Boarding school became his muse and he started penning songs when he was in class 12; ever since, Arjan Dhillon has been writing regularly. Nimrat Khaira, Ranjit Bawa, Nishawn Bhullar and Gurnam Bhullar have all sung his songs, some of which include Sun Sohniye, Khat, Suit, Chup Hoja Channa and Rani Haar.
So far, he has written close to 600 songs and since last year been singing them himself as well. Ishq Jeha Ho Gya Lagda Ae, Uber, Kala Jaadu and the latest Shera Samb Lai are some of the songs in his own voice.
In many of his writings, there is a mention of his village as he wants it to get noticed. The transition from writing to singing may have taken some years, but he is quite thrilled about it and all focused to eventually sing in Bollywood.
n What is the biggest strength of the Punjabi community?
Our biggest strength is our simplicity. We are very rough and tough people, who are proud of their roots, but we believe in goodness.
n Punjab is rich in folk tradition. Is there a story or song that you love the most?
My favourite story is that of Mirza-Sahiba.
n Where do you find strength during tough times?
I am really attached to my friends; many of them are studying in Canada now. My sister is my strength and I discuss everything with her.
n Any memories that you can share from growing up days?
Growing up at Bhadaur was the most memorable time of my life. Whatever I’ve learnt during my years there, people I know from that time… I use those characters and language in my songs. The boys were strong, girls were so homely, farmers knew their work well – my songs are replete with these references.
n What kept you positive during the lockdown?
During the lockdown I was really into watching global cinema, web series and reading books. Since no gyms were open, I tried to work-out at home without equipment. All this kept me motivated during those times.
n What have been the biggest highs and lows of your life; what did they teach you?
Biggest high is when I hear a child singing my song. The lows I fear are misunderstandings in close relations and separations.
n When you are stressed, which place do you visit in Punjab?
I visit my village Bhadaur in Barnala or my brother’s place – Lal Khera.