For more than 40 years, Udit Narayan has entertained and regaled audiences with his melodious voice and everlasting music. The 66-year-old singer, who will be in Dubai on November 12, sounded quite stoked about his date with the UAE fanbase.
“All these years later, it is still the love of audiences and fans that drives me. Everywhere I go, I am showered with adulation and blessings of the people. I feel both humbled and grateful for it,” Narayan told Gulf News in an exclusive telephonic chat from Kolkata.
The singer, who has lent his voice to countless Hindi songs, is a much-feted artist. He received the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, among India’s highest civilian awards, for his contribution to Indian films and art. Narayan does not let any of that affect him though.
“One has to be true to his or her craft. I have performed with some of the best musicians of my time — all over India. These have been people who are legends in their own. It gave you a high to be among such people. Duets used to be fun, especially when you got to sing with doyens like Lata Mangeshkar,” he said.
Recalling his musical journey, Narayan says he went on to work with famed music director and composer Rajesh Roshan, followed by director and producer Nasir Hussain, landing his first big break in Hussain’s production ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ (1988). “‘Papa Kehte Hain’ is popular even today and has become a song that resonates with several generations,” Narayan said about the song he sung.
It has been an uphill journey for Narayan, who says in the early days he visited various music rooms and recording studios in Mumbai in a bid to get work. He received his first break with the film ‘Unees Bees’ (1980), in which he sang the famous song ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ under Roshan’s baton.
A versatile singer, Narayan has recorded songs in various Indian languages like Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Odia, Bhojpuri and Maithili among others. However, it was Bollywood that catapulted him to stardom.
“This industry has been generous to me. It has given me everything. I got a chance to work with the likes of Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. Back then songs were recorded live and there was a certain energy involved,” the singer avers.
Narayan continues to be one of the few male singers who has won awards over the decades for his iconic voice and scintillating music (in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s). He went onto pick up prestigious awards including Maharashtra Ratna Awards from the Government of Maharashtra.
“It has been a lifetime of accolades and memories but at heart I am still a simple guy who likes nothing more than good music and great songs — melodies that touch people and their lives,” he added.
In 1980, a struggling Narayan set foot into the playback world of the Indian film industry. More than four decades later — no mean feat this — he continues to sing and perform with the same energy and passion.
On his forthcoming concert in Dubai, Narayan looks forward to entertain ardent music lovers.
“Dubai has always been amazing. It has a special place in my heart,” he said. “With so many people from the subcontinent here, the diversity of this city is unmatched. To all my fans in the UAE, I say this: we will soon weave magic together.”
Padma Shri: fourth highest civil honour from Indian Government, 2009
Maharashtra Ratna Awards from Government of Maharashtra 2011
Samrat Vikramaditya Sangeet Alankaran Samman, 2006
Don’t miss it!
When: November 12. Doors open at 7.30pm and concert starts at 8.30pm.
Where: The Agenda, Dubai Media City.
Tickets are available on Platinumlist and start from Dh95.