I am just enjoying the moment and letting the feeling sink in,” says Hemant Brijwasi, the winner of Rising Star 2, a reality talent show on Colors. After competing with finalists Rohanpreet Singh and Vishnumaya, the Mathura boy was declared winner on Sunday. He says, “I am excited and at the same time I am wondering ‘what’s next’? The love and blessings that I have received from people cannot be measured. It’s such a great feeling to get so much love at such a young age. It is a big deal for me. With that love also comes a lot of responsibility. There is pressure to live up to that expectation.”
The singer says that among the finalists, Vishnumaya was his toughest competitor on the show. “He is a versatile singer,” adds Hemant.
Ask him about his experience of being on the show and he says, “We just talked about music. The environment was musical and we got to learn so much.”
Not many remember that Hemant was also the winner of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs 2009. But he says that his winning the previous show didn’t help him in this one. “I was just 11 years old then and was bindaas. When you are young, you are not scared. On this show, Zaid Ali, who was the youngest of the lot, wasn’t nervous at all. But I used to be scared before my performances and kept trembling.”
The singer, who has also sung in Vishal-Shekhar’s music direction in Arjun - The Warrior Prince and Singh Sahab — besides many TV commercials — says that he wants to be like universally loved musician and singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. “He was god because he was so different. Even after 25 years, youngsters still listen and sing his compositions. He was a legend. He is remembered even after his death. Similarly, I want people to remember me even after I am gone.”
The contestants were guided by Monali Thakur, Shankar Mahadevan and Diljit Dosanjh. Hemant says that he has sung in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s next Bollywood project Soorma along with the Akhtar Brothers. “The lyrics were written by Gulzar saheb. He had come to the studio to hear me. I can’t forget that feeling. In fact, when I recited one of his poems, he remarked, ‘you have sung well’.