LOS ANGELES, CA - The music echoing from the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles on the warm summer evening, was for a cause. Each note, each tune was set to go toward helping educate a child in India. The music notes were those of Arijit Singh and the enabler of the noble cause was Pratham USA....
Arijit hails from a family with a musical background and is a trained classical singer who has found great fame via Bollywood movies. He was among the top six contestants in the reality TV show Fame Gurukul and became an assistant to music director Pritam soon after.
When at 8:30pm, two and a half hours too late, when the strings of the guitar were plucked, it immediately struck a cord in every heart. The song which has sent him catapulting to fame, “Hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte…tere bina kya wajood mera,” was heard. The screaming audience almost lost their own wajood!
For the next two hours the ‘young and restless’ crowd was one with the singer as he apologetically, soothed their hearts singing songs from the film Ashiqui to the very popular number Kabiraa. “I will sing my heart, body and soul out for you all,” he said. His magic worked. They sang along, they danced, they applauded, and they were truly captivated.
Arijit has many favorite songs, but he confesses, “I love Phir Le Aaya Dil because while singing I remembered the idols I have been worshipping for ages now — Ghulam Ali Sahab, Jagjit Singh and Mehdi Sahab — because they are the ones who actually inspired me to sing these kinds of songs. I just copy these artistes’ singing style.”
The rising singer has a distinct style. Usually love songs, his notes rise high and strike true with lyrics that speak to the emotional heart, creating for the listener beautiful moments of poignancy. The magic is probably created as Arijit says he composes only for himself, “I write my own lyrics and compose the music around them.”
The fans, in love with his music, held hands with their love, wore t-shirts that had “ARIJIT” emblazoned on it, and screamed and shouted. They wanted more and more.
Arijit was ready to oblige. The simplicity of the artist was apparent on the plain stage that was adorned only with light effects and two back-up singers who really could have been incorporated in a more suave manner to enhance stage presence. The naturally gifted Arijit himself was tireless as he went on to belt out song after song. When asked when he does riyaz, or practice he has said, “All the time. I don’t follow a routine. I keep singing. When my voice breaks, it recovers automatically. I don’t do anything special to maintain my voice. I have a natural voice and don’t have to take care of it.” Arijit’s voice is gravely. Raw. His endings are rough and his transitions are inharmonic. But, raw has become the new sexy as ‘raw’ has come to mean ‘soulful’. ‘Raw’ means ‘emotional’. That is exactly what this super-sensation of tomorrow sounds like, “soulfully emotional”.