A regular feature at reality shows, music composer Shekhar Ravjiani of Vishal-Shekhar fame is now seen mentoring kids at “India Idol Junior” on Sony Entertainment Television.
How did you get into music?
I’m from a business family and I had no idea that I’ll be a music director one day. This all wasn’t planned. One day a friend of mine told me, “Look! Why don’t you start doing ad films-the jingles?” because I play the keyboards as a hobby. So my hobby finally turned into a profession. At the age of 18, along with late Mukul Anand I did my first ad film and was the busiest music composers for jingles. At the age of 21, I got signed for my first feature film.
How difficult is it to judge these juniors?
Very difficult! These kids are fantastic. We have auditioned nearly 300 to 400 kids all over India and selected 87, then 40 then 20 and now finally we have the top 10. Actually, the most difficult part is when the child is told to go home. This is the worst feeling that I get as a judge. I personally feel that this place is an institution for the kids where they get to learn a lot. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose; learning is what is most important. Therefore, I am very fortunate to witness such great talent.
It seems every kid is preparing to be on a reality show these days!
A parent has to understand that if his/her child likes to paint, so he should not be pushed towards singing if he doesn’t like it. It isn’t right to force your kid into something which doesn’t interest him.
Reality shows face a lot of flack for putting kids under pressure. What’s your take?
On “IIJ”, kids are having a lot of fun. They are being trained really well. There is a lot of joy on their faces. They all are having a great time. There is no controversy of any sort. We also make sure that they have a good time on the sets.
The format seems very competitive and even daunting for kids….
From the stage of auditions, till the gala rounds and from the time they performed in front of the judges till the time they have started performing like stars in the gala round, there is a massive difference in the way they dress, in the way they show attitude and the way they interact with the camera and the way they are singing. In the process the child actually gets more confident. He develops a fantastic stage aptitude, a comfort level on stage with lots of bright lights glaring at them and also singing in tune with the musicians.