Even if The Social Dilemma has scared us out of our wits, not everything that comes out of social media has to be bad. This is especially true in cases where every once in a while, social media discovers a rare talent that people had been missing out on. For India, this new talent is Saurav Kishan, whose rendition of music legend Mohammed Rafi’s song Teri Aankhon Ke Siva went viral. Not only was Saurav an amazing singer, his uncanny resemblance to the music legend in terms of voice texture and quality, left Twitter amused.
Industrialist Anand Mahindra shared the video and said that he has been waiting for decades “for a new Mohammed Rafi," and couldn’t stop listening to the clip. Music composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan too, was full of praise for Saurav. “Look at this talent !! What a voice ! So happy to hear him sing like this !!" he wrote.
We have been waiting for decades for a new Mohammed Rafi. It sounds as if we may have to wait no longer… I couldn’t switch this clip off… https://t.co/QhM3koPlVE— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) September 12, 2020
When asked about his reaction to the love he has been receiving online, the 23-year-old gushed, “I am so surprised. This is like my dream coming true.”
Saurav has been singing from a very young age. Locally known as Chota Rafi, the singer has been popular in his hometown of Kozhikode in Kerala.
He said, “I started singing when I was three and a half year old, and I participated in a reality show called Gandharva Sangeetham. There was a judge called Johnson Master, who was a leading music director in the Malayalam industry. He told me to concentrate on Mohammed Rafi Sahab. I have done lots of ‘Rafi Nights’ in Calicut."
He added, “I got this tag (Chota Rafi) from Johnson Master. But I am nothing in front of Mohammed Rafi sir. I just need to do 100% justice to his songs."
While his flair for Mohammed Rafi songs comes naturally, a lot of hard work has gone behind him perfecting his niche.
“I know around 800 songs of Mohammed Rafi Sahab, by heart. I prepared by watching his videos, so that I can get his emotion and his vocal texture. I just listen to him and also sing with him, so that I can understand if there is any mistake. I record it and play it myself, and keep experimenting like that."
He continued, “I actually started putting songs online during when the Covid-19 outbreak happened. I started putting my videos online. Otherwise, when there was no Covid, I used to do live concerts on stage, and then I didn’t have any time to take videos and to put it online.”
One of the earliest fans of Saurav’s work was Rafi’s eldest son Shahid Rafi. The two had a chance encounter at an event where the latter was surprised by the young singer’s talent.
“It was like a dream come true as I was actually seeing Rafi Sahab in him. I met him at a marriage function. He was singing ‘Badi Door Se Aaye Hain’ (from Samjhauta) and after his song it was my turn. So, I sang ‘Aane Se Uske Aaye Bahaar’ (from Jeene Ki Raah). After that he appreciated me. Like that we came to know each other. We still keep in touch," Saurav gushed.
Even though he is a master at Rafi songs, Saurav doesn’t discriminate when it comes to music genres. " I love music and there is nothing to differentiate. I listen to everything, even Chinese music. I am pursuing my MBBS in China, so I connected with people there, so I can learn their instruments and their vocal texture. It is so sweet to listen to them."
While he is in his fifth year of MBBS, his heart lies in music.
“I want to experiment in music. I want to collaborate with famous music directors, which is my dream. I am praying to God everyday for that to happen," he signed off.