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Another Punjab-Canada combination is here



The Mantra team.

NOT A first perhaps, but certainly unusual. This is a Canadian company marking its debut in the Indian market by launching Indian music. Already released in Canada, Aura Entertainment launched three albums - `Pipli Peenghan', `Jawani' and `Yours...For the Taking' - in Delhi on Friday evening to announce its entry into the Indian market.

Launched by five entrepreneurs -- Jasdev Singh, Gurbachan Singh, Talvinder Batth, Vikram Dhillon and Puneet Sira (director of `I-Proud To Be An India') -- in Canada three months ago, the idea behind Aura Entertainment is to "make Punjabi music known the world over''. The company began with a Punjabi album by Sukhjit Khaira called "Pipli Peenghan'' and later launched two other Punjabi groups - "Mantra'' and "Signia'' - in Canada.

Though the combination of Punjabi music and Canada is not uncommon to the Indian market, the company is undeterred by the fact that several Punjabi singers have vanished into oblivion. "There are many Punjabi singers who are from Canada, but we will definitely make a mark. We have a great amalgamation of talent combined with a sound strategy that makes us very unique,'' says an enthusiastic Jasdev Singh, president of Aura Entertainment. Adds Puneet Sira who would be handling that India-operations of the country, "We know that the music industry went through a slump but a unique album always gets a following regardless of what the industry may be going through''.

Apart from the company launch, Aura has also lined up live stage shows for "Mantra'', "Signia'', and Sukhjit Khaira in various regions of the country. In the coming weeks, the groups will be performing live in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Jammu.

For the future, Aura is looking at entering the Hindi film music segment. The company also plans to promote Indian pop artistes in the international market. Bigger plans for the future include producing Hindi feature films and setting up a radio station and a television channel by mid-2005.

By Anjali Dhal Samanta

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