Video: Afsar Dayatar Srabanti Chakrabarti in Mumbai
The title song of Lafangey Parindey has been doing the rounds in the popularity charts for a while now. But very few know who the singer is.
He is, indeed, the 18-year-old son of Pradeep Sarkar, who has directed the Neil Nitin Mukesh-Deepika Padukone starrer.
Ronit Sarkar had a chat with Srabanti Chakrabarti in his plush Bandra residence, and even offered an exclusive taste of his talent in the following videos.
You have been born in a filmi family. Tell us something about your childhood.
I was born in Delhi and stayed there till I was nine years old. Since my dad was making ad films, his schedule was very hectic. He would shuttle between Delhi and Mumbai. It was getting very difficult, so my parents decided to shift base to Mumbai in 2001.
I was in Class IV and got admitted to Arya Vidya Mandir after which I went to Cathedral school for my secondary exams. Right now I am pursuing my bachelors in management from St Xavier's College.
Did your father's hectic work schedule and the glamour world affect you?
Not really. I was busy in my own world. When I was free and would feel like it, I would go to his workplace. Frankly, I am very shy. At the same time, I must say that since my father was in the film industry, it was easier for me to get star autographs. I am very fond of film stars. When I saw Hrithik Roshan at Yash Raj Films studios a couple of months back, I was awestruck and couldn't speak to him. He is my favourite actor.
My first experience with Hrithik was at the music video shoot of the Bhumro song from Mission Kashmir. We used to live in Delhi then but had come over to Mumbai with my mother and sister on vacation. I was very excited to see him and took his autograph. It was an unbelievable experience to see him in Film City.
'My father was completely unaware of my singing skills'Image: Ronit Sarkar
How did you start with music?
I started learning piano at the age of five. It was part of the Western classical classes I took in Delhi. My parents say at the age of one, I could operate the tape recorder and radio -- I was so fond of music. Apparently, I used to hum a lot when I was younger whenever I listened to songs. I started my formal training in vocals last year. I am also part of a band called Icecream Truck.
How important is formal training?
Very few people can sing flawlessly without formal training. I believe that one should learn and practice. Practice makes a man perfect.
How did you get the offer for Lafangey Parindey?
My father, who was completely unaware of my singing skills, heard me sing at Not Just Jazz By The Bay (a karaoke resturant in South Mumbai). Though he knew that I played the guitar and piano, he did not know that I also sang.
When composer R Anandh was conceiving the track, he wanted a new and young voice. When the basic track was prepared, he asked me to record the scratch piece. I went to the studio and recorded for six hours. Baba didn't sit in the room as he was very nervous. The next day, I had lost my voice because I never sang for such long hours. Adi sir (Aditya Chopra) liked my voice and wanted me to sing the final version of the song. That is how I got this opportunity.
'I don't sound like myself in the song'Image: Ronit Sarkar
How did your family react when they heard you in Lafangey Parindey?
The most common reaction was that I don't sound like myself in the song. No one knew that I had recorded the song -- only two of my acquaintances were present in the studio, so people often refused to believe that it was me.
Who is your favourite singer?
My father listens to Billy Joel and he is my favourite as well. I listen to Guns 'N' Roses, Eric Clapton, Metallica and John Mayo. My favourite band is U2.
You seem to be more inclined towards western music. Do you listen to Indian music?
I listen to A R Rahman. During my school days, I was exposed to a lot of choir songs. But now, I want to listen to more Hindi music.
Where do you see yourself a few years down the line?
I have no clue. But if you ask me about my dreams, I would like to be an international artiste, with my own band. But that's very rare in India.
I want to be something in the media world as well. I have participated in small film-making competitions, and have written poetry and short stories.