His heart always lay in music. Right from the time he was a boarder at Lawrence School, Sanawar, to the time he took up the reins of his family business in Delhi.
But Sanjeev Jain aka Nanna, has finally arrived at his happy place. With the video of his song Kahan ho tum already on air and another in the pipeline, this California-born businessmanpop singer, has realised his dream of over two decades, with the release of his self-titled debut album last week.
Why do you go by the name Nanna?
( Laughs) Well, I know it is paradoxical to my size but Nanna has been my nickname since I could barely speak. My grandfather called me that. Ninety per cent of the people I know call me that. I am so used to it that I went ahead and called my album that!
What is your musical background?
Honestly, I am a professional bathroom singer who graduated to a professional level. But I have always been musically inclined. Since the age of three, I wanted to sing and be heard but fate changed and I had to pursue the family business.
For the past five years, however, I felt the need to take my passion to another level. I decided to get serious and learnt Hindustani classical music. I find that an hour’s riyaaz every day is very spiritual. It is like meditation.
Tell us about your album.
For me, recording this album was a spiritually uplifting journey. I met Santokh Singh (Channa vey) through a common friend and that meeting opened doors to the music industry.
Nanna is a wholesome album. There are all kinds of songs. I feel they’re addictive. You won’t want to skip tracks. I’m not being immodest when I say I love all my songs.
I do not know what to expect since this is my first album and as the Baghavad Gita says, “Karam kar fal ki iccha mat kar.”
You have barely started out and strong comparisons are being made between Adnan Sami and you. I take that as a compliment. He is a wonderful singer, but then again I don’t understand why the comparisons are made because I neither look like him nor sound like him.
Are you open to Bollywood?
Oh yes I am! I have grown up listening to Mukesh saab, Rafi saab and Jagjit Singh. I love Hindi music. I would like to work with Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigaam and Hariharan.
Which is the next song you’ll release on video?
A very urban, peppy bhangra number called If you don’t mind.
What do you do besides singing?
I love spending time with my family, my wife, my two kids, and my dad. I am a domesticated person, I enjoy hanging out with friends. I have just started playing golf two months ago and of course I have my music.
Any other passions?
My family. I also love the mountains. Being with nature is a humbling experience. They are majestic and they make me feel like an ant in front of God’s most magnanimous creation.