Diljit Dosanj made history on June 19 when he became the first Indian artist to perform at Rogers Arena.
The Punjabi singer and actor, who performed in Vancouver as part of his Born To Shine World Tour, also sold out nearly 18,000 seats.
Although Punjabi artists have been performing in Canada since the 1960s, Dosanj’s performance is considered by many to mark a shift in Punjabi music.
“It seemed like every person from Surrey, Vancouver and Burnaby was there,” said DJ Intense, a Surrey-based music producer and one of the thousands of people who came to watch Dosanjh perform.
He says that Dosanjh helped bring Punjabi music out of the fringe and into the mainstream.
“Finally it’s gotten to the point where it needs to be recognized… as a matter of fact, mainstream,” he told CBC. On the coast.
Dosanjh released his first album in 2004. His 12th album Age of the Children of the Moonentered the Billboard Top Canadian Albums Chart in 2021. He also recently collaborated with Canadian rapper Tory Lanez on a song. chauffeur.
Harpo Mander, general manager of Surrey’s annual cultural festival 5X Fest, says Dosange’s music speaks to people like her.
“For someone like me, a Punjabi but raised in the diaspora, he really brings these different parts of my identity together in the music he makes,” Mander told CBC’s Stephen Quinn. Early edition.
She says that Punjabi music traditionally helps immigrants stay in touch with their culture; now artists like Dosanjh have created a new genre of pop music.
“The reason Punjabi music resonates so much and does what it does is because it starts dreaming really big.”
Many also believe that Dosanj’s music helps second and third generation Punjabi Canadians feel like they belong, bringing them closer to their roots.
Gurnaz Sandhu, a Vancouver-based actor and content creator, says he learns Punjabi words by listening to Dosanj’s music.
“One funny thing about his music, it helped me really improve my Punjabi vocabulary,” Sandhu told Stephen Quinn on CBC. Early edition.
Sandhu says that Dosanje’s use of the Punjabi words ਠੇਠ (Theth) – rural, colloquial Punjabi – has a big impact on young people living in North America.
“The real, authentic Punjabi that he conveys through his music and I think that has a big impact on kids living in the West.”
Many families also brought their children to the concert.
Barinder Bhullar says he took his four- and six-year-old sons Anah and Maeva to introduce them to the Punjabi language and culture.
“Ironically, English has become the dominant language at home, but through the songs we try to bring it in as much as we can,” said Bhullar.
He adds that his children’s nightly routine includes listening to Punjabi music and performing bhangra – a form of Punjabi folk dance – with the whole family, with the help of Dosanja’s music.
Thank you for an incredible evening and the inspiration you bring to millions of people around the world. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Hel1LpPojD
Kamaljit Sidhu, who says she is in her early 50s, decided to attend the concert, even if it meant going alone.
“If I go to a bachelorette party or some small event, I feel embarrassed to be alone…but this time I thought, ‘No, I have to go,’” Sidhu said.
“It was a big crowd and every single person was connected to it.”
Sidhu says she bought a ticket to the nosebleed section at the last minute, but moved forward during intermission after running into acquaintances who had an empty seat.
In the end, she left the concert with Dosange’s glove.
“It’s so much, so much to absorb yet.”
LISTEN | Music producer DJ Intense at Diljit Dosanj’s concert at Rogers Arena
Early edition7:42Superstar Diljit Dosanj became the first Indian artist to perform at Rogers Arena.