Rabbi Shergill

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Rabbi Shergill
ਰੱਬੀ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ
Rabbi performing
Rabbi performing
Background information
Birth nameGurpreet Singh Shergill
Born (1973-04-16) 16 April 1973 (age 48)
OriginDelhi, India
GenresPunjabi, rock, sufi, Indipop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2004 – present
LabelsOdd One Out Records, Phat Phish, Yash Raj

Rabbi Shergill (born Gurpreet Singh Shergill, April 16, 1973) is an Indian musician well known for his debut album Rabbi and the chart-topper song of 2005, Bullah Ki Jaana ("I know not who I am!"). His music has been described variously as rock, Punjabi, with a bani style melody, and[1] Sufi-style (sufiana), and "semi-Sufi semi-folksy kind of music with a lot of Western arrangements."[2] Shergill has been called "Punjabi music's true urban balladeer".[2]


After college Shergill formed a band named Kaffir. The band played in some competitions and college festivals before parting ways.[3][4] Shergill initially composed jingles for advertisement agencies such as Yamaha RX-T motorbikes and Times FM.[1] He had an unsuccessful stint with Sony Music and Tehelka before finally releasing his debut album Rabbi in 2004 under Phat Phish Records. Relying on word-of-mouth publicity and a music video, he had a chart topper song "Bulla Ki Jaana". Most of the songs in the album were composed and written by Shergill himself except for "Bulla ki Jana" based on the Kafi poem written by the Punjabi Sufi saint Bulleh Shah. "Heer" from "Heer" by Waris Shah and "Ishtihar" by Shiv Kumar Batalvi. Shergill had one song "Dilli" in the Hindi movie, Delhii Heights.[5]

In October 2008, Shergill released his second album Avengi Ja Nahin under Yashraj Music.[6] The album contains nine songs and deals with issues like communal violence, social responsibility and the need for "collective morality".[7] He also appeared in MTV Unplugged (India) in 2011. He lent his voice to Yash Chopra's 2012 romantic film Jab Tak Hai Jaan singing the leading number "Challa" composed by A. R. Rahman and the lyrics penned by Gulzar. In March 2012, he released his third album III.[8]

Musical style[edit]

Shergill's principal contribution to music lies in the use of Punjabi — which previously had a reputation similar to that of either Bhangra or traditional folk — to create acoustic rock-based ballads, providing a new musical perspective to this language. And with his poetic, socially relevant lyrics and an adult alternative sound, Shergill instantly connected with an urban crowd who loved him for his genuine and original approach to his songs. His songs are deeply philosophical and blend archaic, almost lost, Punjabi phrases into more recent Indian rock music. Shergill's music has been inspired by Rock as well as Sufi and Punjabi folk music. His favourite musicians include Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Jimmy Page. He has also worked with award-winning mix engineer Gustavo Celis, who helped him out with some tracks for his album III. "Working with Celis — who has worked with artists including Beyonce, Shakira and Ricky Martin — was an amazing experience," he says.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Shergill's father was a Sikh preacher and his mother is a college principal and also a Punjabi poet. He has four sisters. He is an alumnus of Guru Harkrishan Public School, India Gate and University of Delhi. After college, he went for further studies at the Fore School of Management but dropped out a year later.[10] His sister Gagan Gill is a well known Hindi poet.[11] Shergill publicly supported Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal attending a rally in support of the party in 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election.[12]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Rabbi (2004)
  • Avengi Ja Nahin (2008)
  • Rabbi III (2012)


  • Raj Singh (2019)[13]
  • Sahi Aeh Vi (2019)[14]
  • Taläsh (2019)[15]
  • Pahiläñ (2020)[16]

Film soundtracks[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meet Rabbi Shergill, Indipop's latest star! by Sumit Bhattacharya, Rediff.com Specials
  2. ^ a b Rhythm Divine by Swagata Sen, The Telegraph, November 21, 2004.
  3. ^ "Rabbi Shergill to launch new album". The Times of India. April 21, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Bollywood doesn't float my boat: Rabbi Shergill". Planetradiocity.com. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Musicians live in their skins: Rabbi". The Times of India. December 16, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Avengi Ja Nahin – CD". Amazon.com. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  7. ^ Avengi Ja Nahi, Shergill’s new album against communal violence released Archived 2008-06-02 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "I see albums as an artform: Rabbi Shergill". The Times of India. March 9, 2012. Archived from the original on September 23, 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  9. ^ "A lyrical journey". The Telegraph. Kolkota. 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  10. ^ "Rabbi Shergill biography". Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  11. ^ Shailaja Tripathi Taneja (2008-11-08). "A balladeer's journey". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2011-09-08.
  12. ^ "AAP receives support from sufi singer Rabbi Shergill". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  13. ^ "Raj Singh: Spotify". Spotify.
  14. ^ "Sahi Aeh Vi: Spotify". Spotify.
  15. ^ "Taläsh: Spotify". Spotify.
  16. ^ Pahilan, retrieved 2021-03-11
  17. ^ Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists, retrieved 2021-03-11
  18. ^ Dharti (2011 film), 2021-02-21, retrieved 2021-03-11
  19. ^ "Jab Tak Hai Jaan (soundtrack)", Wikipedia, 2021-02-23, retrieved 2021-03-11
  20. ^ Chaar Sahibzaade - Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Harry Baweja, Jaidev Kumar, Nirmal Singh & Rabbi Shergill, retrieved 2021-03-11

External links[edit]