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Besides Hindi roles, I was even offered a Marathi movie as an actor: Shekhar Ravjiani

Thursday, November 08, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

“Our popular ongoing weekend evening Zee TV show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa', is the mother of all vocal music reality telly shows – also the show where aspiring singers evidently first come to us for auditions, ” insists exuberant TV show host and singer Aditya Narayan. The panel of mentor-celeb-judges which comprises vivacious singer Sona Mahapatra, innovative composer-singer Wajid Khan and the versatile composer-singer Shekhar Ravjiani fully endorse this attribute of the 'SRGMP’ reality show (it’s in its 23rd year) as declared by Aditya. The Afternoon D & C had a lively candid conver-session with the debonair super-talented Shekhar Ravjiani (of composer duo Vishal-Shekhar fame). Excerpts:

What's the anokhi khaas baat this season on Zee's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa…'?
The latest 'SRGMP' season celebrates music as the universal language that unites mankind. One that discards discrimination and recognises only talent. The theme this time is MusicSeBaneHum.

Please elaborate…
Our show will be sending out a strong message of all-inclusiveness and standing up against discrimination over caste, creed, colour, community, religion and sexuality, 'SRGMP' focuses its spotlight on talent alone. After rounds of grueling auditions, the show has now found its Top 15 contestants.

Does the process of elimination stress you out?
Not at all. Because I enjoy my job-music is my passion. It's more of a mentor, a guide, a coach and then lastly as a judge who is supportive. We are here to hone their talents in a competing workshop and groom the singers into 'rock-stars'. We have three in-house group 'gharanas' to comply with the format, just to foster healthy exciting competition. And then as Bollywood composers, my co-judge Wajid-bhai and I try to give professional recording debut-breaks to exceptional singers.

What precisely do you look for in  every ‘SRGMP’  contestant?
(Smiles). Frankly, I look for an unusual voice. An original voice which is not a clone (copy) of any iconic retro-singer or existing current top singers. The contestants should showcase exceptional talent, the soul of their own voice and not imitate some other star-singer.

After 'Neerja', why have you been acting so pricey and declining acting assignments?
(Chuckles) Yes, I have received lots of amazing acting offers and I still continue to get them. The genuine problem, is that I do not have bulk dates as I am committed to multiple movie projects. My inclination is very much there, but I don't have the time. Frankly I am not a professional actor. In 'Neerja', I was myself reacting to the situations. Since my playback-singing for hit Marathi songs has been highly appreciated, I even got an offer to act as an actor in a Marathi movie.

You are passionately reviving the golden-era of ghazals?
Actually, I was very close to the legendary late ghazal-singer Jagjit Singh and for six years I learnt from him and I have attended his live concerts and recordings. Two years ago, I have started an immensely popular tribute format called 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi' and I have sung for six houseful concerts with the same musicians who played for Jagjit-Uncle. In fact, I am recording a 'duet-single' composed by me with this outstanding 'SRGMP' female ghazal-singer contestant Rajwinder.

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