An incredible voice from Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, Sugan Devi Gandharv, was discovered recently as part of Delhi-based record label DRecords, which is recreating the magic of the soulful classic ‘Dama Dum Mast Kalandar with Punjabi pop icon Daler Mehndi.
The label run by Mehndi and his filmmaker, architect and author wife, Taran Mehndi, launched a unique project titled ‘Jewels of Music’, under which they will be scouting for hidden talent to help them realise their dreams. For this project, DRecords is looking for artists, musicians, singers, composers, songwriters above the age of 40; those who have never received a platform owing to circumstances in their lives, poor financial conditions, society hindrances, or any other reason owing to which they never got a chance to showcase their voice.
Sharing his experience in exploring talent like Sugan Devi, Mehndi said, “I had found Sugan Devi ji’s video as a WhatsApp forward and I immediately got into action, requesting my dear friend who is a senior TV journalist, who got his team to act upon it. They found her for me and as the Divine would have had it, I went to perform the same month in Madhya Pradesh for a government festival ahead of the forests of Jhabua. I not only met her there but also made a promise to release her album and shared my stage with her.”
He urged: “The song ï¿½Dama Dum Mast Kalandar’ has recreated a magic with her voice. Please listen and allow space in your heart for her voice.”
“Sugan Devi learnt music from her late husband while doing household chores just listening to him sing, with the elders in the family, she was never permitted to sing in public but her husband ensured she could listen to his riyaaz, with meagre finances and kids to raise, household responsibilities Devi could not make it to a stage,” shares Taran Mehndi, CEO of Drecords.
The foot-tapping music for Dama Dum pushed Sugan Devi out of her comfort zone of singing bhajans. Sugan Devi beautifully renders Dama Dum with her rustic folk voice to the traditional song made famous by Runa Laila and many artists after. The song would be streaming online for music lovers to enjoy.
The Mehndis say they are excited to present Sugan Devi Gandharv to the world. “Another pearl in the ocean of music. We want to help people understand and share their gifts with the world and we feel privileged and happy to be able to facilitate that,” adds Taran Mehndi.