"I compare him to Lata in terms of quality"
Surinder Shinda is a name that resonates with the very essence of Punjabi music.
Born in 1951, in a small village in Punjab, India, he emerged as one of the most celebrated Punjabi singers and folk artists of all time.
Considered an icon and pioneering musician, millions of people were left stunned at Shinda’s passing on June 26, 2023.
With a career spanning several decades, the singer left an invaluable mark on the musicians he worked with and the fans that tuned in to his tracks.
With his soulful voice, powerful lyrics, and effortless melodies, he was pivotal in popularising Punjabi folk music.
Shinda’s artistry revolved around narrating stories of love, culture, and the struggles of everyday life, making him a true maestro of his craft.
Therefore, we pay tribute to the legend with these 15 anthems that will highlight what a genius the man was.
‘Sucha Soorma’ is a song from the 1981 album Tiyan Longowal Diyan and is a famous Punjabi folk song.
The track narrates the legendary tale of the bravery of a historical figure named Sucha Singh Soorma.
He was a heroic and fearless warrior from Punjab who became the subject of many folktales.
The lyrics of ‘Sucha Soorma’ depict the various heroic deeds and courageous acts performed by Sucha Singh Soorma during his lifetime.
Shinda’s powerful and emotive vocals add depth and passion to the song, making it a captivating and memorable rendition.
Whilst there have been several versions of the track since the 1981 song, Shinda’s version remains integral to the foundation of Punjabi folk music.
Teri Fiat Te Jeth
‘Teri Fiat Te Jeth’ is a lively and captivating track that takes you on a vibrant musical journey back to the heart of rural Punjab.
As the melody kicks in, you are instantly transported to a scene of festivity and celebration, where the spirit of love and joy fills the air.
The song is a collaboration between Shinda and longtime friend, Indian singer Gulshan Komal.
The opening notes of the song are accompanied by the rhythmic beats of the dhol, setting the stage for the foot-tapping melody that follows.
The song is infused with humour and witty wordplay, showcasing Punjabi culture’s characteristic light-heartedness.
Puth Jattan De
With over 6 million combined YouTube views, ‘Puth Jattan De’ is one of Shinda’s biggest anthems.
The lyrics explain the virtues of farmers, praising their courage, resilience, and hard work.
Beyond its celebration of the community, the song reflects the spirit of Punjab’s folk music, where songs serve as a powerful medium to pass down stories.
The universal appeal of “Puth Jattan De” has transcended geographical boundaries, as David Gill emphasised on YouTube by commenting:
“I’m English and went to an Indian wedding and this was playing.
“It’s an absolute hit and I couldn’t leave the dancefloor when it was on.”
“This song is a true classic that will never die.”
Shinda’s resonant vocals infuse the song with passion and pride, compelling listeners to sway to the beat and sing along.
‘Mirza’ is a powerful and spirited project that transports listeners to the vibrant world of Punjab’s brave and valiant warriors.
As the melodious notes of the beat intertwine with Shinda’s commanding vocals, you can almost hear the resounding echoes of battle cries and the clashing of swords.
Shinda’s voice infuses the song with raw energy and emotion, making the narrative all the more captivating.
The music is a masterful blend of traditional Punjabi instruments creating an enchanting melody that complements the song’s powerful lyrics.
The rhythm of the dhol echoes the heartbeat of these warriors, while the tumbis twang adds exuberance and celebration to the composition.
Ghund Chak Mar De Salut Goriye
Teaming up with Kuldip Kaur, Shinda released ‘Ghund Chak Mar De Salut Goriye’ in 1984.
Shinda’s dynamic expressions infuse the song with flair, perfectly complimented by Kaur’s sweet and melodious voice.
Their harmonious duet creates a magical and engaging musical experience.
It draws listeners into the delightful world of love and romance.
Shinda and Kaur’s masterful rendition showcases their virtuosity as singers, and one cannot help but get up and dance when listening to this masterpiece.
Khand De Bhulekhe Gur Chat Gai
Shinda and Komal collaborate for this 1985 track that is off the album Ik Kudi Pataka.
A feature that Shinda was known for was his ability to hold a note and then accentuate his voice right at the end.
This signature element was on many of his songs and emphasised his ability to manipulate his vocals and flow.
The love for this song is seen worldwide, especially on social media.
For instance, Harwinder Singh, a longtime follower of Shinda commented on the news of his passing saying:
“‘Khand De Bhulekhe Gur Chat Gai’ is one of the most underrated Shinda songs.
“I loved how his voice never aged. I compare him to Lata in terms of quality, no matter where they were at with their careers.”
This is definitely one song to feast your ears on.
Sali Garm Badi
With over 3 million YouTube views, ‘Sali Garm Badi’ is one of the most listened-to Surinder Shinda tracks.
It’s another duet with Gulshan Komal and the song is a global representative of the phrase “old is gold”.
Neelu Bansal expressed her love for the track, stating:
“These classic songs cannot be touched.”
“Both singers are perfect and celebrate Punjabi music to the fullest.”
Shinda and Komal effortlessly go back and forth with one another and their voices are drenched with soul in this song.
