Singing and mimicry is something that comes naturally to Bipin Pandit. With no formal training in music, Pandit with his soulful voice has managed to carve a niche for himself. Balancing both the duties of being a COO of Ad Club and pursuing singing, Pandit is the jack of all trades. Here he speaks to Manasi Y Mastakar about music, his upcoming concert and more…
You’re a law graduate, have secured a diploma in PR and Advertising, and not to mention MComm too, how did you get into singing? You do not have a formal training in music, yet you sing so well…
I used to sing since my childhood. I was a fearless singer as everyone asked me to sing at all parties and I obliged. I was not the one who made nakhras though I must honestly state that I am not a trained singer. The best part is that a Parsi family staying close to us used to invite me to sing at their parties and the man used to say bahut majenu gaye che Bipin. I was that time a 12-year-old to be precise. However, even then my forte was Mimicry.
Tell us about your band Khumaar.
I have been performing on the stage for the past 29 years, and during this period I have worked at all auditoriums. I have performed with most of the banners, I also worked with playback singers as a compère and mimicry artiste. I did assess during this period what they were doing right and where did they go wrong. When I joined AdClub, I became associated with many fests. In my 19 years with AdClub, I have performed with 10 ABBYs, Effies, 16 EMVIEs, eight Goafest, 10 AdAsia not to mention seminars, workshops , evening meetings etc so my experience helped me to institute Khumaar. Today it has become a big brand. People want to see more of Khumaar. They have loved the product.
Speaking of Khumaar, you’ve also created a platform called Khumaar Ki Khoj, where you promote young talent. How do you select these young and upcoming musician/dancers who get the chance to perform at your concert alongside already established artistes?
People love Khumaar because it is well segmented between solo, duets, quawwali, classical, new songs, unsung heroes and, of course, Khumaar ki khoj. In this segment, I launch youngsters, give them a platform to perform and surely I feel blessed when they go ahead and become stars. One case in point is Srinidhi Ghatate launched by us who is singing for Shankar Ehsaan Loy and has become a playback singer. Last year Rudraksh launched by me received a standing ovation for his performance. So am trying to give back something to the industry.
Tell us more about your concert that’s happening on February 5. Of course, there will be singing and mimicry, what more can music lovers expect?
They expect me to crack new shayari, listen to great songs and music with tadka of my mimicry on some contemporary topic. This year I will be presenting the valentine special show with romantic songs. Also, there are a couple of new things I am doing.
You have been associated with the AdClub for 19 years now. How did you happen to be associated with the club. Please share your journey with us.
I started at a very young age, hence today my cumulative experience is about 36 years. Six years I was with The Baroday Rayon, 10 years with Castrol India Ltd and 19 years with The Advertising Club where I started as executive secretary and rose to the general manager level, after that I was elevated as a COO. I am in a unique position of having 16 bosses on the managing committee; each one is either CEO, MD, CMO, COO and nothing below that. It is a huge learning experience as I sit only with leaders and great communicators.
AdClub is a name to reckon with when it comes to organising some of the country’s biggest events. Can you give us more insight into some events that the club has organised over the years?
All AdClub events are benchmark events and the industry does acknowledge the fact that AdClub puts up great shows. The EFFIEs amongst this is an international event. As you grow in experience you do things differently and the feedback in event industry is instant. I have in a big way contributed on many fronts right from building a good team at the AdClub, total computerisation at the secretariat, automation of judging process, adding interesting elements to make events exciting and have given suggestions to the managing committee.
You are such a passionate singer, what do you think about the quality of music composed today?
Retro music can never be replicated. You will never get to hear that quality of singers and music. It’s like striking a comparison between a full meal and noodles. We will always have promise even in the current crop but ways and means have changed. You will not find the same commitment and hard working ability amongst the modern generation as dependence on technology has increased.
What are your views on playback singing today? How is auto tuning affecting the real talent? Did you never think of singing for Bollywood? Or coming out with an album?
People have many times complimented me about my voice but I am not a trained singer. I am a good compère and mimicry artiste though. Had I taken lessons in singing I would have been a decent singer. I feel Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam are very good. People are expecting a lot from Arijit as he is a trained singer. But all songs sung by modern singers sound the same. There is a need to break the shackles and do something different. Even today I feel nobody can touch Rafi saab followed by Kishor da, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Hemantda, Talat and Mahendra Kapoor.