City boy on Bolly beat

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 31.08.05

He recorded a song for Jai Mehta’s film Pehla Nasha in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago. He shared stage space with Hema Malini and Esha Deol in a function organised by the Indian community in Singapore a while ago. Prior to that, he recorded a duet with Udit Narayan in Mumbai.

For 22-year-old Samrat Sarkar music is something that comes naturally.

Originally from Calcutta, the lanky boy with a smooth voice is now a regular visitor to Mumbai where he is trying to carve out a place for himself.

“After the recording, Uditji told people in the studio ‘Calcutta ne music industry ko bahut motiya di hain, yeh bhi aur ek moti ho sakta hai’, (Calcutta has given the music industry many gems, he might be another one) and I felt so encouraged,” says Samrat, who has also sung duets for regional films with Alka Yagnik, Shreya Ghosal and Purnima.

“I have sung in Marathi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi and Bengali for films from these regions,” adds the young singer, who is now training in Indian classical music under Pandit Nabendu Bhattacharya at Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty’s centre, Shruti Nandan.

This student of Don Bosco Liluah, who was encouraged by teachers and school authorities to perform in every second school event, didn’t consider formal training until a year ago when he approached Pandit Chakraborty.

“I lost my father in 2001 and I had almost given up hopes of pursuing music as a career. So I didn’t think of serious training until I got a break in 2002 that changed my plans,” shares Samrat, recounting his performance in Netaji Indoor Stadium where he opened a show that featured Shah Rukh Khan.

Since then, he has performed in Nepal, Bangladesh and Singapore, besides various cities across India.

“Recently, I performed at JW Marriott in Mumbai where the other performer was an Indian Idol finalist, and the crowd accepted me just as well,” signs off the confident young man.