He is a big fan of Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. His favourite genre of music is acoustic pop. And yes, he dreams of making big waves in Bollywood soon, as a Brit-Indian singer. Meet the young and effusive Akash Mehta, who works full-day in Paris as a digital project manager, as he moonlights as a singer by passion.
Of course, celebrations are in the air as Akash has just touched 3,00,000 followers on Instagram, and qualifies as a mid-tail influencer.
Quite a coup, at 23. Prod him a bit and he shakes his head, visibly baulking at the idea of turning into a full-time influencer. "My posts primarily circle fashion, food and fitness, but my social media success... I would dub that as a happy accident," laughs Akash. "My music career in 2012 trickled down to my Instagram account, the following from which continued to grow steadily when I starting to blog," he says. What sprung him to the international limelight zone was his charity single with the cricket legend Chris Gayle, for UNICEF. "Chris and I are good friends and ended up discussing music over dinner one day. That led to the making of the song 'We Heroes', and the rest is history," he shares.
Akash recorded his first venture at the famous Arcadium Studios with music producer Sam Kennedy. He was mentored by The X Factor finalist Ruth Lorenzo and produced the song 'End of Time' with her. At 23, he is also a verified Spotify artiste with a cover of Miley Cyrus's 'Wrecking Ball' reaching over 6,00,000 plays.
What about his formal training? "Honestly, I'm mostly self-taught, and this involves a lot of shower singing. However, during the past year, I've taken some intense vocal lessons conducted by a celebrity vocalist. These sessions have helped me tremendously in understanding the range and scope of my voice, and in bettering my performances," says Akash, who has sung extensively as part of A cappella group, Techtonics, during his university days in London. "Every Saturday, regardless of rain or shine we used to assemble at Portobello Road in London and sing on the streets!" he recalls.
Next is the release of his new single, 'Runaway Girl' (part of an extended play). "It is my dream to have my music played all over the world, and hopefully end up inspiring some people, too!" he says with his signature smile.