Daniel Raju, one of the contestants of Zee Telugu Sa Re Ga Ma Pa knows how to manage both his craft and his passion. He says “Singing is his passion and serving people as a nurse gives him happiness.” He does not want to give up singing and at the same time wants to help the public through his profession. Daniel, a covid warrior, who has served dozens of patients during all three waves of the pandemic, says words fail to describe how he feels when someone meets him after he has recovered. During his graduation days, he worked in a hotel part-time.
Originally from Konkuduru in the East Godavari district, Daniel never had any formal training in music but has come a long way. In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Post, he shares some interesting facts with Priyadarshini.
What kind of pressure did you face singing on a stage like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa?
Nothing like pressure. I want to prove myself and this is a challenge for me. After so many struggles, I have reached this stage and I want to give my best.
What kind of support have you received from mentors?
I feel extremely happy to be in Sri Krishna’s team. I received tremendous support from him. Despite his busy schedule, he takes the time to make suggestions. I admire Sri Krishna’s voice and am happy to be part of his team.
Who is the most supportive in your family?
At first, I didn’t tell my parents about my singing. But eventually they discovered my passion and every member of the family gave me their support. I am very grateful to the people in my village who gave me love and support. I wanted to thank all the people who supported me in my journey to singing.
The first song I sang on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa stage was “Rayini Matram Kante” by Dasavatharam. My father, who works as a pastor in the church, kept my performance as his status and captioned it “Music has no religion”. I received a terrific response from all over.
Sometimes we unconsciously introduce our slang into the singing, how do you deal with that?
It’s true. Many people face such problems. But by the grace of God, I have no such problems.
Among all the candidates, who is very close to you?
All candidates are close to me. We share a great bond with each other. I have a cordial relationship with Charan, Vinod, Sudhamsh and others.
After Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, if you received more offers from industry, would you quit your nursing career?
No. I will not quit my nursing career. I will try to manage both. I always want to serve people through my profession.
When were you bitten by the singing bug?
Since my childhood, I sang Christmas carols in church. But it was my class 8 math teacher (Singerayya) at Gurukul school who noticed my talent. He supported me a lot and sent me to various competitions. The first song I sang was ‘Ne Tolisariga Kalagannadhi’. I have won many awards at the district level and performed songs at various levels in colleges. One interesting thing is that I didn’t tell my parents about my singing until after I graduated. But after I graduated, I told my parents about my singing. My parents have been very supportive and my dad is a huge pillar of support.
To become a good singer, you have to train… How do you manage your professional career and singing?
I take time out of my schedule to practice singing and at the same time, I give equal importance to my job.
How does the elimination process take place? There are rumors that manufacturers value who has the most hype and social media following?
This season, Zee Sa Re Ga Ma Pa wanted to have some new faces that didn’t appear on any other show. Thus, they selected 24 new faces. With the exception of two or three, none of us are so famous on social media. There is no truth in the commentary of manufacturers promoting popular contestants on social media.
Who is your favorite – Koti or SP Shailaja
Mama Shailaja. I love Shailaja mum very much. She is very transparent, a wonderful wife, a great mom and a fantastic human being.
If you have the chance to sing with Koti sir and Smitha mam – Who would you prefer?
Who is your favorite musical director and singer?
Ilaiyaraja is my favorite musical director of all time. As for singers, I like SPB, Anurag Kulkarni, Hari Charan, Sri Krishna, Karthik.
A few words about the judges and the anchor of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa:
Koti: He is very energetic and supports us all. He is a powerhouse and has a positive aura. He is a very sensitive and emotional person. He gives a lot of respect to musicians.
Smitha: She is very sensitive and never backs down from helping people in need. Smitha stands for Humanity. He is an emotional person.
Anath Sriram: It’s a walking encyclopedia. He is a good speaker and can talk about any topic. There is no limit to his knowledge.
Sreemukhi: She is one of the most energetic people on the sets. She is very jovial and has no ego. She mixes with everyone and shares a cool rapport with the whole team.