Avijit’s guidance and Sadiq’s motivation behind my success, says Kerman

By Kersi Meher-Homji

An Avijit Sarkar concert appeals to us in many ways. It takes us back to our youthful years, nostalgia unlimited. You come home not only humming old tunes but also richer in your knowledge on legendary singers and composers.

During his concert in Sydney last month, Avijit not only conducted music of composers Laxmikant and Pyarelal but also gave us nuggets of information on the famous duo. I am still humming Ek pyaar ka nagma haiSawan ka mahina pawan kare sorHasta hua nurani chehra… not to forget the comical duet Hum tum kamre me bandh ho, aur chaabi kho jaye

In the past The Indian Down Under had the pleasure to interview stars of the Natraj Academy; Lata Mangeshkar-like singer Pushpa Jagadish, Sadiq Rehmani on guitar, Abhijit Dan on tabla and crooner Srijani Dan among other talented musicians.

In the recent concert I was impressed by singer Kerman Mistry’s versatility, especially his duet with Sumedha Manjure: Naa Chaahoon Sonaa Chaandi from the movie Bobby. Kerman hails from Surat and is an IT developer, holding the degree of MCA (Master of Computer Applications).

Below is my interview with Kerman Mistry:

How long have you been singing in concerts?
Kerman: The earliest I can remember is singing prayers in school assembly in a group. Later in my college days, graduation as well as post-graduation, I had a few opportunities to sing solos in competitions as well as in annual college functions. I was fortunate to be selected to represent my college for a group performance on All India Radio. After college the music scene in my life got quite dull, until I joined the Natraj Academy in 2013, after migrating to Australia in 2005. The first time I sang in Sydney was in Natraj Academy’s concert in December 2013. Since then, I have been lucky enough to be selected to sing every year in our annual concerts.
How long do you practice, rehearse before a concert? 

Kerman: The preparation starts months before the concert. After the theme of the concert is decided, the preparation starts with the selection of songs, the duet partner and the chorus teams. By having an emotional connection and soaking in the intricacies of each song, I am able to feel confident on stage and enjoy my performances. The key is to keep listening to the songs in little bursts everyday and when possible, watch the movies related to the songs. On the concert day, I like to take it easy. I make sure I have a good night’s sleep. I do some vocal exercises in the morning in the lower octave. I warm up my voice later in the afternoon and just before the performance.

Does Avijit tutor each of his students in the Natraj Academy?

Kerman: It’s not a one-on-one class, however the environment is quite informal, so each one of us gets a chance to seek advice when in doubt. Avijit Sir does a wonderful job in guiding/mentoring us to develop our skills in singing, rhythm, stage presence and improve our riyaz regimes.

Please mention the melodies you sang solo or as duet in the July 2019 concert. Who did you sing with?
Kerman: My Solo was Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar  first sung by Mohammad Rafi in the movie Karz. My duet was with Sumedha Manjure when we sang ‘Naa Chaahoon Sonaa Chaandi’ originally sung by Manna Dey, Shailendra Singh and Lata Mangeshkar in the movie Bobby.
Were you coached in singing when a student?
Kerman: During my college days in India in 1991, I joined a music class to learn classical music and passed the government Prarambhik exam for eight ragas with distinction. After that, I stopped pursuing classical music until I joined the Natraj Academy in 2013 in Sydney, where I rediscovered my love for music.
Does music run in your family?
Kerman: Not really. Apart from my cousin Avan Patel, who is an excellent, self-taught singer, no one else in my family sings on stage. My mum and dad have always encouraged me to pursue my love for singing. My wife Pervin, is my biggest critic, yet my number one supporter.  My children, Freeya and Jehan, though not quite familiar with Hindi songs or movies, have always supported me.
Your favourite singers? Who inspired / motivated you?
Kerman: In India during my college years, I was introduced to ghazals by my uncle and aunt Homi and Dolly Vakil. They gifted me their entire ghazal collection, which was on cassette tapes back in those days. This contributed immensely towards my liking for ghazals. One of my best friends, Shakil Farooqui who is a very good singer, was a big factor in developing my interest in Bollywood songs. My favourite singer has always been Jagjit Singh. I also love to listen and sing ghazals by Mehndi Hasan, Ghulam Ali and Hariharan. On the Bollywood side, I am inspired by Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Talat Mehmood and Manna Dey and have rendered many of their songs on stage. It has been a lot of years of learning and practice to be able to sing the way I do now. This has been possible owing to Avijit Sir’s outstanding guidance, Sadiqbhai’s (Sadiq Rehmani’s) relentless motivation, support and tips on singing on and off stage and also consistent feedback from a few of my fellow singers/friends at the academy. I’m very grateful to them all and consider myself very lucky to have such a fantastic support team around me.
Any other hobbies?  
Kerman: I enjoy playing table tennis.  
Thank you crooner Kerman, we at The Indian Down Under wish you greater success.

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Posted by on Aug 6 2019. Filed under Bollywood, Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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