You are now famous through a TV singing competition. Do you see any shadow of the earlier you in the contestants?
I do relate to with the contestants on Indian Idol. Some of them are nervous, some are confident. I see my shadow in every one of the shortlisted contestants as they go through a gamut of emotions — anxiety, fear, excitement, exhilaration — everything
Give us your advice for the budding talent.
1. Don’t show attitude — it will always rub people the wrong way. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.
2. Work Hard and have faith. God never closes his eyes and your hard work will be recognised.
3. Be a good judge of your own strengths and weaknesses. Do not get disillusioned by false praise while at the same time don’t lose hope because of naysayers. Recognise what’s your singing strongpoint and chase it.
4. Never ever give up practice. Luckily, singing is something that can be practiced anywhere and everywhere — in the car, in the bathroom, at your workplace etc.
5. Once you taste success, do not let it get to your head. Don’t forget your roots. What you were before you became successful is as important as what you become after and the two should never differ.
How is the pay structure for the newcomers?Do you think they are exploited?
More than focusing on the apparent exploitation, let’s talk about the fact that they are given a platform. What could be more important than that? Opportunities such as these are not given enough importance and talent is not made use of to the maximum potential. We are quick to point out exploitation but we fail to understand that for success you need immense talent and immeasurable hard work. If you have these capabilities, no one can stop you or ill-treat you.
What do you like about reality talent shows?
The reach is fantastic! From holding auditions in various cities to organising bike trails to even the remotest parts of the country, Indian Idol has managed to tap into the far out recesses of the country as well. We reached out to the people who couldn’t reach us. There were no barriers at all. Believe me, this reality is REAL.