Kamal Khan won the Saregamapa 2010 singing superstar title after 19 weeks of neck-to-neck competition. The Punjab boy pipped Kolkata's Bishakh Jyoti and Mumbai's Abhilasha Chellum to win the title.
The 21-year-old has walked away with a Grande MK II car and a Hero Honda ZMR bike along with a one year scholarship at A R Rahman's K M Music Conservatory in Chennai.
"I credit my success to my parents," said Kamal, whose father is a peon in a government office and mother is a homemaker. "I have never had formal training in music; my mother taught me. I have learnt a lot from this show and I am happy that I am the first Punjabi to have ever won this show."
He is pursuing honours in music from a government college in his hometown and had won the title of Awaz Punjab Di in 2008.
Kamal said he was not nervous before the results. "I was never tense about winning or losing because my mother used to tell me that if you lose the first time, you will definitely win later," he said. "I just wanted to give my best. I know Bisakh and Abhilasha are also great singers and I would have been equally happy if either of them would have won."
Kamal, who made his Bollywood debut with Tees Maar Khan thanks to his mentors Vishal-Shekar, said participating in a reality show and winning was a big platform, but carving a niche in the industry would need a lot of hard work and luck.
"I am a huge admirer of Akshay Kumar and lending my voice for him is like a dream come true," said the singer, who feels a special connect with former Saregamapa contestant Raja Hassan, who sung Wallah re Wallah with him. "I may have been declared a winner, but I know I will have to stand in the same line as Abhilasha and Bisakh. I am not letting this success get to my head because today you may be star and tomorrow you are no one. I have tough competition to face."
But for now, he just wants to celebrate his victory with family and friends.