Top cop in tune

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 18.08.05

He sits at the desk of the Regional Passport Officer. But M.K. Singh’s talent as a singer and songwriter is breaking new ground, even while he goes through the chores of his high-profile day job. And in the perennial fight between the head and the heart, the heart seems to have made quite a bit of headway.

“I used to consider myself just another bathroom singer, but once I released my first Bhojpuri album and it got some recognition within the community, I took it up seriously and since then, I have not looked back,” says Singh. So, more Bhojpuri albums followed and the vocal training sessions helped grow his confidence. And with the accolades came greater opportunities for Singh and his song.

“I was invited to perform in Guyana as part of a project by the cultural ministry. At that very juncture, Ritu (director Rituparno Ghosh) asked me to write the lyrics for Raincoat. He had just a week before starting the recording, but I thought that such an honour may not come again and I had to refuse Ritu.”

The Guyana gig had the West Indians going ga-ga over Singh’s music, and more recognition was to follow. The cop singer, along with music director Debojyoti Mishra and Lakkhichhara keyboardist Debaditta, went to Mauritius this May to promote folk music, as part of an endeavour by EZCC.

“Thousands lined up to watch us perform,” recalls Singh. “The 10-day tour included a special interview session on their local news channel that also aired our show live.”

Having already garnered a handsome fan following, Singh now wants to take Bhojpuri music to the world. “With some modern instrumentation and basic Bhojpuri tunes and words, I want to create a proper fusion music form. Hopefully, once we come up with the album, Bhojpuri music will not be reduced to just a small region or a set of people, but will be accessible to one and all.”