Hemant Brijwasi comes from a small town called Naugaon that falls about 3kms from Mathura. This little boy fought against all the odds, including an elimination, to become the nation's undoubted Zee Saregamapa L'il Champ!
Obviously, the whole nation is in love with his voice but the boy has brought tremendous amount of blessings and happiness to his family. "My son has given me recognition today," says his father Hukamchand Brijwasi who just can't help gloating in his son's reflected glory.
Over to Hemant…
How did Saregamapa L'il Champs happen to you?
A local musician uncle told my father that a singing competition in Zee is searching for talents across the country through auditions and that we can go to the Delhi centre. This is how it started but it wasn't easy. We went to Delhi and my father, knowing the amount of crowd such an audition can attract, went and stood in the line at morning 4. It was just me and my father who went and me being little, my father could not let me stand alone in the line. This meant choosing between 'pet-puja' (tummy worship) and our spot in the line. So without food and water we stood in the line and made it inside the audition hall.
How did you feel when you finally made it there?
I thought- 'Thank god. Now we can finally eat once this is over'. But it didn't stop at that, since I went on clearing the rounds (laughs). And then after the final round I got a compliment from Abhijeet bhaiyya saying I'm really one of the better performers and that I should concentrate more on training myself. This encouraged me and gave a new push towards doing riyaaz. Finally I reached destination Mumbai!
But during the show you had gotten eliminated. What did you feel about that?
The elimination is completely justified as I had slackened during my performance that day. But it all happened for good. Because when I got back with a wild card entry I got super- focused with my training regimen as I didn't want to lose again. I just didn't want it to happen. So I never even let my mind wander in that direction. All I did was think about winning and how to win!
What do you think makes your voice so special?
I sing very differently from others. My voice is unique due to the sound it renders.
You are quite a specialist when it comes to Rafi Saab.
Yes. That happens because I like Rafi Saab a lot and keep listening to his songs on the radio.
Even your father happens to be a singer. How much has he inspired you?
A lot! I've gotten my voice because of him. He has been my trainer. He sings folk songs and so naturally my voice has a slight folk flavor to it.
Is it true you used to walk one and a half kilometers just to reach your school?
Yes, I used to do that. But then last year on my birthday my father gifted me a cycle. So I started riding my cycle to school.
What about now? How will you continue your education?
I've already lost about 7 months of schooling. So I will have to re-enter sixth standard. But now I'll be able to go to a better school because one of the top schools from Mathura has offered me scholarship. They are 'inviting' me to be part of their school!
Will you continue to work on songs while you're schooling?
No, studies are very important. If I get free time then I'll take up any project. Otherwise I won't. I aim to make it big in Bollywood someday. I will continue to work towards it by keeping up with my riyaaz.
You said you would collaborate with first runner-up Yatharth if you make it to Bollywood. True?
Yes. We became good friends during L'il Champs. And I want to work with him even after I grow up.
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose