Music is inextricably linked with the greatest moments in Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat’s life.
Certain songs take him back to the pivotal points in his journey — whether it is finding his calling in mixed martial arts, achieving success, or finding true love with his wife, Chandni Sanger.
In the latest edition of #MusicMonday, the Indian sensation reveals five tracks that hold a special place in his heart.
The Soundtrack To My Youth
“I would say the Mortal Kombat theme. First of all, the video game was such a big thing when I had a Super Nintendo. I played that and Street Fighter all the time.
“Then when the movie came out, that song literally became the soundtrack to my life, not knowing that one day I would become a mixed martial artist.
“It’s not like we’re in the Mortal Kombat tournament, but [mixed martial arts] is a type of Mortal Kombat. So, it’s always been one of those things where, like, I’ve become the character that I used to play in the video game, and the theme always takes me back to my childhood.”
A Song That Always Makes Me Smile
“‘Moment 4 Life’ by Nicki Minaj. It takes me back to a much simpler time — the time when I just began mixed martial arts and I was chasing my first belt.
“When that song came out, I had just won my first belt, and I proved to my parents that I was able to work as hard as I do and become a mixed martial artist. When I had that belt wrapped around me, that was a moment for life.
“That was the song I walked out to also, so it’s a song that takes me back to a simpler time when I was just trying to prove to my family that I could even take this tag. I remember putting that belt on my dad, and the smile that he had was one that I’d never given him in my entire life.
“Having my entire family there and celebrating with my small circle, and just thinking about how many more of these moments that I want – that is why ‘Moment 4 Life’ just takes me back.”
- Music Monday: The Soundtrack To Josh Tonna’s Life
- Music Monday: Aung La N Sang’s Electric Walkout Song
- Music Monday: The Soundtrack To Elliot Compton’s Life
The Song That Reminds Me Of My Wife
“The one that I would say is, truly, our song is a Bollywood song called ‘Tum Hi Ho’ [from the movie Aashiqui 2]. It means, ‘It’s only you,’ or ‘You’re the only one,’ and this was a song that I proposed to her with.
“It came out right in the first two months of us seeing each other. We went through a lot of things, and they clearly defined that she was the only one for me. Every time we hear it, it takes us back. It is still one of our songs, and a saying that we always have stuck to that has become a part of us – it is even on our wedding rings.
“It’s a very romantic song. I was from the West, she was from the East. We were just trying to figure everything out, and even the storyline is somewhat similar to our life. It’s crazy.”
My Favorite Walkout Song
“A walkout song for me always has to have my Punjabi roots remixed into it — it doesn’t matter what the song is. But the song that’s usually attached is ‘Trophies’ by Drake. That’s a song that I’ve been walking out to for quite a few fights now.
“When that song came out, it was a time when me and my wife were just dating. I had no money to my name, nothing in my pocket, and I was trying to figure out why I was doing this. Like the lyrics to that song, I’m not really doing it for myself – I’m doing it for my people, for the people around me, and to inspire people.
“That song has always stuck, and there are lyrics like, ‘Go to a dream with a suitcase.’ I literally moved to the other side of Canada with nothing in my hands but a suitcase to build this dream.
“So, ‘Trophies’ is always something that reminds me of where I started and where we are now, on the biggest stage. I was listening to it in the subway when I had nothing in my pocket and wondering whether I could even keep going. That’s a song that will forever be a part of me.”
A Song That Reminds Me Of A Good Vacation
“A song that reminds me of a good vacation is probably ‘Bella Ciao’ by Steve Aoki.
“It’s a song from Money Heist, a popular show about a Spanish bank robber, and when me and my wife went to Europe, it became our song. We were seeing T-shirts with it on everywhere, so it became almost a theme song for our Europe trip.
“We went to Italy, France, and all over the Mediterranean, and [it just reminds me of] all the things we saw. It was one of those carefree times we had when we were just living our best life and listening to good music like that.”