Narendra Singh Negi is one of the most prominent folk singers of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. In Uttarkhand it is a famous saying that if you want to know about Uttarakhnd, its people, society, life, culture, traditions and politics then either refer to books of scholars or listen to the songs of Narendra Singh Negi.
Negi Ji started his music career by releasing “Garhwali Geetmala”. These Garhwali Geetmalas came in 10 different parts. As these Garhwali Geetmalas were from different companies he was finding it difficult to manage them. So he finally switched into releasing his cassettes by giving them separate titles. His first album came with the title called “Buraans”. Buraans is a well-known flower found on hills.
He has realesed most number of superhit albums. He has also given his voice in many garhwali movies like “Chakrachal”,”Gharjawai”,”Meri Ganga Holi Ta Maima Aali” etc. This renowned singer from Garhwal has sung more than 1000 songs till now. He has been awarded in various occasions from public round the world. Long time back Akashwaani, Lucknow recognized and awarded him as the most popular folk singer among 10 other artists. This was based on the number of mails that they received for “Farmayashi Geet” (Songs on Demand).
Till now Negi ji has performed in various countries like USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Muscat, Oman, Bahrain and U.A.E. etc. Garhwali & Kumauni Societies, which are run by Garhwali-Kumauni NRIs regularly calls him to perform abroad. Garhwali-Kumauni families living abroad and in India enjoy his songs very much. “It is their love that still I am continuing with my singing”, says Negi ji.He only believe in reality of the Uttarakhand’s culture, that is why his all the songs are reality based and that is why negiji is so close to the people of Uttarakhand. Being a garhwali singer he is also most populer singer of kumaoni people, all kumaoni people don’t understand garhwali but they all like and injoy negiji’s songs.
He likes the work of Gulzar sahab. “His work, old or new has a deep meaning”. Besides singing Negi Ji is also into writing. Till now his 3 books have published. His first book “Khuch Kandi” (meaning cane bucket used to carry Arsa and Roat) got published in 1992. His second book “Gaadiyoun Ki Ganga, Saniyoun Ka Samudar” (meaning Ganges of imagination and sea of lust) got published in 2000. His third book “Muth Boti Ki Rakh” (meaning tighten your palm and hands and be ready) got published by Shekhar Pathak. This book has got the collection of all his “aandolan” songs. His fourth book will shortly be available in the market.
In years past, he has also sung sad elegies to Tehri town, recently inundated by the Tehri dam, as well as fiery protest songs during the Uttarakhand separate state movement.
In 2007, the Calcutta-based Telegraph called him the “Dylan of the Hills” for his 2006 protest song, Nauchami Narain, against the then Chief Minister ND Tiwari and the entire political class of Uttarakhand.
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