Anjana Padmanabhan, a ninth standard student of Delhi Public School, South Bangalore was the winner of Indian Idol Junior Season 1. Anjana started practicing holy music at an early age of 8 years and later ended up winning the reality TV show. The show was judged by known names of the music industry such as Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Shekhar, and Govinda. Anjana considers the show as a learning phase which opened larger opportunities for her in the life to follow.
1. When did you first participate in a reality show?
Great learning experience and a journey of self-discovery. My parents knew I was in tune but felt there was nothing flattering about it. So, they decided to put me through a Tamil reality show when I was 9 years old and I made it to top 7 before I was eliminated. Then just as we were settling back, Indian Idol auditions happened, thanks to my name being suggested to the organizers by my then school singing teacher, Sromona Ma’am.
2. How was your experience with Indian Idol Junior Season 1?
Indian Idol Junior was a beautiful experience for me. Being the first ever junior format, I was happy everything turned out lucky enough for me to win the title but I never expected to do that at all. The judges Vishal Shekhar Sir, Shreya Ghoshal ma’am, anchors Mandira Bedi ma’am and of course, my mentors– Anand Sharmaji and Anuj Kapu Sir, were all truly awesome people who were instrumental in getting and finding the best in us. Since, winning the title, I have done a lot of shows, in front of legendary actors and audience, internationally and in India. I received some awards along the way too.
Achievements of Anjana:-
- Performed at Chowdiah Hall for Theatrical theme’s musical show in front of 1000 + audience – in front of Waheeda Rehman, Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, Zeenat Amman, Tanuja and Helen, Hema Malini, Asha Bhosle.
- Performed along with Shreya Ghoshal at 53 rd Ganesh Utsava and also sung solo and duets in 54th Ganesh Utsava in Bangalore.
- Felicitated by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah, MP Anant Kumar, Rajya Sabha Member Prabhakar Kore Minisite Belgaum, Hubli, and Rajya Sabha Members Rehman Khan in Bangalore.
- I was acknowledged and awarded the “Young Achiever” and “Youth Excellence” award by Rotatory Bangalore.
- Playback in Hindi in the movie Aisa Yeh Jahan, and recently in a big budget Konkani movie in the movie Ek Aslyar Ek Na.
- Recorded National Anthem for Ricky Kej, Grammy Award winner, for CRY Project against Child Labour and for Early education.
- Recorded a song for INDIANRAGA a global platform that promotes Hindustani music – with her then Guru – Omkarnath Havaldar.
- Happen to be the Brand ambassador for International Kids couture, Bangalore.
- Performed for the Indian Army in Shillong and Chennai.
3. What are things you learned on the reality show?
Everything was a learning experience for me, from not knowing Hindi and overcoming that, being with judges, big celebrities, awesome mentors, camera, back room shoots, being with India’s most talented bunch of junior singers in the country. I learned a lot from all of them because we were all so different and just listening to each other over the 4 months program was immensely helpful for me to understand and appreciate music in its various forms.
4. How has your life changed after the recognition you have got?
Winning the title did change my image a bit. I feel honored and privileged and blessed to be invited to perform good platforms. The love and affection I have got from people every time I performed. When someone identifies me in public is invaluable. People still tell me the exact songs I sang in some of the rounds in the competition which is so sweet of them.
5. Who has been your mentor and support throughout?
My parents and my Gurus. My mother, because she was the one who forced me to join the reality show in Tamil language when I was 8 as she felt I was an introvert, which I really was. Even in Indian Idol Junior she was there with me throughout the 4-5 months and made sure I had her personal attention. She doesn’t sing but has a good ear for music. My mom accompanies me to music shows, especially the one’s abroad.
My father is someone who always keeps telling me “Winning the title is only the beginning of the journey and not the end in itself“. He keeps telling everyone he meets that there is so much Anjana has to learn and there is a long way to go in terms of learning for me. I consider him a pretty good singer though he is not formally trained at all. He is my best critic as he is very honest with feedback and yet will make me understand by singing it himself so that way I connect better with him.
As for my Gurus, they are my life and I have been so fortunate to find mentors who gel with me so much. Each one of them are extremely accomplished singers, done play back in movies, performed live and know the nuances of each style so very well and have always encouraged me to do better. They also give me so much insights about their life and their musical journey which is so invaluable.
6. What will be your message for the youth?
I would like to say be true to yourself, learn hard, you can’t control the outcome of your efforts so enjoy the learning journey, truly. CHASE YOUR DREAM WITH ALL HONESTY!!!
Anjana Padmanabhan’s twitter