Singer Mika Singh on elder brother Daler Mehndi, his inspirations and Bollywood
Birthday: June 10
Sun sign: Leo
Place of birth: Durgapur, West Bengal
School/college: Guru Nanak Dev Public School, Bassi Pathana, Punjab
First break: As a pop singer with Saawan Mein Lagg gayi Aag in 1998
High point of your life: Everything about life so far...
Currently I am: Judging Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV, besides doing playback singing and performing live
Did you always dream of taking up singing as a profession?
I’ve always been inclined towards being an artist. Performing came naturally at a young age – singing, playing instruments, creating, composing and dancing.
How difficult was it for you to come out of the shadow of a successful elder brother (Daler Mehndi)?
Daler paaji is a legend, so it wasn’t easy. But we are different as creative people, so it was never a case of competing with my brother. We respect each other’s vision.
A piece of advice that your brother Daler Mehndi gave you.
Always be true to yourself. Watching him, I also learned how to live life ‘king-size’.
Who are your inspirations as a singer?
I’ve always been into the international pop and hip hop scene. Artists such as Michael Jackson and Tupac have inspired me. Legendary Indian singers like Jagjit Singh have also been a great influence.
Your reaction to being labelled as the bad boy of Bollywood.
As I always say, ‘I’m definitely the bad boy, but I am the bad boy with a good heart’.
A classic song you wish you had sung.
Actually, I am very happy with all the songs that I’ve sung so far.
Your first impression of Bollywood.
It’s such an amazing industry. It’s a place where stars come and go – creating legacies and entertaining everyone.
You’ve sung quite a few hit songs for Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Do you share a good bond with them?
Salman bhai is like my elder brother. I have sung so many songs like Jumme ki raat and Dhinkachika, but when I sang Aaj ki party, he especially recorded a promotional video for the song. This wasn’t supposed to be in the movie, but just because he loved it, he promised to include it. He is always true to his word.
What makes you break into Mauja hi mauja in real life?
When I see my pets at my Delhi farmhouse. It’s total mauja hi mauja then.
You flaunt flashy cars and sport sunglasses all the time. What’s your favourite car?
I only like SUVs, and my favourite is the Hummer.
The theme song of your life is:
Singh is king.
A childhood memory that is really close to your heart.
When I performed for my school at the age of 10 and received numerous awards. It was a memorable moment and the beginning of something special.
As a judge, what are the things you look for in a singer?
A mind-blowing performance, great confidence and a sense of uniqueness, apart from a good voice for sure.
What type of song appeals to you more – a romantic number or a party song?
Though I’m known more for my party hits, I love both genres.
Which other Punjabi singer do you enjoy listening to?
I listen to Gurdas Maan saheb, the late Jagjit Singh ji, Kuldeep Manak saheb, and all the hitmakers of today.
Is there a comedian whose performances you like?
I really enjoy watching my younger brother Kapil [Sharma] paaji. Then Sudesh Lehri, Krishna Abhishek and Bharti Singh are also superb with their comic timing.
Which are the three must-haves in your wardrobe?
Sharp blazers, great shoes, sunglasses, and my kada and khanda [Sikh symbols].
Live shows or studio recordings – what excites you more?
The thrill of live shows can’t be described. I love connecting with the audiences and my fans.
Between Delhi and Mumbai, which is your favourite city?
I love both. Delhi to relax and spend time with my pets and Mumbai for work.
Your strategy in a crisis.
Be confident and never stay calm. I am a Punjabi, after all!
For the road : Long drive pe chal (Khiladi 786)
For the night: Subha hone na de (Desi Boyz)
In the monsoon: Saawan mei lag gayi aag (the title song from my debut album )
When winter comes: Aaja ni aaja Billo (my latest single)
From HT Brunch, May 15, 2016
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