He can't speak Chinese. But he will sing in the language at the concluding ceremony of the Asian Games, currently under way in Guangzhou, China.
Lucknow-born Ravi K Tripathi (29) is the only Indian performer of note after legendary actor Raj Kapoor to have entertained the Chinese. He performed in Guangzhou last year with Hollywood star Jackie Chan during the countdown show for the Asian Games. "There were 70,000 people in the audience. It was a different experience," he said.
In January and February, the Chinese government gave him a 15-show contractto take a 50-member troupe to China.
Tripathi is a Bollywood singer who was the mega finalist of Indian Idol-2 (a show on Sony TV). "It's strange but I am associated with China in whatever I do. My first Bollywood movie in which I sang was named Chandni Chowk to China. At the Asian Games I will be the only Indian to perform at the concluding ceremony. I will sing Jai Ho (from the film Slumdog Millionaire) with 150 Chinese dancers performing with me. This will be followed by a Chinese song I have prepared for the occasion despite having no knowledge of Chinese," he said during his visit to Lucknow, where he learnt music at Bhatkhande Music University.
Tripathi said he was on his way to becoming a doctor, having cleared the medical entrance exam in Lucknow. "However, I decided to follow my heart, much against the wishes of my family. I don't regret the decision," he said.
This Diwali he was honoured by the overseas Indian community at the Hague, Holland. Prior to that his debut album Baatein was released by some top names including his mentor Suresh Wadkar.