Ladies and Gentleman, presenting the first ever winner of Star's Voice of India, Ishmeet Singh.
Just moments after he was announced the champion by Lata Mangeshkar [ Images ] and Madhuri Dixit [ Images ], an emotional but elated Ishmeet [ Images ] shared his thoughts with Ameeta Gupta. Excerpts:
You did it! You're the winner. How does it feel?
It's unbelievable! A dream come true. We've all worked so hard to come this far. It's great to be chosen the first Voice of India.
What was going through your head when Lataji was about to name the winner?
To be honest, I was lost. My head was totally blank. Then Lataji said my name and it just hit me. I couldn't believe it. It is the most memorable moment of my life so far.
But early on when Harshit was in the lead -- a considerable lead in fact, did you think that you were going to lose?
Yes, there was some tension. A win seemed difficult from then on, but I also knew that until the absolute total number of votes were not revealed, you couldn't be sure about the winner.
Also, mujhe North Zone ke logo par puraa bharosa tha. (I had complete faith in the people of the North Zone.) I knew that I had complete support from Delhi [ Images ] and Punjab [ Images ]. But even in the other zones, the difference in votes was not that much.
How's the atmosphere at home and within your family? What was their reaction?
They are very proud of me and happy. Because of what I have achieved, the entire country knows my family's name.
Tell me a bit about your debut album.
Harshit and I are working on an original song which is composed by Salim-Suleiman. We don't have an official title for it yet, but it's about dreams coming true and thanking the people responsible for them. I loved the song the instant I heard it!
You're the first winner hailing from a Sikh background of a reality show of this magnitude. What does that mean to you?
You know, just before auditioning I was talking to my sister about the same thing. That people from Sikh background only get so far in these competitions. Ek ya do level ke baad hamesha nikal jaate hain. (After one or two levels, they are eliminated.)
So as a Sikh, and a singer I wanted to try and see how far I could reach. I think my victory here can help remove the tag that Punjabi singers can only sing Punjabi songs well. I deliberately chose not to sing too many Punjabi songs in the competition; most of my performances were in Hindi.
Do you think there are any areas in your singing that you have to work on?
I think I can handle the high pitch quite well as most Punjabi singers do (Laughs). No, but seriously, I know that there is so much I still have to learn. I have tried to learn as much as I could from my mentors during the past six months. I will get up early in the morning tomorrow and start riyaaz for my songs with Salimji.
How are you going to celebrate this victory?
Aaj Guru Nanak Jayanti hain, (Today is Guru Nanak Jayanti) but I couldn't visit a Gurudwara today because I was so busy with preparations for the contest. But first thing tomorrow, I am going to visit a Gurudwara. This is the first time I've not been to a Gurudwara on this auspicious day. Then I'll spend the rest of the day with my family.
What about your future plans? Any offers to sing?
Yes, offers have come from Uttam Singh, as well as a Punjabi music director. I am also receiving offers for Punjabi movies. I'm now the brand ambassador of TATA Winds, plus I will be launching the Pocket Internet Surfer in December.
Any artist in particular you'd want to perform with?
Sunidhi Chauhan [ Images ]! I'm her biggest fan. I was doing a show and my chachaji introduced me to a Punjabi music director friend of his. He asked me the same question. He said he'd try and compose a soft romantic song for both of us to sing.
What do you think of the SMS voting system? Do you think it is fair?
I think it's a great thing that the people get to choose their favourites. You perform, and the rest is up to the audience. Also, this is the format of the show. I have to respect that.
What do want to say to Harshit?
Harshit and I are friends. We've been together in the finals for nearly a month. We've spent so much time together. I respect him. I mean, if he had won today I can honestly say I would have been as happy as I am now. After the amount of effort we've put in, we've reached so far. There are no losers in Voice of India. We are both winners.
And what about your fans? What message do you have for them?
I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Shukriya, it's because of their love and support that I've reached this muqaam. And I promise them I will not take this incredible opportunity lightly. By choosing me they've given me a great responsibility, and I don't want to let them down. I will work hard and try my best to achieve much more.