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'I wanted to be a perfect singer, not quick fame'

Last updated on: July 14, 2010 15:38 IST

'I wanted to be a perfect singer, not quick fame'

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Srabanti Chakrabarti

There is something about jingles. We like it, hum it, talk about it but rarely know the people who have sung it. Only after they start singing film songs do we get to know them. Cases in point are Shaan and KK. They came into limelight only after they started playback singing.

It seems there is one more addition to this list. Kshitij Tarey, the soulful voice behind the chartbuster Madno from Lamhaa is all set to take Bollywood by storm. He was the man behind the popular jingles for Fortune Hair Oil, HDFC Standard Life, Society Tea, Maruti Suzuki, BSNL and ESPN ICC Champions Trophy 2009.

Khsitij spoke to Srabanti Chakrabarti at length on his background, passion for singing and future plans.

On his background:

I was born in Ujjain and brought up in Kota, though for the last eight years I have been in Mumbai. My whole family is into academics and I am the only one to have ventured into the entertainment industry. My father has established two BEd institutes in Kota.

Interestingly, everyone was so much into academics that none had the chance to develop a passion in music. However, I turned out to be different and started singing at the age of three and listening to music on radio. My parents realised that I had a passion for music and thankfully took me to the most famous music teacher in Kota -- Mahesh Chand Sharma ji.

However, most of his disciples were MA students and my father had to really coax him to take me as a student. In fact, I had to sing in front of guruji before he agreed to take me in. That is how I entered the world of music. I started training when I was four continued it 13 years. I have done my MA in music from from Khairagarh University and have also completed Sangeet Visharad from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.


Image: Kshitij Tarey
Video: Afsar Dayatar
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'I never participated in any talent hunt shows because my teachers always asked me not to'

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On his journey to Mumbai and struggle:

I came here in 2002. Fortunately, since we had some family friends here, I did not have to struggle too much in terms of finding a house and managing basic amenities. My family supported me a lot and at the age of 17, I shifted my base to Mumbai.

After coming to Mumbai, I started training under Pandit Bhavdeep Jaipurwale. I never participated in any talent hunt shows because my teachers always asked me not to. They always encouraged me to practice with passion, become a positive performer and watch everything fall in place. I stuck to that and have no regrets.


Image: Kshitij Tarey

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'Lyricist Syed Qadriji asked me to come down to Mumbai'

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On his first break:

My first playback song was for the film Anwar which released in 2007. Lyricist Syed Qadriji was the man behind giving me this break. He is my godfather. I first met him in 2003 when he had come to Kota as the chief guest for a function where I was singing. He liked my rendition of ghazals and asked me to come down to Mumbai. By then, I had already shifted to Mumbai so all I had to do was meet him. He introduced me to music composer Mithoon. Though he did not have any films under his belt, Mithoon and I gelled very well and we used to have regular jamming sessions. In 2007, when Mithoon started working for Anwar he called me and asked me to sing Tose Naina Lage which went on to become a hit.

Post Anwar, I sang in Rahul Dholakia's Lamhaa. Both the numbers I sang -- Madno and Zameen-o-asmaan -- became hits. After Madno, I realised that it is important to promote a song well


Image: Kshitij Tarey

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'I have met almost all the composers and they have all been very encouraging'

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On his experience so far:

The last 10 years have been a learning period for me. I never wanted instant fame, one of the reasons I did not participate in a talent hunt show. I always wanted to become a perfect playback singer and I am focused on that goal. Before Anwar I have never met any composer. But after that, I have met almost everyone and all of them have been encouraging.

After Anwar there were many offers, but the quality of songs I was looking for was not coming to me. In between I sang for The Train, Dus Kahaniyan, 123 and Dev D. I also sang for an International album for the band Outlandish.


Image: Kshitij Tarey

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'I am scheduled to sing Marathi song'

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On his future plans:

I have sung for Will You Marry Me, with Sachin Gupta as the music director. I have also done a song for Allah Ke Bande set to tune by Chirantan Bhatt. Then there is one Marathi movie for which I am scheduled to sing.

To be very frank with you, my only future plan is to become a perfect playback singer.


Image: Kshitij Tarey

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