The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Star Spot

Had the President’s ear…

Did this singer, at the recently held Summit of Joy. He was one of the students who performed before President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Governor Viren J. Shah at the inauguration of the meet at the St Xavier’s auditorium. This 19-year-old, still basking in the glow of the “great honour”, counts that moment as one of the most nervous of his life. Fooled the audience, though, with his steady voice.

Going solo…

In front of the first citizen of the country had to be nerve-racking. He sang an alaap in raag Bhairavi, He Ishwar ya Allah, by Javed Akhtar and A.R. Rahman, and two chorus numbers. Having joined St Xavier’s College in 2002 in the musical quota, his talent had been no secret. And this was not the first time he struck the inaugural chords, having stunned the illustrious crowd last year at the launch of the business administration course, getting compliments from the likes of Sanjeev Goenka.

Masterful guidance…

Must give him the musical confidence he exudes. In 1995, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty heard him sing and recommended that Soumyajit start honing his talent under Jayanta Sirkar. But now, the first-year student is being nurtured under Panditji’s wing, having shifted to Shrutinandan after a selection by the master himself.

Classical stylings…

May be Riju’s style, but he doesn’t draw the line there. He is part of Mantro, a band with a wide repertoire, ranging from classical to pop. They have been performing at concerts, and by March-end, hope to cut an album demo. The teen, who has been sweeping the fest circuit, has already been caught on tape as a child for an album, Ka Kha Ga Gha. He has performed on FM and has recently recorded with music director Chandan Roychowdhury.

36 minutes…

Spent with Lataji last November are what he counts as the luckiest of his life. He wants to compile a book about his idol Lata Mangeshkar, about whom he has been researching for years. Has been collecting rare pictures of the legend since he was just eight years old, and has some pictures Lata told Soumya she doesn’t have herself.

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