Jasleen Aulakh drops sentimental track on love at first sight
By Sreedevi Manohar
Chandigarh based singer Jasleen Aulakh’s Akhaan da paigaam evokes in the listener a feeling akin to déjà vu. The soulful rendition about love at first sight and lovelorn yearning, penned down by Jasleen’s mother Polly Saghera and produced by Aman Nath, is accompanied by a music video illustrating a bumpy train journey that serves as a nostalgic nod to simpler times.
The singer, popular for her folk and Sufi inspired sound has marked an enviable niche for herself with her songs Chamba and Kyun Jaage making its way into mainstream Bollywood, and her sound being the background for Ruhaaniyat - the fashion couture film by Manish Malhotra.
Jasleen refers to her work as a collaborative effort between a daughter and a mother who inspire and mutually cultivate each other’s artistic expression. “Even as a child I wanted to pursue a career in music but was reluctant to admit it because of the way the society viewed a career in music and other forms of art. It was my mother, Polly Saghera who recognized my passion for music and gifted me a small tape recorder and mic set with which I composed my first ever tune as a child. Later when I was struggling to find my sound it was my mother who inspired me to follow my heart and commit to my creative process. My first ever original was Supna, a poem I found in my mother’s diary about empowering the girl child. I borrowed it without her permission and composed a tune for it. Luckily for me she was delighted and from that point onwards we have been working together as a team. In a country where most parents force their children into pursuing predictable career paths, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who encouraged me to believe in my music”.
Jasleen's renditions of beloved Punjabi folk songs have endeared her to many. Her interpretations of the classics stay true to the rustic elegance of their original soundscape unlike the modernised remixed interpretations preferred by her fellow content creators.
“We believe that the soul of folk music lies in it's raw simplicity. We make our interpretations more relatable to the modern audience with Polly adding onto the lyrics in a way that honours the original philosophy of the Sufi poets. In fact our producer Aman Nath insists on letting the lyrics reign over the creative process and moulding the soundscape in a manner that best compliments the emotion and wisdom in the words.”
It is probably this creative vision that makes Akhaan da paigaam so deeply sentimental. The vulnerability and intense longing in the lyrics shines through in Jasleen's stirring voice, even as the animated video gives it a playful dimension.”
"Akhaan da paigaam was conceived during the lockdown of 2020. I had a tune stuck in my head and Polly instantly came up with Jadon da mein ajj tenu vekheya akhaan band karan da nai si jee karda which roughly translates to From the time I laid my eyes on you, I don’t want to close them, the sentiment was so beautiful, I knew I had to make something of it. It was indeed a labour of love because the lockdown came with a lot of challenges, we had to work with our producer through zoom calls and we had to improvise effectively to bring out a palatable video within the constraints of our home. Polly conceptualized an animated train journey and we procured a green screen to materialize the idea which eventually turned into the quirky video.”
Jasleen is currently working on some independent outings and reminiscing her stage performances while staying put for the time being. “I am working on a couple of projects, but the last year has been surprising for all of us, so I would like to say my future pursuits are as much a mystery to me as it is to my listeners. I would like to concentrate on my music and see how things fall into place organically“.