Singing his way to the top

Singing his way to the top


In the not too distant past, Hindi film music world had a line-up of stalwarts including Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi. However, their departure  from the film music scenario had left fans wondering if there would ever be anyone to fit into their shoes?

The industry has always managed to procure talent by the dozen. Off the top of one’s head, one can name Abhijeet, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy or even newer singers such as Mohit Chauhan, Javed Ali and Anusha Mani. The latest addition to this bandwagon is Keerthi Sagathia. This young singer from Mumbai is in much demand of late, all thanks to the hits he has churned out in the recent past. Be it Nakkadwale disco udhaarwale khisko, Sweety sweety tera pyar and I hate you (like I love you) (Delhi Belly) or Beera beera (Raavan), Keerthi has sung them all.

“I come from a musical family with a humble background. I cannot forget my roots. Right from my childhood, I have been listening to my grandparents singing bhajans at home. My father is a well-established Gujarati folk singer. I have always been surrounded by good music,” says Keerthi. His father Karsan Sagathia, apart from being a well-known Gujarati folk singer, also has a number of Bollywood hits to his credit — Dholi taro and Nimbooda nimbooda from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, to name a few. “My father was my first music guru. I used to watch him record various songs,” remembers Keerthi. Keerthi underwent professional music training and stresses on the importance of the same by adding, “When you know your music, you can play around with the nuances of music and sing all kinds of songs.”

Keerthi’s initial days were spent singing jingles which introduced him to a new genre, a far cry from the folk songs he was singing earlier. This phase in his career also helped him establish contacts with industry bigwigs. It was not enough to just know big names. Keerthi had to knock on many doors and face rejection along the way. “Sometimes, I used to feel that there are certain groups of people who are tagged with certain music directors and that opportunities would always go to them,” he says, talking about favouritism in the industry.

Things changed when Ranjit Bharot introduced Keerthi to A R Rahman. “He heard me sing and I got the opportunity to sing Maiya maiya in Guru,” says the singer. He got another opportunity to meet Rahman at the latter’s recording studio in Chennai, where he was also introduced to Mani Ratnam. “We had a discussion and before I knew it, I was singing Beera beera for Raavan,” explains Keerthi

Keerthi got another big break with three songs in Delhi Belly, which helped him consolidate his position in the industry as all of them turned out to be big hits. “Working in an Aamir Khan Production is like a dream come true for any artiste.  When Aamir Khan heard the song, I hate you (like I love you), he immediately liked it and wanted to feature himself in it. He has always acknowledged my singing in the film, which at this stage of my career, means a lot,” says a beaming Keerthi.

Post Delhi Belly, the singer feels that the biggest change is in people’s perception of him as a singer. He is quick to add,    “I am far from where I actually want to be, and I have to work harder to get there.”

Keerthi yearns to be just as effortless a singer as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Considering the pace at which he is progressing, that day does not seem too far.

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