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Navratri's boom time for budding singers

Navratri's boom time for budding singers

Navratri is a boon for low profile artists in Gujarat who feature in thousands of garba albums released every year.

Rajkot: Seventeen-year-old singer Mahesh Solanki is nervous. He has one day and 22 songs to record and there is no way that he is going to give up on this golden chance at cutting his own garba album.

Mahesh's story started two years ago when he decided to become a garba singer.

Twice earlier he travelled all the way from his village to Rajkot. But it was only in his third attempt that he struck lucky when he met Gujarati filmmaker Savjibhai Satana, who saw a business opportunity in Mahesh's non-stop garba album.

"I have given first breaks to many artists. I am more interested in new artists as they are curious and have a lot of enthusiasm," Satana said.

Savjibhai has been producing non-stop garba albums for over 22 years. He knows that non-stop garba albums — a mixture of traditional garbas with modern beats — will do well in the market during the Navratri season.

Rajkot is seeing a boon in small town talents like Mahesh, who dream to make it big.

Everyday at least four Gujarati albums see the light of the day in Rajkot. This Navratri, more than 100 raas-garba albums will hit the market and Mahesh's will be one of them.

"Since childhood, all my neighbours, friends and parents said I could become a singer. So I am here to try my luck," Mahesh said.

"Professional singing is a lot of hard work and I have learnt a lot over the years," Mahesh added.

Once the recording is over, the album hits the market the very next day.

In an industry where albums are cut in a day, where stars shine overnight and dreams are churned out in a factory line, Mahesh and others like him certainly have a reason to sing.

first published:September 24, 2006, 10:22 IST