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'If you want to be at the top add quality to your experience'

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Photographs by Trupti Arekar

Sharing his life journey the exceptional television producer and director, Gajendra Singh, was in conversation with ADC’s Shaiber Raichur. The interview reveals the ups and downs in his life and the changes he has seen in the industry through the generations.

Having produced so many hit shows like Antakshri, Sare Ga Ma Pa, Surkshetra, and many more, you also grew up with Zee TV and took Indian television to an international level during the beginning years of your career. How would you describe your journey so far?
It has been a mind-blowing journey because I come from a small town called Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and never thought that I would be doing this work, leave alone succeed in it. This is a good thing that I got an opportunity to work with the legends in this industry. In India, through the medium of Antakshri, I learned a lot of things from people with whom I was working, especially Annu Kapoor and Antakshri proved to be a hit show around the world. I remember the audience used to be very excited for the show and used to sit in front of their television at 8 pm on every Friday. I thank my gurus, my parents and all the people who supported me in my journey, which was not simple. I am happy I have achieved everything I had dreamed of.

What were your career plans while you were studying?
Actually, father wanted me to be a doctor. As my uncle was an editor in Mumbai he asked me to learn editing with him. Due to some reason, I came to Mumbai in 1984 and from there my training started. I went to an institute to learn editing and during that period I learned many things and also got an opportunity to work with many legendary artists. In 1992, I got a break from Antakshri from which  I received a solid benchmark and after that it was success in whatever I did. So nothing was decided, it just happened with a flow.

You appeared in 'Limca Book of records' for making the longest running musical reality show 'Antakshri' what have you to say about it?
This happened seven to eight years back and I personally never thought that Antakshri will run so long. Normally while making any serial the maximum duration is three months but Antakshri was being telecast for 12 years. I never imagined receiving any awards and I was mad for my work. For me my award is the audience appreciating my work. So it was a proud moment for us when Antakshri appeared in 'Limca book of records'

What are your views about your academy which teaches music to those students who are interested in making a career in singing?
In the year 1994, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa happened and from that time on till now the show is at the peak of all the shows. Around 70 to 80 per cent of singers are from  Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. At some point there was a demand for Sa  Re Ga Ma Pa Academy and people from every generation wanted to learn music. So with the thought 'How can we teach the people music' and most importantly 'How can the singers keep their continuation in music and perform well', we came up with the singing institute and gave them a platform to learn music. Our academy was established four years before but now we have got a final structure for our academy and this was possible only because of my team.

Nowadays the competition in every field is increasing. How challenging is it  for today's youth to achieve the top position. What advice you would like to give to them?
According to me like the 90's era, the generation now is more interesting and challenging. The competition has increased, there are many shows and to maintain your stature between them is very difficult in today's time. As there are many talented artists who come from different parts of India and compete with one another. If you want to be at the top add quality to your experience and with the help of technology you can perform well every day. Creativity plays a vital role.

Who is your inspiration?
The time when I started there was no reference book in front of me, each day was a lesson for me and because of music I am here. So my biggest inspiration is music. Music gave me strength to work.

They say singing is like worshiping God, what are your views on it?
Yes, it is absolutely true, singing is like worshiping God and I believe that wherever I am right now is only because of the blessings of god and my love for singing.

Tell us about your upcoming project?
Currently, I am working for music shows and a Marathi movie and side-by-side I am coming up with a project which is based on music. I will reveal more about it after a month.

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