The popular boy from Punjab
In conversation with Guru Randhawa, who will be making his television debut with &TV’s Love Me India, a live singing reality show for children, as a judge.
Guru Randhawa isn’t just a popular Bollywood musician and singer. He is also the most viewed independent Indian artist on YouTube and yet he likes to be called ‘a small town boy’. After creating waves in the digital space with singles like Patola, High Rated Gabru, Lahore and so on, and creating a place for himself in Bollywood music, Guru is all set to make his television debut with &TV’s Love Me India, a live singing reality show for children. The Suit Suit singer will be donning the judge’s hat along with Neha Bhasin and Himesh Reshammiya on the panel. Touted to be India’s first ever live singing reality show for kids, Love Me India airs tonight at 9 pm and will be telecast on Saturdays and Sundays.
Talking about his television debut and judging the reality show, Guru says that he feels elated being a part of Love Me India. “I have always maintained and believed that India has a lot of hidden talent. The concept of the show is unique where the audience gets to vote for the contestants live. I think the show will inspire new singing talents and I am really looking forward to discovering some of the best talent that India has to offer,” says Guru who is the only Indian to secure a spot on Billboard Top 25 songs for his single Lahore.
Over the past two decades, TV channels have been launching music reality shows which somewhat have the same format. Ask him what makes this show so unique and Guru says that it is up to the audience to watch the show and decide. However, the singer-songwriter says that the training, guidance and mentorship that the children will get on the show will teach them the nuances of singing and music. “The aim is not just to give them a platform but also to create a superstar like never before. We want to provide them the kind of training that will help them create music, compose a song and sing as well. That said, creating a song is not easy. Likewise judging talent is also a huge responsibility — we want to ensure that whoever wins knows all aspects of music and singing, is dynamic and deserves the title,” adds Guru.
The Raat Kamal Hai singer says although reality shows do provide a platform and exposure for talent and help artists become a household name, the real journey begins after winning the show.
Sharing his success formula, he says, “Being humble, not forgetting your roots, working hard without obsessing over how much you’ll gain and being grateful to your parents and god will take you places. Every artist who makes it big shouldn’t become complacent or take things for granted. Your hard work and thirst to learn will continue to get you more work. A lot of time it may happen that after a chartbuster, your next song may not do well, but that doesn’t mean you get disheartened and stop working. Brace yourself up, start afresh and create a new song with all your heart.”
He believes that artists need to be responsible about what content they put out and how it impacts the youth of the country. “You will not find glorification of alcohol or drugs in my lyrics and videos. It is meant for all and you can listen to the songs and watch videos with your parents and kids without feeling uncomfortable. The lyrics are simple and straight, and I don’t mean to use double meaning lines. Youngsters are influenced by what singers and actors do, so we have to be mindful about what we are creating and catering to our audience.”
Guru, who has recently recorded Tamil songs, says he would love to compose for other regional languages too. About the independent music scene in India, he says if an artist has talent, his/ her work will not go unnoticed mostly because of technology and the audience’s easy access to the internet. “Anything that is free and accessible is being watched by all. I’m born because of YouTube. Of course later, I was signed by T-series and filmmakers in Bollywood, but I began my journey in the digital space. Today, everyone has a smartphone and internet, so if your content is good and unique, you will gain popularity,” he shares.
Guru has consciously stayed away from remixes and believes that one needn’t play with songs that have beautiful memories associated with them. “Musicians and singers must create new numbers that are relevant to the present time instead of changing the feel of such classic numbers. I was listening to Sandese Aate Hai, which was beautiful back in 1997, is beautiful today and will remain melodious and beautiful even after 20 years,” he concludes.