Pollywood: We artists represent Punjabi culture, we have to show what is beautiful about us, says Bir Singh


In a frank conversation with The Indian Expresssinger, songwriter and composer Tejbir Singh, popularly known as Bir Singh, shares how and when he realized his talent for singing and the turning points that introduced him to the “reality of life”.

Born in Amritsar, Bir belongs to Nagoke village located in Khadur Sahib Tehsil of Tarn Taran district in Punjab.

Early life and family

His father Davinder Singh is an officer in the Punjab Electricity Board while his younger brother Jodhbir Singh who he calls his backbone manages and runs the house. Her grandmother Pyar Kaur lives with them. Bir’s mother, Paramjit Kaur, died in 2008.


After completing grades 10 and 12 from Sri Guru Harkrishan Public Secondary School, Amritsar, Bir Singh obtained his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Amritsar College of Engineering & Technology (ACET), Manawala. Following this, he enrolled for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) but dropped out halfway to pursue singing as a career.

When did you start singing and when was it adopted as a career?

It all started very early in my childhood. I was a schoolboy when I started singing. From attending school activities to performing at college festivals, singing was my constant companion. In fact, I started writing much later, in high school.

Bir Singh (Express Photo)

I took up singing as a profession in 2013. I used to sing self-written songs at that time. It wasn’t until 2016 that my film career kicked off with a song called “Heerey” from the movie “Love Punjab”. It was my first song in a movie and it was sung by Amrinder Gill.

When did you discover your singing talents?

Even before I could realize the talent, my maternal uncle Kuldeep Singh Pannu noticed it and imagined that I could be a good singer. I was very young then, barely 5 years old. And later, when I was in school, my teachers also saw the potential in me and decided to train me.

When did you discover the writer in you?

There is a story behind it all. I was in 6th grade when I argued with my friend. Just to make him understand where he was wrong, I wrote him a letter. Amazingly, it worked. My friend read it and became moved. He was the one who suggested I try writing songs. And, therefore, I was inspired by this episode and started my journey as a writer.

What gives depth to your writing/singing?

Where you were born, the people around you, and your parental conditioning determine the depth of you and your art. Fortunately, I was born into a good family and parents who were positively associated with religion and literature – who always preached the right things to me.

Excerpts from your life…

My mother was very interested in my songs. Even though I felt rather shy singing in front of her, my mother always inspired me by saying, “If you can sing so well in front of me, you would sing well anywhere.”

During my teenage years, I worried about my stunting. Knowing that it bothered me so much, my mother asked me to name a person who was known for his height. When I couldn’t answer her, she told me that it wasn’t the size or the physical appearance that mattered, but the work and the impact it created on others. I remember how beautifully she taught me so many things about life.

The turning points of life…

There were many turning points. The death of my mother and a young cousin were the major turning points that made me discover the reality of life.

Favorite song

Songs that bring out the optimism in me or encourage me to explore my limits are my favorites. For me, good music is something that takes you on an eternal flight. There are many singers that I like. I love listening to Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Punjabi singers like Surinder Kaur and Yamla Jatt. Among contemporary singers, I like Amrinder Gill, Manmohan Waris, Satinder Sartaj to name but a few. Also, Pakistani singers such as Mansoor Malangi, Abida Parveen and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are dear to me.

favorite movie

Cinema has a lot of responsibilities, and it can refine a society. I prefer watching movies that motivate me to lead a better and more meaningful life in addition to generating a sense of satisfaction within me. My all-time favorites include a TV series called “Da Vinci’s Demons” (2013-2015), Peter Chelsom’s “Hector and the Search for Happiness” (2014), and Raj Kapoor’s “Mera Naam Joker” (1970).

Works till date

Bir has worked with well-known production houses namely Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Productions, Rhythm Boyz Entertainment and PTC Punjabi Networks.

He has written songs for many Punjabi movies such as ‘Love Punjab’ (2016), ‘Sarvann’ (2017), ‘Lahoriye’ (2017), ‘Vekh Baraataan Challiyan’ (2017), ‘Bhalwan Singh’ (2017) , ‘Golak Bugni Bank Te Batua’ (2018), ‘Daanaa Paani’ (2018), ‘Bhajjo Veero Ve’ (2018) and for the sequels of Chal Mera Putt.

His individual releases include ‘Tareyan Di Loye’ (2014), album ‘Khwaab’ (2015), ‘Neend Befikri Di’ (2015), ‘Teriyan Yadaan’ (2016), ‘Eh Tanhayi’ (2018), ‘Mera Ki Kasoor’ (2021), ‘Moon Bound’ (2021), ‘Chal Jindiye’ (2021) and ‘Johra Jhajhran Da (2022).’

Upcoming projects

The recently released film “Aaja Mexico Challiye” features songs written by Bir. Another clip titled “Alvida” will be released soon.

claim the glory

I was very lucky in this case as my very first song “Tareyan Di Loye” was a hit and got me recognition in the industry. The next big step was my song ‘Ambran Toh Taare’ from the movie ‘Love Punjab’, where my songwriting was appreciated. Another song “Dishaheen” from a movie called “Sarvann” not only brought me laurels, but also earned me recognition for my variation in voice and good singing skills.

Of all your works, which is your favorite?

Just as all children are equally dear to a parent, all my songs are close to my heart. I listen to different songs at different times, depending on the mood. Based on the current mood, my song ‘Jithe Malak Rakhda’ is on my mind.

My secret sauce

I am inspired by nature. Air is an element that gives flow to my creativity. Beautiful natural landscapes, travel and isolation are the things that motivate me to understand life better and to write more deeply.

Thoughts on Pollywood

The Punjabi film and music industry is booming. All of us as artists have a great responsibility to do our best as it is we who represent the Punjabi culture and community through our works. People from other countries and those belonging to different cultures perceive us only through our films and our music. What we do in the entertainment industry reflects the thinking of our community as a whole and therefore we need to bring out what is beautiful in us.

Challenges encountered

Growing up, I learned that challenges are inevitable. They not only bring sadness but also life lessons. It is then up to us to decide what we want – sadness or a lesson. The choice is always ours. If we are wise enough, we will always learn the lessons and move on to a happier life.

I am so blessed that my mother gave me this learning during her last days when she was admitted to the hospital. She prepared me for what was to follow. And that’s how I believe we should be ready to face whatever comes our way and learn from life.

Future plans

I don’t really make ambitious plans for the future because life is uncertain and we have no idea what may happen the next moment. However, in February and March, I will be touring the United States. By the way, I have my gigs scheduled in the UK in April.


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