Tochi Raina is a singer by chance

Tochi Raina is a singer by chance

You can tell that music runs in Tochi Raina's veins - his father played the harmonium, his grandmother was a sitar player, his uncle is a renowned violin player, his brother is a composer in Malaysia and his sister has a PhD in classical music.

For the uninitiated, Tochi is the voice behind hits like 'Kabira' from 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani', 'Iktara' from 'Wake Up Sid', 'Gal Mitthi Mitthi' from 'Aisha' as well as the critically acclaimed 'Saibo' from 'Shor in the City'.

The deeply spiritual singer will enthrall the audience with his earthy, soulful vocals at the sixth edition of the 'Artist Aloud Music Awards', a Hungama property. Artist Aloud is a platform which promotes independent music. In a chat with Rajitha Menon, he talks about his journey and the one unforgettable song in his life.

Did your lineage put the bug of singing into you?

Funnily enough, I didn't really want to become a singer. I came to Mumbai with an aspiration to become a music composer. But over time, people started enjoying my voice and singing became my identity.

How has the journey been so far?

The journey has been pretty long for me. I started pursuing music from the tender age of six. Thankfully, I had my gurus, my parents and my wife Shweta to support me and guide me in my life and career.

Most memorable song in your career so far?

I love all the songs that have come my way. But my favourite is 'Saibo' from the movie 'Shor in the City'. My mother's name was Sahib Kaur and I have also named my daughter Saibo. She was born on the night I recorded the song and by the time I finished recording, I decided to name her Saibo.

What do you look for in a song?

I really appreciate good poetry in a song. I feel poetry is the essence of any composition.

You are not a fan of reality shows. Why is that?

It's not that I am not a fan of reality shows, but there are many ill-effects of getting young children to participate in such events. I have often seen that their growth is hampered due to lack of guidance at certain levels. I believe one should not be a slave of appreciation but I see this affecting the young participants quite a lot.

What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?

I generally listen to Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab, who is my 'Dada Guru'. I also listen to Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Ustad Nazakat Ali Khan, Ustad Bhure Khan Sahab as well as Pandit Mani Prasad and Pandit Vinod Kumar.

Three things about you no one knows...

I meditate 10 hours a day, I cook really well and I am also a tabla player.

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