On August 15, Pawandeep Rajan raced ahead of Arunita Kanjilal, Sayli Kamble, Mohd. Danish, Nihal Tauro, and Shanmukhapriya to become the winner of Indian Idol 12. The top 6 entertained the audience for not just 2-3 hours but for 12 hours non-stop. Fans had pinned their hopes on Pawandeep and he surely didn't disappoint. Hailing from Champawat in Uttarakhand, Pawandeep was an all-rounder who mesmerised the judges- Neha Kakkar (replaced by sister Sonu Kakkar), Vishal Dadlani (replaced by Anu Malik) and Himesh Reshammiya. Before Indian Idol 12, Pawandeep won The Voice in 2015.
The singer impressed Karan Johar during his visit to the show. The filmmaker in return offered him a song in a Dharma Productions film. In fact, Pawandeep and his Indian Idol 12 co-contestant Arunita Kanjilal were formally launched by judge Himesh with the song Terii Umeed from the album Himesh Ke Dil Se. Way to go, Pawandeep! Now, as Pawandeep is on cloud nine post his Indian Idol 12 win, PeepingMoon.com got in touch with him.
Talking to us, Pawandeep shared his plan of buying a house in Mumbai, setting up a studio and mainly, visiting Kedarnath with his Indian Idol 12 co-contestants who are like family to him. He further reacted to his love angle with Arunita and said it doesn't bother him at all. He expressed his desire to set up a music academy and a studio in his hometown with Rs 25 lacs winning amount for aspiring young singers.
Excerpts from the interview:
How surreal does it feel to win Indian Idol 12 after almost 10 months on set?
The feeling is ineffable. I am overwhelmed by the love and support received from the audience who voted for me. I never thought I'll be declared the winner. Till the very last moment, I was unsure since my contemporaries were exceptionally talented. Singing and sharing the stage with them was an honour.
You come from Uttarakhand's Champawat district. Are you planning to start some initiatives to motivate aspiring singers?
I would like to use the winning amount- Rs 25 lacs- to open a school in Champawat. I want to give children a chance to learn different musical instruments of their choice. Be it, guitar or harmonium, they also should get a chance to perfect their skills. I want to motivate them and encourage them to excel in the field of music and give them the confidence that they can conquer the world with music too. I would also like to set up a recording studio where young singers can get the first-hand experience of making music.
In 2015, you won The Voice. With your Indian Idol 12 win, does entry in Bollywood seem easy?
Nothing is easy. I'll try to sing for Bollywood films. It will be of great honour for a small-town boy like me to sing in a big Bollywood film. Joh bhi pehla kaam mile, use acche se karna chahunga.
You did a music video with Himesh Reshammiya. Did the exposure boost your confidence?
I learnt a lot from Himesh sir during the shoot of the song. He is a legend. Jis music director ke gaane sunke aap bade hue hai aur unke hi studio mein gaane ka mauka mila hai, toh confidence boost hota hai. Working with him was like a masterclass in music. Let's see what the future has in store for me.
Did the love angle with Arunita Kanjilal bother you after a certain point?
Not at all. Arunita and I are good friends. Indian Idol 12 started with around 15-16 singers and we all are very close to each other.
You were diagnosed with COVID-19. Was it difficult to get back to singing as the virus directly affects your lungs and breathing?
I wasn't keeping well, I had body ache too. It wasn't difficult to get back to singing kyunki mujhe lagta hai singers ki normally saans jyada rehti hai toh breathing problem nahi hota (laughs). Lekin, awaaz mein thakawat thi par dimaag mein nahi. I took COVID-19 lightly and was determined to return to stage stronger. Sharir se thaka tha lekin dimag aur dil mein yehi tha ki gaana toh gana hai.
Indian Idol 12 judges were criticised for not giving constructive feedback on camera. Did they personally guide you behind the scene?
Yes, they would often guide us. They would give us honest feedback. If you are always praised, there is no room left for improvement. Kamiya pata honi chahiye. We would take their feedback positively and work on our weak areas. We would always try to give our best.
There are very few singers who make it big after reality shows. Will you be the one to break the record?
Honestly, I don't want to break any record. Mujhe sirf accha music banana hai. I hope gaane humesha aate rahe, voh rukna nahi chahiye. People know us for our singing, they love and support us because of that. I'll try to release a song every week. Janta pyaar deti aa rahi hai toh unka khyal bhi rakhna hai.
What’s your plan after winning Indian Idol 12?
Ab Kedarnath jayenge ghumne. Once I return to Mumbai, I'll buy a house for myself and set up a studio. If the COVID-19 situation permits, we'll do shows too. Ashish (Kulkarni, contestant of Indian Idol 12) and I will be composing our own songs.
If you are offered any reality show in future, will you do it?