Sreeram Chandra has won the fifth season of the music reality show Indian Idol.
He was announced the winner by megastar Amitabh Bachchan. The 24-year-old singer beat Rakesh Maini from Agra and Bhoomi Trivedi of Baroda to win 50 lakh in prize money, a one year contract with Sony BMG, a Tata Winger car, and a chance to sing a song in a Yash Raj Films' project.
Sreeram has already recorded a duet with singer Shreya Ghosal for a telugu film.
Understandably, Sreeram was on cloud nine. "It hasn't even begun to sink in that I have really won. My parents are here with me. It seems like I'm in a dream. This victory means the world to me," he says.
"I feel lucky that I have received my identity on a day when my country celebrates its Independence. For the rest of my life I will celebrate this day as my victory day. Getting the trophy from Mr Bachachan is again a dream come true. I couldn't have asked for anything better than this," he adds.
Sreeram now hopes to establish a foothold in both Bollywood and Telugu Industry. "I have already sung in Telugu and I hope to make a career in both Hindi and Telugu films. Actually, I don't know what I will do. I am still trying to absorb the news at this moment."
But what he wants to become is a versatile singer. Asked if has any particular actor in kind that he wants to sing for and pat comes the reply, "I want to be known as a versatile singer. Being versatile means I should be able to sing for any actor."
Talking about his Indian Idol journey he says, "This platform has helped me grow as a human being and as a singer. I feel like a different person now. I feel far more confident than I did when I first entered the show."
Is there any singer whom he idolises?
"My childhood idols are Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. From the current lot, I look up to Shankar Madhavan and of course A R Rahman, who has taken Indian music to an international level," he replies.
So how is Sreeram going to celebrate his victory?
"Actually I want to celebrate my victory with everyone who has supported me in this journey. Right now I am going to party with my parents, my 13 co-contestants, the judges and the whole team."
Asked what he plans to do with the prize money, Sreeram says he hasn't thought that far yet.
Finally, when asked to say a few words to the two finalists Bhoomi and Rakesh, he says, "We have become like one big family. It didn't really matter who won and who lost."