The Banarasi boy who won The Stage (season 1) was also the first runner-up of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs (2009). Since Yatharth Ratnum took the first English singing contest by storm, he decided to expand his horizons and go international. With a Grammy winning musician like Jeff “Skunk” Baxter as his mentor, the path towards the global stage just got a tad bit easier for Yatharth.
This 21-year-old has since sung and acted in the film, ‘Blue Mountains’ starring Ranvir Shorey and Gracy Singh directed by Suman Ganguly. The story revolves around a boy from a small town who features on a reality show, but life post the win is not the cake walk one expected it to be. Something similar to what Yatharth faced in reality, in his younger days.
I was really young when ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ happened to me. When my voice was changing, it became a difficult period for me. I was unable to perform in the way I did previously. I did not know how to sing with it.”
It’s not unbelievable to think that a boy who was propelled to fame when he was just 9-years-old would have had it easy, with enough confidence to sing in public again. But that was not the case. The little champ had become a star overnight, glamour and glitz surrounding him, but eventually the media spotlight moved away, and he grew up. While growing up was he faced a number of struggles. Depression got a hold of this young man, and this gift of a beautiful voice turned into shackles that held him down. “I was really young when ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ happened to me. When my voice was changing, it became a difficult period for me. I was unable to perform in the way I did previously. I did not know how to sing with it,” says The Stage winner.
The ability to create quality music can never be trumped by technology. Technology can only enhance the sound.”
In this day and age, several musicians tend to depend on technology for making recordings and creating music, but this old soul has an opposing view, “The ability to create quality music can never be trumped by technology. Technology can only enhance the sound.” Yatharth though, does believe that technology has helped many musicians make and share their music. He also hopes that technology will be used as an enhancement and not the only vehicle to create new music.
Speaking of his experience on the English reality singing show, as the first winner, he says, “The journey was transformative. Not only on a professional level but on a personal level as well.” There are few who participate just out of pure passion for singing, most participate for the win and fame. But Yatharth’s ‘The Stage’ experience was vastly different. “I did not go into it trying to be a winner. I simply saw an opportunity for a new experience and a chance to grow, while having a good time. It definitely was a very humbling experience.”
This young singer has never thought of an alternate career, and he credits his parents for it. “My parents said that I should do what I truly love, and to try and make a change doing it. I don’t remember thinking about any other career options. I always gravitated towards being an artist, to create something and share my story.” He says that his family have as much to do with him being on the national stage as the public who voted for him to win. He says, “Every member of my family has put in a lot of time and passion to support my journey; and I couldn’t be more grateful to my parents who provided such a wonderful and healthy environment to be able to explore myself.”
I did not go into it trying to be a winner. I simply saw an opportunity for a new experience and a chance to grow, while having a good time. It definitely was a very humbling experience.”
When asked about the opportunities coming his way, the singer says, “Things are happening and opportunities are presenting themselves and I’m just being present for them. To not know what will be happening next has its own beauty!” Currently he is working on releasing his single with Universal Music, produced by Rishi Rich. Excited is an understatement, Yatharth is overjoyed about the release of his new single, and can’t wait to share it with everyone and sing it live at as many places as possible!
With all the experience he has accumulated as part of the music industry, Yatharth Ratnum strongly believes that one should enter the entertainment and music industry for the right reasons. He says, “If what you are going after is fame and money, then that’s a trap that will disappoint you, and can send you on a long detour.”