Soham who recently bagged best playback singer award for In dino.. in a tete-e-tete with Riya V Anandvala
You disappeared after the Metro chartbuster In dino..?
(Smiles) I'm going slow. I don't believe in planning nor do I take on projects on an impulse. After Metro I sang Dhol's title track. I'm also singing some songs for Pritam, Tips and White Feather films.
Isn't it difficult with so many newcomers juggling for space?
I tend to get a little anxious at times. But I have noticed that most newcomers are into shows and not playback. The competition is not as much as it is made out to be.
Most singers are into aping their idols. I am a die hard fan of Mohammed Rafi saab whose music I grew up listening to. From the present lot, I also like Sonu Nigam and Shaan but try to inculcate their good qualities, not ape their style.
The voice has to be your own, but you can experiment with styles. In the television show K for Kishore most of contestants imitate him and not his style, which is wrong. Hindustani classical singing forms the base for any genre of music, be it rock or sufi.
How did you develop an interest in music?
I am from Kolkata. My father was a sarod player and my uncle played the tabla. Music is in my blood. But I had to struggle a lot when I came to Mumbai in 2002. Initially, I used to run back to Kolkata every 15 days. It was difficult to stay away from home especially when people kept rejecting me.
What happened next?
I was a winner of the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contest. I came to Mumbai with Rs 1 lakh prize money. That was not enough to survive in this city. So, I started off as a mimicry artist, imitating famous voices. Today I refuse to do that. If a song is offered to me, I will sing it my own voice.
Do you intend to sing only for Pritam?
No, I am working with Shailendra on Makrand Deshpande's Dream Man. Of late, Vishal Shekhar and Shankar Mahadevan expressed willingness to work with me too.
But you are Pritam's discovery?
Yes, before playback singing, I did jingles for Dhoom's Dilbara. Aditya Chopra and Salim Sulaiman heard me and were impressed. That's how Dhoom 2's Dil laga happened.
Just one year in the industry and you already bagged an award. How does it feel?
A big deal. I used watch Shaan and KK accepting awards and wonder if I would ever get one. It is a dream come true.
Did you think In dino would be so popular?
I was fast asleep one night when Pritam buzzed me. He informed me that we were recording In dino the following day. I sang the song in 15 minutes flat, in just one take. I wanted to add some more Sufi-ness to it, but people around said it sounded fine. What you hear is the unbaked version.
What else do you have in your kitty?
I recently did a project in Arabic. Initially, I was very skeptical about singing in the language. I took it up as a challenge and sang all eight songs.
What happened to the Metro band?
We still do shows across the country.
Are you into regional music as well?
I sing in 17 different languages. Telugu, Kannada, Assamese and Bengali to name a few.