Maestro's choice

SUPER SINGER Naresh Iyer's `Roobaroo' has been nominated for the national award

SUPER SINGER Naresh Iyer's `Roobaroo' has been nominated for the national award   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: S.S. KUMAR

Naresh Iyer tells Maithri Srikant that singing for A.R. RAHMAN was a dream come true for him

Naresh Iyer is A.R. Rahman's latest find from Channel V's talent hunt show `Super Singer.' The singer from Mathunga, Mumbai, has lent his romantic voice to soft melodies like `Munbe vaa' and also rocking numbers like `Masti ke Patshala' and `Robaroo' in `Rang De Basanti.' A.R. Rahman had planed to sing `Roobaro' but he called Naresh to sing the track. Although Naresh was waiting to hit the sack after a tiring day of recording, he rushed over for the recording. Being a Mumbaiker, his accent enlivened the rustic song. Rahman was so impressed that he decided to retain Naresh's voice. This Naresh says "was too great a surprise for me and owe its credit to Rahman Sir's faith in me." `Roobaroo' has now been nominated for the national award. Awards and adulation have become familiar to him. The curly haired singer was in the city for a programme organised in connection with the award function of Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award. Excerpts from an interview with the 25-year-old singer. When A.R. Rahman announced that you had been selected to sing for him, how did you feel? When I was informed this, I also knew that I had been chucked out of the competition. I was very sceptical and thought that Rahman Sir was kidding or consoling me. But, I was happy and relieved when I got his call within four days. First recording experienceIt was absolutely wonderful. The studio atmosphere was very friendly and Rahman Sir made me feel comfortable and encouraged me a lot. I felt it was all over too soon and wanted to go back. Any formal training in music?I learnt Carnatic music for two years and Hindustani music too. I also play the keyboard. Childhood dreamI wanted to be a chemical engineer and then a chartered accountant; then at some point of time, I wanted to be a cricketer or a table tennis champion and now I am finally singing. I am happy about whatever I am doing. Favourite singersA.R. Rahman, K.S. Chitra, Swarnalatha, S.P. Balasubramaniam, to name a few. RootsI hail from Palakkad but I was born and brought up in Mumbai. We speak Hindi all the time. At home, I speak Tamil, as it is my mother tongue. I cannot read or write Tamil, and write the lyrics of the Tamil songs I sing, in English. (laughs) Languages you have sung inTamil, Hindi, Telugu, Bhojpuri, Kannada and Gujarati. It has not all been film songs, but background score for plays and so on. Do you listen to Malayalam music?I do enjoy Malayalam music though I am not really into it. My dad has a huge collection and my favourite song is `Gopangane' from the movie `Bharatam.' New projects`Randu,' `Chennai Kadal,' `Thoovanam,' `Pachaikili Muthucharam' for Haris Jayaraj, Lee and Rahman's first Kannada song `Sajini.' Date with the cityI was very surprised when I was called to perform in the programme with musical legends despite being a newcomer in the industry. I felt very honoured. I also felt nice because it was Rahman Sir, my mentor who was awarded. My performance was like a tribute to my master. Naresh unplugged I like roaming around, chatting and having fun with friends rather than going to the pub or disco. I love sports and used to play six hours every day. Biggest compliment(laughs) When people tell me that I have a romantic voice; many guys tell me that they hum my song to their girl friends. Any plans to venture into acting?No, at least not for the time being. How about albums?It is an idea that comes from inside, I have not thought of a good concept so far. Maybe, after a few years. Message to your fansI am really grateful to them for showering on me their love and appreciation. My promise is that I will continually improve myself. Be with me, all my life!
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