The three finalists of Vijay TV's Super Singer Junior Season II talk about what their musical journey has been like
When Shravan Pratap, Alka Ajith and Roshan Sebastin talk, it's like watching three perfectly normal teens at work. Shravan, studying in Class IX at PSBB, Nungambakkam, is the gang leader, often speaking for the trio; Roshan, in Class VIII at St. John's, Mandaveli, with a mischievous glint in his eyes and a shy smile, usually agrees with Shravan; and all bubbly Alka, in Class IX, Mamdaram Higher Secondary School, Kannur, Kerala, is willing to discuss is the joy of music.
The three kids, finalists of Vijay TV's Super Singer Junior, Season II (Monday to Thursday, 9 p.m.), are waiting to compete for the top prize on June 17 (to be held on ground, and telecast live), along with a fourth contestant from the wildcard rounds. Over the past year, they have learnt more than a hundred songs, trained their voices to respond differently to film numbers, and figured out how to have fun, despite being constantly in the public eye.
They also have a maturity far beyond their years. For Shravan, it probably comes from the fact that he tried his luck along with thousands of other kids from Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapalli, and those who sent in their recorded voices, and progressed step-by-step. Alka's already a big name in Kerala, having first performed on stage when she was merely two-and-a-half. She can sing like a dream in 11 languages too! As for Roshan, he's been there and done that — he was part of the ‘Top 5' in the inaugural edition of the show, and decided to make a second attempt to wear the crown.
They've learnt their lessons well over the past year, absorbing the comments of judges, songsters Chitra, Mano and Malgudi Shubha, and their voice trainer, Anant Vaidyanathan. Shravan, whose voice has already broken, came with a background in Carnatic music; during the show, he learnt to be a rock-star performer; Roshan, with his honey-soaked voice has learnt to choose his songs well. And, Alka , whose voice has a lingering sweetness, has picked up reading and writing Tamil. Add to it the fact that they've also learnt time management, handling both school and the show, and how to control their temper when things don't go as planned.
So, after a year of bonhomie, how difficult will it be for them to look at each other as competitors? Shravan has a ready answer. “When we started off, we used to worry about clearing our rounds. Not any more. Let's enjoy the show,” he says. Roshan agrees.
As for Alka, she says only the music matters, not who wins. Despite that, they've given up on cherished childhood pleasures — for one, ice-cream, at least till the contest is over. Shravan can't wait to dig into strawberry and mango ice-cream, and watermelon. Roshan flips for vanilla, and Alka's list is long — chocolate, butterscotch, pista…
For now, Roshan's biggest wait is for his “real” voice to emerge, but after the show. Is he nervous about his voice breaking and losing its sugary sweetness? “No. I'm looking forward to my new voice. I'll work around it.” Shravan chips in. “I've been through it, no? It'll be fine,” he assures. As we converse, the children in them come alive. Alka wants her “appa” around her during the show; Roshan considers red, blue and black his lucky colours; and Shravan considers akka Preethi his lucky mascot. And, then, they're back to discussing what they do best — singing.
subha j rao