On Sunday night, 20-year-old Hemant Brijwasi was declared the winner of Rising Star 2. Defeating Rohanpreet Singh, Vishnumaya Ramesh and Zaid Ali, the Mathura boy won a whopping 85 percent votes for his soul-stirring final act, wherein he sang “Alvida” from the film Life in a Metro. Judged by Shankar Mahadevan, Monali Thakur and Diljit Dosanjh, the singing reality show allowed the audience to vote live for their favourites. Talking about his experience participating in Rising Star 2, Hemant, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, shared, “The show has been a turning point in my life. Yes, I did win Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs (in 2009) but this show has given me a popularity that I have only dreamt of. It also helped me to position myself as a singer, not just in the show but also in the industry.”
He further added, “I recently recorded a song for Soorma, the music for which has been given by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. He had offered me the song on this show. It’s a beautiful song and has been penned by Gulzar sahab. He had come to the recording and meeting him was an amazing experience. And it was the best moment of my life when he complimented me saying that I sing quite well.”
With live voting, we wondered if he was confident about his win or was nervous someone else might take home the trophy. With a warm smile, he quipped, “Honestly, I never thought about someone’s loss or focussed on their performances. Instead, I was cheering for all of them as I believe in positivity. Yes, I wanted to be the winner and so I worked hard and gave my 100 percent in my act. Apart from winning the show, I want to see myself as a singer-musician, just like Shankar sir.”
While he sees himself in Shankar’s position, he also has another favourite who he really looks up to. “If I could get a chance, I would have got Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan back from heaven. He has been my inspiration and I really admire him.”
Hemant himself has been known for crooning Sufi songs and he is thankful that through Rising Star, he could spread his wings, trying out different genres. “Rising Star gave me the chance to prove my versatility. I had never tried other genres and I was surprised to receive a positive feedback from the judges. Through my performances, I also got another song in Anil Sharma’s next Genius.”
As he moves ahead towards Bollywood, we asked if that was his ultimate goal. “To tell you frankly, I once saw Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow Mannat from outside and also saw the videos where he greets his fan. I too want to achieve the same kind of stardom and love from people. It was surreal to see that kind of affection coming towards him,” Hemant shared with a smile.
Lastly hailing the reality series, the young champ quipped, “Rising Star is such a real show and I am amazed at the entire thought process that went into making it. Also, it’s the only show that gets votes live making it a completely genuine show.”
Hosted by Ravi Dubey, Rising Star 2 launched in January this year on Colors with the theme ‘Uthao Soch Ki Deewar’. It was judged by Shankar Mahadevan, Monali Thakur, and Diljit Dosanjh.