From singing devotional songs at temples and gurudwaras in his hometown Ayodhya to becoming the winner of Indian Idol 13, singer Rishi Singh has come a long way.
The 19-year-old untrained singer, a third year aviation management student at a Dehradun institute, hopes to “slowly and steadily” make his mark as a musician. Singh clinched the coveted title of “Indian Idol” season 13, a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, and a car on Sunday night, besting co-contestants Debasmita Roy from Kolkata and Jammu’s Chirag Kotwal. While music was always a part of his childhood, his singing was limited to devotional songs, he said.
“The start was very normal, it was not like I was a musician. I have been into bhakti music since the age of seven. I would do kirtans and satsangs (devotional singing). There was no such thing as a stage.
“It was a different zone altogether. To sing a Bollywood song on a stage for the first time… I got to do that when I came here (‘Indian Idol 13′). I felt like a professional,” Singh told PTI in a virtual interview.
The young singer, who was one of the frontrunners for the trophy, said he participated in local competitions to hone his skills. “My music has always been with me. I have learnt a lot over the years. I want to slowly and steadily move upwards and most importantly, enjoy music,” he added.
Singh said he closely followed contestants from previous seasons of the singing reality show on Sony Entertainment Television to prepare for his stint in Indian Idol 13, which had Vishal Dadlani, Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya on the jury panel.
“Gradually, I learnt things how an artist should be,” said the singer, who released his first single Ilteja Meri a few months before Indian Idol 13 aired in September 2022.
Singh was a popular contestant on the talent hunt series with fans in Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who sent him a direct message on Instagram, praising the budding artist.In one of the episodes of “Indian Idol 13”, filmmaker Rakesh Roshan called up his superstar-son Hrithik Roshan, who is a huge fan of the singer.
The War actor had also said he would love for Singh to do playback for him in a movie. Singh had never imagined his singing would be able to capture the attention of these stalwarts, he said, adding, his sole aim was to give his 100 per cent as a singer.
“I never thought this thing was even possible because to be in contact with these people is very difficult,” the singer, who has garnered over 896,000 followers on Instagram, said.
“I was on a stage where we all had to give our 100 per cent and prove ourselves, and when they say they liked the performance, it felt good. What Hrithik sir said… it all feels like a big achievement,” he added. Upon his win, Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Singh’s home state Uttar Pradesh, also put out a tweet congratulating the singer.
“I am grateful to receive so much love and support from everyone who followed this season, listened to the songs, complimented me and shared their comments on social media. It all feels good,” Singh added. The 13th edition of Indian Idol hosted multi-city on-ground auditions in 11 cities after a gap of two years. The recently-concluded season went on air last year with 12 contestants. The elimination process began after four weeks, with six contestants, including Bidipta Chakraborty, Sonakshi Karwere, and Shivam Singh, making it to the finals. Singh said he went blank when he was announced as the winner.
“There was nervousness, I was shivering… The moment I was declared as the winner, I went blank and didn’t know what to say. Then, I looked at my parents and thought ‘I am making them proud’ and I was very happy to see them happy,” he recalled.
Singh, who had revealed that he is an adopted child of Rajendra Singh, a government employee, and homemaker Anjali Singh in one of the show’s episodes, said he is grateful for his family’s support. “I had faith in myself. A lot of people, including my parents and relatives, encouraged me. I wanted to stay away from a (conventional) job. Despite that, my family supported me in my musical career,” he said. “I got to learn a lot on this journey. I want to tread carefully, enjoy my music, and hope to bring something new for people,” he added. Going forward, Singh plans to create original songs and use the prize money to further his musical journey.
“There are international shows that we are doing for Indian Idol, so everyone will perform there. Besides, we will work to create original music. I will spend this money on music. There are many aspects of music that I want to explore,” he added.