Rabbi Shergill

Rabbi Shergill

Rabbi Performing
Background information
Birth name Gurpreet Singh Shergill
Born 1973 (age 4243)
Origin Delhi, India
Genres Punjabi, rock, sufi, Indipop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2004 present
Labels Phat Phish, Yash Raj
Website www.rabbishergill.com

Rabbi Shergill (born Gurpreet Singh Shergill, 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 poetry of 18th century Muslim Sufi mystic Baba 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

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

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 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, 2013.[12]


  1. Rabbi
  2. Delhi Heights (Tere Bin)
  3. Avengi Ja Nahin
  4. Bilquis
  5. Jugni
  6. Rabbi III
  7. Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Challa)
  8. Raanjhanaa (Tu Mun Shudi)


  1. 1 2 Meet Rabbi Shergill, Indipop's latest star! by Sumit Bhattacharya, Rediff.com Specials
  2. 1 2 Rhythm Divine by Swagata Sen, The Telegraph, November 21, 2004.
  3. "Rabbi Shergill to launch new album". THE TIMES OF INDIA. April 21, 2012. 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. 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
  8. "I see albums as an artform: Rabbi Shergill". The Times of India. March 9, 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  9. "A lyrical journey". Telegraphindia.com. 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20131031204314/http://rabbishergill.com/biography/. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Shailaja Tripathi Taneja (2008-11-08). "A balladeer's journey". The Hindu.
  12. "AAP receives support from sufi singer Rabbi Shergill". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
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