Indian Music has had very few real performers. We are a nation of playback singers basically. So, when someone comes with a different set of character, people look up. Years ago, our family was huddled around the TV watching Doordarshan (Indian state TV channel) watching the morning show. A young man came and sang a Punjabi song with a “Daphli” (drum) in his hand and Punjabi attire. Tall and handsome the guy had a nice voice and, most importantly, a GREAT ATTITUDE! By the time he finished his song, my father exclaimed “Mark this guy.. one day he will be very famous!”. My father died a couple of years after that, but the young man – Gurdaas Mann – lived upto his expectations! Personally, I saw that spark iin Suhit. He needs grooming but he brings a breath of fresh air when he performs. Though he did not make it to the final 13, I believe his presence is very interesting and his swagger exciting. But then all you need to know about awards in music is that Mozart never won one!
Here is an interview with him where he shows the many facets to his personality!
1. Suhit, lets start from the beginning, what was your first inspiration into the world of music?
My first inspiration into the world of music is definitely my parents. Both my mom and my dad are singers and so they have always created a very good atmosphere of music at home, which really pulled my interest, gradually, towards music. My sister is the one who showed me the way towards western music, especially metal.
2. Growing up in India, specifically in a professionally oriented family, the pressure for studies at the expense of your interests, is often very high. Did you face it too? How did you work around it?
Yes, I had to face a certain amount of pressure for studies at the expense of my interests but the kind of explanation my parents gave, I was also in agreement with their point of view. Since Indian Idol 3 happened to me and I got an opportunity to exhibit my talent, now it is easier for me to plan and initiate steps to pursue this interest more seriously.
3. You were a star performer at the Indian Idol 3, with a huge following. What would you rate your biggest strengths in terms of both, performing and singing? What is your sweet spot when it comes to singing?
Well I must say that I never ever rehearsed my choreography in front of the mirror. My performance has always been very natural on stage and that is my biggest strength in terms of performing. As far as singing is concerned, my strong point is my feel, the expressions I try to portray through the song. I may not be technically perfect but I always tried to touch peoples’ hearts.
4. You were with some incredibly gifted singers and performers for a long time, what were some of your most memorable moments? Who amongst the finalists were you closest to?
There are many memorable moments during this journey.
After the last Theatre Round, Annu ji addressed the 28 finalists and stated, You are now no more contestants, but artistes”. It gave us such a high and simultaneously made us feel humble. After the result of the last Piano Round (before wild card) was announced, Swapnali M’am, our music teacher started crying while chatting with me. I was so touched.
There are many more such emotional moments, but let me share a ‘secret’. All boys (14 finalists) at Indian Idol 3 had amazing bonding. All of us were never allowed to see our own episodes on TV and so the cables were removed from all the rooms but some how we managed to stretch out the cable-end out of the wall and used our thumb nails to connect it to TV. All of us used to watch our performances turn by turn letting no one else know about it. I remember these moments very fondly because of the innocent thrill involved. Padmanav is and will always be my all time best friend among the finalists. He has a gifted voice and an amazing soul. I am also quite close to Chang.
5. Among the 3 who made to the final shortlist, jusges rated Padmanav as the best singer, you as the best performer, and Ankita as the best combination of both performing and singing. And then they chose Ankita. If you were one of the judges, how would you have evaluated all the three?
If I were a judge, I would have considered Padmanav as the best singer, Ankita as the best performer and Suhit as the combination of both. I think Ankita was any time a better performer than me but technically her singing has been off-key. I had bad days but pretty good days in singing as well and so I will surely give myself more points in the singing department. However, I hasten to add that full credit to Ankita and complete respect for the Judges’ decision – they all are doyens of the Music industry.
6. Among the 3 judges, Mr. Javed Akhtar was most critical of you in the end. What is your view of his criticism?
I have always appreciated his decision and criticism for my singing but I would have to say that in some of my performances where other judges appreciated me, he had been a bit rude by using certain similes where it was not required especially in some of my performances where even Annu Maleik ji appreciated my singing & sur. I used to feel bad only at that moment because afterwards I used to take it as a challenge to prove him wrong with a better performance.
7. Every successful celebrity and artist is a brand unto him/herself. A brand which can be defined with certain characteristics and what it has to offer. How would you define “Suhit Gosain” as a brand? What is Suhit, the brand’s tag line?
While I sincerely thank all the people who have showered their love on me because of Indian Idol exposure, I do not consider myself a celebrity- at least not as yet. Having said that, I will like to be defined as a cool guy with an attitude & my tag line would be I-can-do-it & Impossible-is-possible.
8. Name two Indian and two global music personalities whom you admire the most and why?
From India I really admire Kishore da because of his deep, sonorous voice and his expressive way of singing and A R Rehman who proved himself so talented that his style of bollywood music is appreciated globally. Among the global music personalities I would surely say Kurt Kobain (Nirvana vocalist) because of his attitude and his unique approach towards music and James Hetfield from Metallica as he is a legend and his music gives me a certain high.
9. Share something about your various talents that most people do not know of. Is the Dude singer all that you have to yourself, or is there something more to Suhit?
Okay, there are many facets which I have been exploring. I like playing flute, which I do reasonably well. I love to dance and have done pretty well in school dance competitions and went till Boogie Woogie prelims (a dance competition on sony entertainment television) a few years ago. I learnt Salsa. I love riding the skate board and do roller blading. I am good at learning languges. I did basic courses in French & Japanese.
10. Every artist is a very sensitive person, which lend the artists to respond to the world around with some concern and compassion. Is there some issue that is close to your heart as well? Music is your passion, but what brings out your compassion?
Treating the senior citizens with dignity and caring for them. After all they are the ones who brought us up with care and love and in their old age, the least we can do is reciprocate. They are our living Gods. I feel really hurt when I see incidents around me where people neglect their parents/ grandparents in their old age. Though it is very personal to me, viewers did see my bonding with my Dadiji in one of the video-clips. I feel privileged to be born in a family where family-ties and caring for elders is considered a pious virtue.
11. Where does Suhit go from here? What are your future plans?
I wish to form a professional band and release a project with Padmanav. I would love to do modeling or anchoring stuff on some TV shows if I get an opportunity. This will be for the media world. I will definitely concentrate on my further studies and do my MBA and gain some work experience to secure my future.
12. Do you have a site which you call “home” on the net where your friends and admirers can meet and interact with you?
Yes it’s orkut of course where I chat with all my friends and try to interact with all those people who liked me on the show. I will soon be creating my ‘home’ website.
13. Finally, if you had to bet on one person amongst the top 12 finalists today, who do you see as the Indian Idol 3?
I wish Chang wins this competition because he has an awesome, soothing voice and he is a very nice human being.