Singer of the group Safri Boys, BalwinderSafri is no more. Yet he left a rich legacy to music lovers. Punjabi singer-actors pay tribute… : The Tribune India


Folk music lovers were shocked when Balwinder Safri bade farewell to the world as he was on the mend after months of fighting for his life. Safri Boyz lead singer Balwinder died in the UK on Tuesday. He was 63 years old.

The Birmingham-based Punjabi singer known for popular tracks like O Chan Mere Makhna, Pao Bhangra, Gal Sun Kuriye and Nachdi Nu originally belonged to Kapurthala in Punjab. Active on the British bhangra scene since 1980, he formed the group Safri Boyz in 1990. He has many albums to his credit, including Untouched Safri and Tu Hur Soniye.

Music was in his genes, his father Gyan Singh being a famous raagi from Kapurthala. Balwinder trained with his guru Jaswant Bhawra in Indian classical music. Punjabi folk mixed with modern western gave his music a unique flair early in his career. Later, he returned to the roots, opting for Punjabi folk instruments. His younger brother, Avtar Singh Safri was also part of his troupe. Balwinder was quite active in the music scene, but then had to undergo heart surgery in early 2022. Unfortunately, he fell into a coma and was reportedly on the road to recovery when tragedy struck. His family confirmed the news of his disappearance via an Instagram post.

Memory bank

Folk singer Pammi Bai fondly recalls a 1996 international concert that brought Balwinder Safri, Kamaljit Neeru and the late Reshma, among others, to the city: “I too played and was part of the steering committee. Interestingly, our current CM, Bhagwant Mann, was the presenter of this program. Balwinder Safri gave a memorable performance. Among many Balwinder songs, Pammi Bai’s favorite is O Chan Mere Makhna. “Whenever I met Safri I always said ‘Chan Mere Makhna taan suna de’ and he would oblige me. Sad that when it comes to the last trip, only those memories remain.

Actor-director Deepa Rai remembers Balwinder Safri as a very gracious person. “I was lucky enough to meet him at a wedding and we spoke briefly. He was a very down to earth and very loving person.

The Punjabi actor-singers have taken to social media to express their grief. Singer Guru Randhawa wrote on Instagram, “We will cherish your music and your contribution to Punjabi music forever sir. Rest in peace. Alvida Mr. Balwinder Safri. Singer Jassie Gill shared a video on Instagram, which features Gill, Babbal Rai and Balwinder Safri. He captioned the video, “Eh mulakaat hamesha yaad rahugi. Waheguru apne charna vch niwas bakshan.

Famous singer Gurdas Maan shared a photo of the late singer and wrote, “Safri Saab,” followed by clasped hands. Punjabi actor Neeru Bajwa wrote: “Menu yaad hai Balwinder ji nu asi window toh dekya si while filming #beautifulbillo… We were so excited. He came so graciously to meet us. Don’t do them like this again … Thank you Sir for giving so much to the Punjabi music industry You will forever live on in our hearts #balwindersafri ji Rahe Rahe hitmaker Jaan Waliye will live on in the musical legacy he leaves behind him !

Big hits

  • Rahe Rahe Jaan Waliye
  • Chan Mere Makhna
  • pao bhangra
  • Gal Sun Kuriye
  • Nachdi Nude

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