Hemachandra talks to Neeraja Murthy about his new look and his deepest desire
The décor of the apartment reflects Hemachandra’s mood. He looks pretty relaxed as he walks into the room – clad in jeans and a white and blue striped tee. He is excited about his new programme Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs on Zee Telugu and it shows on his face. From being a finalist of one of the reality shows (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee) to hosting one and singing in films, concerts and stage shows, this young singer has come a long way.
Take a closer look and the gawky teenager has now transformed into a confident youngster. He is in sync with the latest trends too. “I just got my one ear pierced. May be in future, you will see me with streaked hair,” the singer exults taking pride in his new small screen avatar. “Being fashionable adds a different dimension to your show but if the music is not good, styles do not sell,” he adds. Choreographed performances peppered with tantrums and ‘real’ fights have become the order of reality shows. Hemachandra hopes ‘Little Champs’ will not follow the same. “I am a very cool person and the terror of TRPs do not bother me. I am sure we can make only music rule the show,” he avers and adds, “Watching kids sing bring back memories of my contestant days when I was shy and uncomfortable on stage. People like Gaji (Gajendra Singh, director of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa) and Shaan groomed and helped me.”
It’s now Hemachandra’s turn to guide the little ones and the singer is taking his job seriously. “I even taught a kid my dance moves while singing. He looked nervous and I showed him a few steps. We both enjoyed dancing while he sang. The vibes I share with them is positive. We help each other through hiccups and crack jokes so that when the cameras roll, we have a perfect finish,” he says.
A new perspective
He likes his role as a guru to the kids and claims it was Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par, which has brought in a new perspective in him.
“The movie showed that studies is not the be-all-and-end-all-of life. Kids have different talents and a little encouragement can do wonders.”
While squeezing in time for films, stage shows and concerts, Hemachandra has also applied for law. “I am not sure of how it will proceed since it is music which is taking all my time.” He had also launched a private album and was in Mumbai for some time. But now, the youngster is back in the city and is enjoying his place under the sun.
There is palpable joy when he talks about his assembly of line of hits including NTR’s Kantri (which also happens to be his ringtone) and Allu Arjun’s Parugu and also include singing for Ismail Durbar, Himesh Reshammiya and in Assamese. He knows the importance of staying ahead of his competitors but ask him about his ‘supposed rivalry’ with cousin Karunya and he laughs it off with his ‘there is no competition and I like his voice and songs too. We both respect each other’s work’ remark.
Brush with fame
His childhood ambition was to be famous. But, his brush with fame is filled with some funny instances. “I had gone out with my family once and one girl rushed to me, shook my hands and said she loved my voice. I was very embarrassed as she was not leaving my hand,” he blushes.
The blush deepens when he reminiscences his Mauritius trip. “The police escorted me from the hotel room till the stadium, where I was to perform. The venue looked empty from outside and I thought the show will turn out to be a flop one. But I was shocked to see the crowd inside. The place was choc-a-bloc and proved to be a memorable one.”
At 20, Hemachandra is not your regular college boy, hanging out with friends and nursing a crush or two. “I do go out but mostly with my family and a few close friends. And there are no girlfriends,” he smiles. The youngster also takes care to give his brother’s number to his female fans.
There were a few film offers too from directors Krishna Vamsi, Shekhar Kammula (for Happy Days) and director Dasarath. However, the youngster has his eyes steady only on music. “If there is a role of a singer, may be I will take it up. I cannot think anything beyond music,” he says. His desire is to be a music director one day and lend voice to all the heroes.
He has composed an album based on communal harmony and has also tuned the title track of Ra, rammandi of Little Champs.
His musical saga continues with singing a number for Taare Zameen Par (Aamir Khan’s introductory song Bum bum bole in the movie) in Telugu and Tamil. For now, there is no time to ruminate as he has lots of shopping to do. His face buckles with a genial smile, promising to be back with more, musically.
S.P. Balasubrahmanyam - Maate Mantramu(Composed by Ilayraja, an absolute genius) KK - Labon Pe (Bhool Bhulaiyaa) Shaan - Dus Bahane (Dus)Shreya - Cheeni Kum (title track of CheeniKum)