Nawan Le Leya Truck
‘Nawan Le Leya Truck’ has become an iconic and evergreen addition to the Punjabi music scene, enchanting audiences with its energetic beats and spirited singing.
The song revolves around the exciting and joyful occasion of acquiring a new truck, a significant symbol of prosperity and success in Punjab’s agricultural landscape.
As the music begins, the rhythmic beats and Surinder’s infectious tone sets the stage for a resonating song.
The song has become a popular choice for celebrations, weddings, and festivals, where it invites everyone to dance and sing along with joy.
With over 300,000 YouTube views, ‘Nawan Le Leya Truck’ is a timeless classic.
Jeona Morh Chhatar Chadaan Chaliya
This 1991 song is from the drama action movie, Jatt Jeona Morh, which starred Gugu Gill, Manjeet Kullar, and Surinder Shinda himself.
The track is one of Shinda’s most popular songs.
His vocals and melodies personify the dramatics of Indian cinema.
The song’s lyrics are filled with a sense of pride and honour, paying tribute to the heroics of the Punjabi community.
Over the years, it has become a classic in Punjabi folk music and continues to resonate with people.
Gaddi Shinde Di
This 1995 release took the music world by storm and continues to resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds.
As Shinda’s rich voice enters, it envelops the listener, drawing them into the enchanting world of Punjabi music.
Throughout the song, the vibrant and rhythmic beat compliments Shinda’s vocals, adding an extra layer of traditional flair to the composition.
The music’s lively and infectious melody invites everyone to join in the celebration and dance to the beats of folk music.
For those looking for a captivating listening experience, ‘Gaddi Shinde Di’ is a melody that continues to echo through the ages.
Mirza Part 2
With a combined number of over 5 million YouTube views, ‘Mirza Part 2’ blew the roof off the Punjabi music scene upon its release.
It was a huge track between Shinda and British Asian legend, Panjabi MC.
The musician and producer is known for his innovative fusion of Punjabi music with electronic and hip hop elements.
And, he doesn’t disappoint with this song either.
Shinda’s boastful voice across the snare-fuelled beat is incredible and highlights just how versatile the folk singer was.
Panjabi MC’s rap within the song also provided a whole new dimension to the original which was adored by fans.
Rooted in the tradition of folk music, “boliyan” is a form of Punjabi folk poetry where short and lively verses are sung in a call-and-response style, often during festive celebrations.
The song itself showcases Shinda’s exceptional vocal prowess.
He effortlessly delivers each verse with a perfect blend of energy and emotion.
The lyrics of ‘Boliyan’ are characterised by their playful and witty nature.
They touch upon a variety of subjects, from love and relationships to cultural and social themes.
Often, they are written with a dash of humour and wordplay, making them all the more entertaining to sing and hear.
Kehar Singh Di Maut
From the 1997 album Ucha Burj Lahore Da, ‘Kehar Singh Di Maut’ is an extremely popular Punjabi song.
The track highlights the compelling story around Kehar Singh.
The tale includes themes of injustice, heartbreak, betrayal, and war.
Shinda’s singing breathes life into this poignant tale of love, betrayal, and ultimate retribution.
The song casts a timeless spell on its listeners, highlighting Shinda’s impressive vocal range and his ability to capture contrasting emotions in the most creative way.
The track is a delightful gem where Shinda’s magnetic charm brings joy to hearts across the world, one melodious note at a time.
Zara Munh Ton Ghund Sarkaya Kar
Teaming up with Gulshan Komal once again, Shinda created the 2010 hit ‘Zara Munh Ton Ghund Sarkaya Kar’.
From the album Jeth Nazare Lenda Teri Fiat, the song has an irresistible energy, filled with cheeky wordplay and clever delivery.
With over 2.7 million YouTube views, one avid fan, Aaohk Kumar, gave his thoughts, saying:
“Such a nice song from these two evergreen artists.
“Where has this type of music gone to?”
In true Punjabi folk fashion, the song has a participatory element, where listeners want to go back to back with one another reciting the singers’ lyrics.
This interactivity creates an enchanting sense of togetherness, making the experience truly immersive.
Perhaps one of the most popular smash-hit tracks from Surinder Shinda was ‘England’ with Amit Rai.
The song oozes with the rustic charm of Punjab whilst promoting the changing sound of British Asian artists.
The pop song puts Shinda’s emotive and powerful vocals at the forefront, evoking a range of feelings that tug at your ears.
The lyrics beautifully capture the essence of England and the 2001 lifestyle.
Rai’s adlibs provide a more urban and modern feel to Surinder’s voice, but he succeeds in creating this infectious rhythm that invites listeners to bop their heads.
This song is a testament to Surinder Shinda’s legacy as a guardian of Punjabi music and why he will be remembered forever.
Throughout his illustrious career, Surinder Shinda continued to reinvent the wheel and place Punjabi and folk music on the map.
Although he was honoured throughout his life, his loss will have a devastating impact on the industry.
However, his achievements, interactions, and songs will live on and continue to bless the ears of future generations.
The foundations he set cannot be overlooked and undoubtedly, Surinder Shinda’s legacy will be praised forever.