Andrea and Karthik set the stage on fire at Idea Rocks India Mega Show

It was the best weekend of Mohan Srinivaash’s life. The 12th standard student from CMS MHSS got to sing with playback singers, Karthik and Andrea Jeremiah at the Idea Rocks India Mega Show, a culmination of the Idea Rocks India Talent Hunt, for aspiring singers above 18. Held across 17 cities, it was conceptualised in 2005 to spot singers with good voice, performance skills and musical expertise.

Mohan was declared the winner of the talent hunt that had more than 1000 entries from the city. After felicitating the winners, Mohan, Karthik and Andrea sang ‘Anjana…’ from Aadhavan. Mohan was a picture of confidence as he sang an entire stanza by himself. “Surprisingly, I was not nervous. Both the singers, Karthik and Andrea made me comfortable and gave enough space for me to sing too,” said the 18-year-old.

A classically trained singer, Mohan was the winner of Zee Tamizh Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, 2012 and Radio City Super Singer, 2013. “I have posted pictures on Facebook and my friends are congratulating me. This is a big boost for me. I want to learn more music and become a playback singer,” he said.

Karthik, who also came to the industry at a very young age, said there are better opportunities for the youngsters today. “I remember how excited I was when I was Mohan’s age, just because I sang in a chorus for a concert of Shankar Mahadevan. Times have changed. Youth has more platforms to showcase their talent.”

Andrea, who straddles both acting and singing, said performance is as important as singing. “I switch between theatre, playback singing and film acting. Earlier, I used to be rigid while performing on stage. My experience in cinema has helped the performer in me grow.”

She kick-started the evening with the peppy ‘Kannum Kannum Nokkiyal’. She also sang Hindi retro hits such as ‘Dum Maro Dum’. “You must sing along with me,” she instructed the audience as she pointed the mic towards them. It was followed by the steamy ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’.”

Andrea was a bundle of energy. She ran across the stage, spoke to the audience and urged them to dance. A few minutes into the show, the audience was on its feet singing. Strains of guitar and saxophone filled the air as Andrea sang, ‘Who’s the hero’. From the jazzy notes of this song, the music turned to the rustic ‘Ringa Ringa’. People gyrated to the raunchy number and Andrea also did dappankoothu on stage. And, then she crooned the soulful ‘Maalai Neram’. For the last song, ‘Google’, Andrea got down from the stage and jived with the children.

Karthik greeted the audience with a string of swaras. He launched into ‘Maha Ganapathim’. Crashing cymbals and electric guitars supported him. Spreading his arms , he sang ‘Vizhi Moodi Yosithal’, a song that won him a film-fare award. “This song is for all the beautiful ladies,” he declared before he hummed ‘Oru Ooril Azhage Oruvai’ from Kaaka Kaaka. There were wolf-whistles and cat calls as Karthik sang the Boys’ hit, ‘Enakkoru Girlfriend Venumeda’.The pulsating electric drums kept the mood upbeat as he sang “Theradi Veethiyil Devadhai Vandhal”. A few boys hopped onto the stage and requested Karthik to dance with them. The singer was only happy to oblige