Indore: With numerous awards in his cabinet, 12-year-old Rohan Singhal is following his passion in life without considering ‘cool’ stigma. For his success, he gives credit to his grandfather Dileep Naik. “My musical journey in Harmonica began at the age of four when my grandfather gifted me a Hohner Diatonic 10-hole harmonica,” Rohan said. His grandfather is a businessman and a self-taught musician, who plays diatonic harmonica, tenor saxophone and flute as hobby.
“I was brought up listening to retro songs from 50s, 60s, 70s and harp played by him (Naik) and accompanied by my family,” Rohan said. The first songs that he learnt to play were ‘Oh when the saints’, Blowing in the wind, Country road and Besame mucho. “I would listen to jazz and blues whenever I was in Goa at my grandparent’s house during summer and winter school holidays, which eventually became an interest,” Rohan said. He got a new Air Wave children Harmonica by Suzuki when Brendan Power came to Goa and another one from Abe Thomas.
“I like to play by ear and enjoy playing all types of music styles and luckily, I had started perfectly by starting with Indian classical music training at the age of 5,” Rohan said. He explained that Indian classical music helps in understanding the basics of music, understanding of notes and rhythms. “I feel Indian music is the mother of all music and my grandparents have been my inspiration,” Rohan said.
“At first, I accompanied my grandfather to concerts where he played, eventually, he took me in and gave me a chance to play on the best stages of Goa,” Rohan said. He played with Lynx, Oasis and Jazz Junction bands. “My performance in Indore began with Indian mouthorgan meet in 2015, expanding to International Jazz Festival 2016 in Goa and open the show with Collin DCruz, Jazz Goa Band,” Rohan said.
In 2014, he attended a workshop in Pune organised by Ben Hewlett, a great Daitonic Harmonica player and teacher from the UK with his friend Shrish Swami. “I played every chance I got be it on the streets of Tokyo, Koyoto, Osaka, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, London or Switzerland,” Rohan said.
* National Harmonica League October 2017 in Bristol, UK, he came first in Solo Daitonic Blues, Solo Daitonic Jazz, Solo Daitonic melody and Group Duo Daitonic
* In the World Harmonica festivalwhich take place every 4 years is held at Trossingen Germany, he stood third in Solo Daitonic Jazz and fifth in Solo Daitonic Blues