follow. And these seven singers, all talents discovered on reality shows, will be in business. Read on to see what Navratri has in store for them.
A file photo of Abhijeet Sawant.
Who: One of the top contestants from the first season of Voice of India.
Where he’s been: Harshit participated in two music competitions, Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar and Music Ka Mahamuqabla. He’s composed and sung for Murder 2 (2011) and Hate Story. He made his playback debut in Tees Maar Khan (2010). He’s also trying his hand at acting. “It’s a romantic film with Mrunmayee, a former model.”
Festive schedule: “I might be performing in Kolkata, Mumbai and Lucknow for Navratri. I’m going to Belgium and Malaysia for Diwali.”
Who: The 2007 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contestant was best known for her robust rendition of ‘Maiyya maiyya’.
Where she’s been: The NRI from Houston participated in Khatron Ke Khiladi and Comedy Circus. She says, “Everyone assumes that being in a reality show makes things easy, but the fact is that it takes a lot of work and determination. Only two-three people from a reality show are even remembered.”
Festive schedule: Mauli is travelling all over the country in the festive season.
Who: The runner-up of Indian Idol 5.
Where she’s been: She has toured with music directors Salim-Sulaiman, Bappi Lahiri, Aadesh Srivastav and Pritam for live shows. She’s sung one song in the recent film, Prem Mayee, and for a film called Chaska. She says, “I run a house, do my riyaz and perform at shows. It’s been difficult because once your show wraps up, you are on your own.”
Festive schedule: Bhoomi is performing at a suburban dandiya event in Mumbai for all the nine days. “Being a Gujarati makes it easier for me,” she concedes. She is also travelling to Chicago, Atlanta and Boston in USA for Diwali.
Who: The first Indian Idol (2005).
Where he’s been: He’s brought out two albums and is working on a third, Farida, scheduled to release in December. Live shows and corporate events apart, Abhijeet tried his hand at acting. Though he hasn’t been able to break into the Bollywood playback scene, he was signed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to sing for Chittagong. “I’m fortunate to have been constantly getting work. Of course, that I was the first Indian Idol helped a great deal.”
Festive schedule: ‘Mohabbatein lootaoonga’ still remains his best-known song. “Though I’m not performing during Navratri, because the crowd wants Gujarati songs, November is completely booked. I’m travelling to Nepal, Philippines and Hong Kong.”
Who: Winner of Indian Idol 5.
Where he’s been: Sreeram has sung for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011). He’s also acted in a Telugu film, Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. “I’ve always wanted to act because a lot of people felt I had the looks. I’m soon doing another Telugu film,” he says.
Festive schedule: “I’m not performing during Navratri, but I’m going to Europe for Diwali.”
Who: The 2005 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winner.
Where he’s been: The Assamese singer was part of an earlier edition of Bigg Boss, did playback for a song in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), cut a Bengali album last year and has done jingles with composers like Shantanu Moitra. But Bollywood playback remains an elusive dream. “I have sung for Bangla and Assamese films and a couple of Hindi films, but it’s less than what I expected.”
Festive schedule: Debojit is performing during Durga Puja this year in Kolkata, Mumbai, Orissa and Delhi. “That’s the festival I’m close to. I’ll also perform in Assam during Diwali and go to the Phillipines.”
Who: The second runner-up in the first season of Indian Idol.
Where he’s been: “Ever since Indian Idol, I have been busy doing roughly 10 shows a month, so I am very much in demand,” says Rahul. “My forthcoming film is Ishq in Paris and I have also sung for a TV series called Ram Leela,” he adds.
Festive schedule: “I will be travelling to Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Delhi. I perform in Mumbai for Navratri and go to Bangkok and Hong Kong for Diwali,” he says.
The moolah they make
The money could range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 30 lakh per show, depending on the budget of the show and the demand for a singer. Seniority is a key factor, as are looks. “No one wants to see a singer with a paunch,” says Rahul