Tell us about your early life and how did you get your music base.
My father was the Deputy Chief and used to manage events at Bokaro. And my mother, a singer, used to work at AIR, Ranchi. Music maestros used to sit at our home and compose songs because of which I got to meet them and learn a lot during my childhood. I was 6 when I began learning Tabla for 3 years. Then I joined Akashwani as a child artist till 10th Std, where I was awarded International Year of the Child in 1979 by AIR.
What is your connection with Ranchi-Nagpur-Gondia?
Answer: Post my 10th std, we shifted to Nagpur for my further studies. I had joined Hislop college. I wanted to do medical, also took PMT but couldn’t afford it. So took admission in an Engineering college in Gondia. After 2 years shifted back to Nagpur in YCCE somehow, as Gondia didn’t offer much scope in Music having learnt classical music there.
How did you get your first break as a singer?
Whilst in Nagpur, I had started learning Piano at Bhola Ghosh’s Academy. I was a small part of their orchestra and we used to practice at Gardiner school in Civil Lines. Hardly 1-2 small songs I got to sing. The lead singer once got ill when our shows were lined up and I had to replace him. I got great feedback from the organisers and was officially the lead singer of our orchestra from then on. This was my first break.
Describe how has the struggles, fame and money moulded you?
From selling concert tickets to getting my first overseas contract in Bahrain; from getting rejected by HMV to releasing my own album with T-Series; from struggling in the untouched genre of Ghazals to getting nominated by GIMA (2012) alongside Jagjit Sahab. Every struggle has taught me a lot which has shaped me into the person I am today.
Lastly, what piece of advice would you give the budding musicians of our city?
I believe music is God gifted to people. The talent within you will take you ahead no matter what. Provided you have a focus and create your own identity. Music is something which comes naturally. So don’t follow the trend but focus on your inner talent.