By: Eastern Eye Staff
Talented artist Mika Singh has carved out an internationally successful career from hit songs and winning live performances.
The foundation of his successful 18-year career can be traced back to his musical childhood. Real name Amrik Singh, he was brought up in Patna, India, and is the youngest of six brothers.
Mika’s earliest influences were his parents, which resulted in vast musical exposure for him from a very early age. “I’ve been performing since I was a young kid,” he recalls.
“My memories of music and performing live go back to me being just a few years old. I remember performing at school, at local functions and alongside my parents in the Gurdwara sahib.”
Mika’s passion has turned him into one of the hardest-working artists in India today. He regularly mixes up singing big chart-busters in Bollywood films with composing and having one of the busiest live schedules around.
Although Mika is focused on taking on the next challenge, he looks back fondly at his journey to becoming a world-class live performer.
“For me, performing is an art which is mastered over time. I have been performing for so many years now that it has become second nature to me. I have learned so much over the years, which I am really proud of,” he says.
Having clocked up more air miles than a fleet of pilots, Mika has performed all over the world with his band. The high-energy and unpredictable performances have regularly mixed up the commercial musical genres.
When asked about what the secret of a great live show is, he smiles and says: “The main ingredient is connecting with your audience. Keeping them involved, making them feel as if the performance is completely interactive is the key.”
Later this month, Mika will perform for his UK fans again in what promises to be more explosive shows. These include a big performance at SSE Arena in Wembley on November 27 where the music icon and big brother Daler Mehndi will join him on the bill. Not surprisingly, he is looking forward to reconnecting with his British fans and thrilled to be sharing the bill with his legendary brother for the first time.
“The UK has always been a favourite destination. I have met some of my most wonderful fans in beautiful cities like London, Birmingham and Leeds. I am looking forward to seeing them again. I plan to come there and do what I do best! I am super-duper excited to be tearing up the stage,” says Mika.
Those who have seen him perform know that him tearing up the stage is no idle boast. His high energy stage shows have become the stuff of legend and often Mika doesn’t know what he will be doing next.
“My shows are completely free-styled and nothing is planned. My live band and I improvise each and every performance. That is what makes it exciting for audiences and for me,” he explains.
His growing list of hit songs mean there is no shortage of material for Mika to perform on stage.
“I love singing the songs my fans enjoy the most, and lucky for me, by god’s grace, that has been each and every one! I get various requests at each show, including my hits like Subha Hone Na De, 440 Volt and Jumme Ki Raat, which are some of the favourites,” he reveals.
Being a popular live performer means Mika spends most of his time on the road singing in front of audiences or travelling between concerts. He says the biggest thing he used to miss was home-cooked food, but that is not the case now.
“I travel with my cook now, so I get good home-cooked food on the road too,” he says, laughing.
The high hit rate in Bollywood has subsequently added to the popularity of the singer globally. Asked what the secret of his ability to select fantastic film songs was, he says
confidently: “I don’t select them, the great hit songs select Mika Singh.”
Although he is an accomplished musician himself, Mika doesn’t find it difficult to take instructions and says he has a great relationship with composers. He has worked with the biggest Bollywood music directors, and the result has been massive global hits in high-profile films.
“The music directors never really instruct me. They tell me what they think would sound good, I give my suggestions and then give my best.”
Mika’s biggest passion away from music and a heavy work schedule is wildlife. “I am extremely passionate about animals. I have over 30 beautiful animals at my farmhouse in Delhi.”
The singer and musician is also quite the prankster, and admits to having somewhat of a mischievous streak, which has been apparent on social media, public appearances and in interviews.
That fun side also lights up his concerts in between the songs. “I think that mischievous streak comes from within. I keep myself and people entertained by just being me,” he laughs.
Looking ahead, Mika wants to carry on recording hit songs and delivering winning performances for his fans.
Talking about any unfulfilled ambitions, he says: “There are no unfulfilled ambitions as of now. There are new targets I set to achieve every now and then. I make sure I work towards them and hit the jackpot in everything I decide to do.”
Today, the singer draws inspiration from various things, including one famous celebrity. “My biggest inspiration today is Amitabh Bachchan sir. He never stops, never quits and never gives up. That’s how I wanna be all my life.”
Right now though, the main inspiration and focus for Mika is his live shows in Britain. He finishs off by saying: “You should all come to the UK shows if you want to witness the best of Bollywood music live.”
Mika Singh and Daler Mehendi will perform at SSE Arena, Wembley, in London on November 27. Log onto www.chillitickets.com to find out more and for further tour dates.