The Star (Nairobi)

31 January 2013

Kenya: Up-Close and Candid With Mika Singh

Mika Singh, popularly known as the 'Badmash' (bad man) of Bollywood recently visited Nairobi and gave a spectacular concert. Brought in by Ranee Productions, the concert was a huge success with Mika performing non-stop on stage for three hours, backed up by a live band and dancers.

The revellers at the Carnivore grounds were treated to his greatest hits as they sang along and danced with him. The Star Bollywood team caught up with Mika Singh and had a bit of a tete-a-tete.

Is this your first time to perform in Kenya?

Yes it is my first concert here. I've been here before for a private show but I was very excited to be performing to an audience who is known to party.

You are often referred to Badmash. Is this something you have cultivated? What brought about this label?

Honestly speaking, I didn't give myself that name, it just happened. My heart is clean but sometimes my actions are a bit naughty.

(He says this with a slight grin.) So what happens is people give names and somehow the name just remains. I do not do anything to justify that name.

I'm a very simple guy. Controversy seems to follow me everywhere, I don't go looking for it. My image may be that of a bad boy but I'm good at heart.

Also who would give me work and live stage shows if they thought I was bad? I sing at weddings too and if people didn't feel I was respectable or good do you think they would ask me to sing at their functions?

What is the key to your success? You are liked by all age groups, your songs are very popular.

The thing is I am very multi-faced. With my family I am someone else, with my fans and with my friends, I am someone else. I adapt to situations and people very quickly.

Also the songs that I sing are, as you must have noticed, are not just of one genre. I sing all types of songs and try and appeal to the vast demanding audiences everywhere.

You are not the only famous personality in your family.

A lot of people think that famous personalities in families cannot co-exist but my brother Daler Mehndi has taught me one thing and that is I should have a unique identity.

You will notice that I don't dress like him and I'm not called Mika Mehndi. He is like a father figure to me and we get along very well. There is always rumours about our relationship but I know what my relationship with my brother is.

Earlier you mentioned about singing at weddings. How is that experience compared to stage shows and playback singing?

I'm more on my toes at weddings than on my shows because weddings are really special and the couple have chosen me to make their day even more special. So that it can remain memorable forever, I try very hard to give something different in terms of performance.

You are soon to launch a product. Tell us about it.

Yes! I'm in the process of launching my branded headphones 'Rhythm by Mika'. They are state of the art speaker headphones and are Bluetooth enabled so no wires. It's all wireless technology. I'm quite pleased with the way things are shaping up with that.

Do you have a message for your fans here?

Definitely. I have been very warmly welcomed and it is a pleasure to be here. Listen to my music because to me that is the greatest love of all.

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