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SINGER | INTERVIEW Abhijeet Sawant

mehvishrainbow2 Goldie
mehvishrainbow2
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Joined: 09 February 2005
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 10:32pm | IP Logged
Rajiv VijayakarWrite to the Editor Mail this story
 IDOL CHAT
Rajiv Vijayakar
He made more than just television history that night on March 5, when the nation's wave of affection swept in Abhijeet Sawant as the country's first Indian Idol. It was a culmination of almost six months of cult programming, soaring TRPs and frenzied public and private discussions and arguments wherever there could be discussions and arguments, as this 24-year-old son of a Bombay Municipal Corporation worker trounced immediate rival Amit Sana of Bhilai by a small but decisive margin.
The month that has since passed has seen Abhijeet on a maddening roller-coaster of live performances and recordings. The promised jackpots are all his, and Sony-BMG's album Aap Ka...has already hit the market.
Screen chats up India's first Indian Idol in a candidspeak interview. Excerpts:
To whom and what would you give the credit for your final and exciting victory, apart from to your talent and hard work?
The first person who deserves credit is my chacha (paternal uncle) Sanjay Sawant, who is himself a well-known stage performer. He was the one who always encouraged me to sing and keep improving. He told me that if I had a natural gift, I should also have the technical knowledge, and it was he who motivated me to take music training, which I have been doing from the famous musician Bhavdeep Jaipurwale for the last three years. Bhavdeep is my guruji and has a major share in my success. Of course no one can be a success without a supportive family. But above all, I must give the maximum credit for my victory to the people of India who kept voting for me not only in the finals but also all through. The announcement of the winner was a cliffhanger to the very last second, and the host took advantage of Amit's and your names to say the winner's name began with A and ended with T. What were your emotions at that flip-of-a-coin defining moment?
To be honest, I was actually quite relaxed, though it will sound good to say that I was very tense! Amit and I knew that one of us had to lose, and we had decided in advance that we would not let either victory or defeat affect either our relationship or ourselves individually. Frankly, I was already quite relaxed by the time I was among the top three finalists, because my main aim in getting into the contest was not to win the title of Indian Idol but to get recognition,aur woh mujhe mil chukaa tha. All that I had wanted was that if I approached a music director or company, they would know who I was, and I would not have to go through what an anonymous struggler would in the situation. And when your name was announced, did you feel nothing special?
I felt very good. It feels great to be the winner of the first crown. But the title and my victory carry a great responsibility that I have now have to try and fulfill. So there is a burden too. The last month and more have been a frenzy of mad activity for you. Do you feel that you are now earning the prize money?
(Smiles) Well, I have to work in return for the big money and other things that I am getting. I prefer it that way. Yes, life is a crazy whirlwind of schedules, meetings, performances, recordings and other activities. As Sony Entertainment Television's brand ambassador, I will also be making a guest appearance as myself and perform on their shows like Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin and also on other occasions. I am mostly out of home and barely am able to meet my family and friends.But that's part of the game.
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How much have things changed with the big money and instant fame that have come your way? Do your friends feel that you have changed?
Maybe some of them do, because they have grumbled about it to each other, though none have spoken to me about it. It's only that I have so less time, but there is no distancing between me and my friends or relatives. Neither do I think that I have changed. I have seen so many ups and downs on the show alone, and have been in the bottom three so often in the finals that I realized that winning or losing was primarily all about naseeb.As for my family, yes, we will probably be shifting out. Dad had purchased an apartment in the suburbs even before all this happened, but we may buy another apartment in town, since otherwise he would have to commute too far for his job. Will dad keep at his job?
He will, and I too would want it that way - there's a lot to be said about the feeling of having your own money, even if we are rich as a family today. Do you think that your parents are now intimidated by you as the rich man of the family?
No, the only change is that while earlier it was my father who made all the decisions, especially the financial ones, today I am consulted on everything. It feels good, but again it is the responsibility that comes with it that is more important. How will all this affect a future romance or marriage? Or is there someone already in the picture?
There isn't. Where is the time? So in a way you can be called Lucky - No Time For Love. And what do you think will happen when the time comes?
Things are going to be complicated! We will have to ensure that motives are above-board when someone approaches us. What are your own preferences in music?
Mujhe ghazalon se sabse zyaada pyar hai. I also love old film songs. Among singers, Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan are my favourites. What do you feel you have learned from the judges and from Raju Singh, who was guiding all of you behind the scenes?
The maximum help and guidance came from Raju Singh-ji. He would actually watch all the episodes for our sake, so that he could note down what the judges wanted from all of us and how we were faring. He would lecture and teach us all on the fine points, especially about putting in feelings and expressions. In all the talent search competitions, the general preference is for old songs. But in Indian Idol there was an out-and-out majority of new songs. Was this deliberate?
Firstly, I do not think that new songs are lacking in any way. Depth and gaayaki are there in songs even today. I think that it is very important to keep in step with the times. We chose more of new songs because the public was going to vote and it was important that everyone was familiar with songs to judge the singing properly, for if you are not familiar with a song you cannot tell how well someone is singing it. It was important also for everyone to identify with the songs, and so we tried to keep them popular and peppy. Your album Aap Ka...Abhijeet Sawant has a mixed lot of original tracks, and one remix - the title song of the film Dream Girl. Is this song your favourite?
It has become my favourite now. This was the song I chose from among those offered to all of us for the Indian Idol album. I have sung it in my own style, in the way Leslie Lewis has visualized it. Can I be candid? When you had reached among the top ten finalists, did you personally think anyone specific would be the Indian Idol, if you did not?
Well, all of us were very good, so actually it could have been just about any one of us. That's a diplomatic rather than candid reply! You also ruffled feathers in the episode wherein Rahul Vaidya was eliminated by stating that he deserved to be the Indian Idol.
(Shrugs). Yes, I know I did. But it was more of an emotional reaction. People perceived it as an insult to the judgement of the voters, but it wasn't meant to belittle either the voters' support for me or to pull down Amit. Actually you proved to be quite the dark horse. Very few thought of you as a serious contender amidst the competition. Suddenly, in the last five episodes we saw a dramatically progressive improvement, and almost every time you were singing better than the others. Do you agree with this, and if so, what is the explanation?
I decided to give a lot of importance to what the judges said, and to the fact that I was coming in the bottom three. I thought about everything and came to the conclusion that it was wrong on my part to assume that only the fast songs worked. Yes, fast songs did attract, but they did not necessarily earn votes, especially if they did not suit my voice. The first song I sang after this was 'Kar chale hum fida...' from Haqeeqat, and it was very well received. That's when I realized that my first priority in choosing a song should be that the lyrics were good. Next came its popularity and the fact that it should touch the heart of those who heard me sing. Finally, it was important to exhibit my range, so I chose 'Dil kya kare...' from Julie next.

