versatile singer was a former District Information Officer in Information and Public Relation Department. The star singer is blessed with a happy family of four members and has two kids Ritu and Kavilas.

An insight about his debut album:

Negi ji at Recording Studio

Narendra Singh Negi Ji recording music for his album at a studio in his early phase. Photo Source: Facebook page of Narendra Singh Negi

Narendra Singh Negi touched the hearts of his listeners by launching his first album called “Buraans”. Buraans also known as rhododendron in English is a scarlet color flower which grows on the mountainous terrains. If you’ll come across the people of Uttarakhand there will be none who is left untouched by the melodious voice of Negi Ji. The singer has released the most number of super hit albums like Ghasyari, Jai Dhari Devi, Maya Ko Mundaro, Nauchami Narena, Thando Re Thando, Tumhari Maya Ma, Utha Jaga Uttarakhand, Wa Junyali Raat, Kargile Ladai Ma and many more. Negi Ji is not only restricted to music but has also given his voice in many Garhwali movies like “Chakrachal”,“Gharjawai”,“Meri Ganga Holi Ta Maima Aali” etc. This reputed son of Garhwal has created history in Garhwali music by singing 1000 mellifluous songs till now and shall continue to sing with brilliancy.

A man who truly represents Uttarakhand:

In an exclusive interview, Narendra Singh Negi speaks his heart out and talks about the difficulty faced by him while creating folk music. He recollects his old memories and says, ”It was not an easy task to bring out the plight of Uttarakhand through music”. With his soulful music he has brought into notice the heart-wrenching stories of people of Garhwal. He has shown a mirror to the administrative bodies who take no heed in solving the issues of the people living in the suburbs. The humble singer says, ”I like to create music which is related to the life of the common man. I have been to cities like Delhi and Bombay but my heart belongs to the hills.” He aims at connecting the people of villages and cities of Uttarakhand with a beautiful thread of love, by his music. Therefore, the singer aspires to compose music which touches the soul of his listeners.

My target audience is not those living a lavish life in the cities but a common man who strives for living:

Narendra singh Negi ji with common peoples

An elderly woman among the crowd, trying to catch a glimpse of the star singer. Photo Source: Facebook page of Narendra Singh Negi

Narendra Singh Negi says he targets on those unsung heroes who strife for a living, those who earn their bread by shedding tears and blood, those who go through immense pain for earning the livelihood for their families. The singer further adds, ”If you want to portray the emotions of rural people then you have to live with them in order to understand their hustle”. The struggle of a common cannot be neglected that is what the singer wants to convey to the blind audiences who enjoy the show, clap, sympathize and return back to their homes. His great thoughts remind me of a famous Scottish proverb which says, ”Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat”. One must not judge a person by his appearance but respect the struggle of a poor man who had gone through endless pain to survive.

Popularity: Narendra Singh Negi a critically acclaimed singer, composer, poet, performer and writer

Regional artist while giving respect to Negi ji

Regional artists honoring Negi Ji for showing up during a cultural program. Photo Source: Facebook page of Narendra Singh Negi

The iconic singer has bewitched the audiences across the world by his great music. He has performed globally and has spellbound the audiences of USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Muscat, Oman, Bahrain, U.A.E etc. The singer has a huge fan following and receives regular calls from Garhwali & Kumauni Societies who request him to perform abroad. The charismatic man has penned three books namely ”Khuch Kandi” published in 1992, Gaadiyoun Ki Ganga, Saniyoun Ka Samudar’‘ which was published in 2000 and ”Muth Boti Ki Rakh”. He is currently working on his fourth book which will be a delightful feast for his fans. Negi Ji is a huge fan of Gulzaar Sahab. He says, “His work, old or new has a deep meaning”.

Honors and Titles:

The essence of Narendra Singh Negi’s songs is always centered around the hardships of the villagers therefore, he is looked up with respect and nobility. In 90’s during the Uttarakhand Movement, Narendra Singh Negi’s songs inspired the hill folk to stand up and fight for the cause of a separate state. His career took a U-turn when he sang ”Nauchami Narain” in 2006, a song commenting on then Chief Minister ND Tiwari’s love life. It shook the grounds of the entire political class of Uttarakhand who was involved in the malice. Therefore, he was entitled as “Dylan of the Hills” for singing this song. A local daily Tribune News Service, Haridwar praised Negi Ji by posting – ”the singer has a smooth, sweet voice which transcends barriers of language”. The versatile singer has been bestowed with the title of Garh Ratna. He has also been recognized and awarded as the most popular folk singer among 10 other artists, by Akashvani, Lucknow.

Most Popular Songs of Narendra Singh Negi:

The singer has sung many heart-touching songs which have been wholeheartedly accepted by his fans but few songs have set a benchmark in Garhwali music industry they are-:

1.  Thando Re Thando Mere Pahade Ki Hawa

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnLqkI-88Qo]

2. Nauchami Naraina

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSy8U_jjsMk]

3. Chali Bai Motor Chali

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyNnQI1bCzg]

4. Chithi Kileni Bheji

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxCx9ZFZCzw]

5. Danda Dharu Ma

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjzOSrtmEXc]

6. Ghar Bati Chitthi Egyee

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQYDqZjUmhI]

7. Surma Sarela

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=371GFgXCN3k]

8. Tehri Dubana Lagu

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcxmd5DN8S4]

9. Laska Dasko Ma Chali

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiT1ouiFoIo]

10. Dharti Hamara Garhwala Ki

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzcHbGNO_Vs]

Pragati Chauhan

A writer by profession, thinker by choice and a nature lover since birth. I have always loved expressing myself through words, I believe words have a certain kind of melody which can be understood by anybody.

2 Responses

Juyal Says

Wishing Negi ji a very happy birthday and may God bless him with a long and happy life. I love all the songs composed by him and truly admire his love for Uttarakhand. I like the way he promotes our culture and it is because of such people that garhwal is becoming more popular. Many many happy returns of the day Negi ji.

Nitish Negi Says

I have grown up listening to his music. I remember when my father used to go to a local cassette seller and then he used to seek for the latest new garhwali music and sometimes he could find an album by N. S. Negi.
Then when I was in my teenage, I remember going with him to buy Video CDs of his new music and he would spend hours watching each music video. And now, it’s just youtube.

Negi has been the most prominent of garhwal and I have heard his music ever since my childhood. Has been in this profession for 2 decades at leat. Hats off!