The British grandfather captivated fans with a hilarious music video about his life as a bus driver in the West Midlands from the northern Indian state of Punjab, where he left over 20 years ago.
Entitled “The Bus Driver”, the video features Ranjit Singh Bir, sporting a flowing white beard, wearing a turban and posing for his employer, the British bus operator National Bus Company. Express logo and “Master Driver.”
The video, which shows the 59-year-old Singh traveling through the streets of West Bromwich in a double-decker bus and dancing at a bus stop, didn’t go viral when it was posted to YouTube last fall. bottom. But ratings soared last week after the BBC aired a segment about Mr Singh and his song.
“I am very surprised by the response. “I think people enjoy the upbeat nature of the song and the message it portrays,” he added.
The lyrics, sung in Punjabi with English subtitles by Singh, celebrate the camaraderie of drivers from different religious backgrounds. This is an employment attribute that National Express reflects in its broader corporate culture publicity materials.
“With our honest hands,” Mr. Singh sings, stretching his arms. “We drive buses. By the grace of God, we all drive buses from different faiths.”
The video shows Mr Singh leading Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi dance, with other bus drivers at a bus station. One driver strums a Punjabi stringed instrument called a thambi, while another driver beats a dhol with his drum.
Many of the dancing bus drivers wear turbans. This reflects the West Midlands having the largest Sikh population in the UK.
Singh enlisted a fellow bus driver to star in the video and hired a local wedding videographer to shoot and produce it. His employer quickly gave the project the go-ahead, placing cordons throughout the city and at bus stops.
The video also shows a red double-decker bus driving through the city center of West Bromwich, a West Midlands town about six miles northwest of Birmingham where Singh settled after moving from India in 2000. ing.
“Keeping people safe and carrying people’s families is a rewarding job,” said Jeet Sanghara, Regional Operations Manager for National Express, who helped coordinate the filming of the music video.
“I am proud that Ranjit was able to share his passion and values and that viewers can see bus drivers in a different light.” -Based on the values awarded by the company at its annual conference Prize runner.
In a news release, the company promoted the video and the values it upholds, and also declared an employee wellness program, planned fare reductions, and the recognition it’s earned in its ongoing recruiting efforts.
The video’s sudden popularity came at just the right time for National Express. The Bus Drivers Union is considering going on strike for higher wages, prompting other bus drivers and rail workers across the UK who have been demanding pay increases for months to keep up with the rising cost of living. (Singh said he did not support the strike.)
Singh said it was a lifelong dream to write and release a song. has gotten even better,” he added.
He also said he wanted to commemorate his career as a bus driver before retiring and give his family in his native Ludhiana, Punjab, a glimpse of life on the British roads.
“They loved the song and were happy to see how much I enjoyed my job and how inclusive the community here was,” Singh said of his family in Punjab. He added that he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
He said he came to West Bromwich from Punjab in search of better financial opportunities and served as a priest at a local Sikh temple called Gurudwara. However, he remained active in the gurdwara singing kirtan, sacred music, which is part of Sikh prayer groups.
His first move into secular music was a song about Covid-19 that he released as a music video two years ago.
Encouraged by the thousands of views, Singh began working on a Bus Driver song. The song has over 100,000 views on YouTube as of this week, and has garnered hundreds of comments from people praising the song and its positive message.
Initially, the audience was largely limited to the Punjabi community, according to Singh’s friend Karamjit Singh Minian, who also produced the music video and posted “Bus Driver” on his YouTube channel, Tez Records. I was. Viewership numbers and the geographic reach of viewers soared after the BBC’s report.
“Songwriting, that is his passion.
The huge success of “Bus Driver” may encourage Shin to continue writing songs.
“I have already fulfilled my dream of making a music video, but if there is anything else I would like to share with the world, I would love to make it impactful.”
The young Shin said the world could soon see a new music video, another collaboration between his father and a wedding videographer, themed around his sister’s wedding in April this year.