You obviously put in a lot of thought here. What else do you think mattered? Prayers? You were televised going to Siddhivinayaka Temple.
I do believe a lot in Ganpati, and I did thank him for his blessings after I won. But I observed one more thing: as we moved towards the finale, I saw most of the others getting tenser with each successive episode, maybe because winning had become all important for them. I never saw any point in it because I knew that I would win only if I was destined

 to. I progressively became more and more relaxed.

I also thought that being on TV is akin to having a

conversation with millions of people as the

 camera makes them see your face from up close.

If my face had exhibited

tension and nervousness, it would have distracted

people from listening to what

I was singing as they would automatically focus on my

 face and sense my

tension. My philosophical outlook helped me cope and

make a good impression.

And have you recorded any song yet for films?
Not yet, but that will happen soon.

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II&HP fan Senior Member
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Joined: 31 March 2005
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Posted: 25 April 2005 at 12:23am | IP Logged
Wow! Thanx for the interview!  Smile
Mysterygirl_me IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 25 April 2005 at 4:16am | IP Logged
Thankx...!!!The interview is simply GR8...!!!Smile
snowflakes Groupbie
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Joined: 15 April 2005
Posts: 146

Posted: 25 April 2005 at 7:03am | IP Logged
 nice interview!Smile
s-sarah Groupbie
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Posts: 58

Posted: 27 April 2005 at 3:11am | IP Logged
Hey,

THanks alooooooooooooooot for Abhijeet's Interview,

Clap
cuterawan Groupbie
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Joined: 27 April 2005
Posts: 58

Posted: 28 April 2005 at 8:10am | IP Logged
i wish i cud too!!!!!! gr8 interview, i wish he remains sweet and humble all his life, i wish we could listen as well as see him for a really really long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all my best wishes for him , for a really bright future for the next 100yrs or more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wink
Cherry Groupbie
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Joined: 17 February 2005
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Posted: 29 April 2005 at 5:08pm | IP Logged
Yes....thats a good one. Hopefully he will become one more SonuNigam who also did lot of hardwork and reached the position where he is now.
snowflakes Groupbie
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Posts: 146

Posted: 30 April 2005 at 2:29am | IP Logged
lets hope soooooooooo.............

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