Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan is the ultimate entertainer for millions of his fans. However, it was singer Anoop Sankar, a native of Thrissur, who mesmerised the silver screen icon with his amazing voice at an event held in Dubai.
Anoop gets candid with Onmanorama about how he kept king Khan glued to his seat for hours and also about his career in music.
The special guest
Shahrukh Khan had attended an event, in Dubai, as the chief guest. The organisers had arranged a special programme that night, in honour of him, by presenting some of the most memorable melodies from his superhit movies. Anoop, who was the lead singer of the band, had sung some of the songs which aren’t usually heard at stage shows. Even Shahrukh Khan was pleasantly surprised at the unique choice of the songs. He clearly enjoyed the melodies like 'Aakhon Mein Theri' (Om Shanti Om), 'Ay Ajnabee' (Dil Se), 'Jiya Jale' (Dil Se), 'Baazigar O Baazigar' (Baazigar) and 'Sooraj Hua Madham' (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham), which were rendered beautifully by Anoop.
"Usually, the fast numbers from his movies are sung when Shahruk Khan is on stage. But we chose some of the most beautiful melodies in which he had acted. After every song, he shared some amazing memories associated with those songs. It was a unique experience even for the audience as well.
Shahrukh Khan, who usually thrills the audience with his high-energy performances, was seen sitting calmly on a sofa, enjoying the soothing melodies from his movies and reminiscing about it. That was exactly what we wished for," recalls Anoop about wowing the actor with his songs.
"We had introduced the band members when Shahrukh Khan walked onto the stage. Nikhil, the flautist in our band, had played the instrumental tune from the movie 'Kal Ho Na Ho'. The actor was clearly impressed by it. Later, when someone from the audience requested the actor to show his signature action, by slowly raising his hands in a romantic gesture, he looked at Nikhil to play the background score. He had asked Nikhil, by calling out his name, to once again play the tune on his flute.
Meanwhile, he apologised to me for directly asking one of my band members to play music. I was stunned to realise that a big star like Shahrukh Khan would take care of even small things like this and has great respect for artists," the singer noted.
Anoop had the incredible opportunity to sing at a high-profile Diwali party, last year, which had superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Mammootty, Amala, Manju Warrier, Nivin Pauly, Jayaram, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and singers Hariharan, Sujatha and Swetha in attendance.
This party proved a turning point in the singer’s career and the video of his performance became viral on social media as well. Anoop was also invited to sing at an event organised by the Ambani family, last December. The viral video had helped to secure him some stage shows in North India as well.
Singer of melodies
"As a singer, I am not someone who would send the audience into a thrilling frenzy with my fast numbers. It, in fact, is a great challenge for me. It is important to acquaint the audience with my own unique style. I think it is significant for every artiste to foreground his/her own identity or style. I have waited for so long to present my own style of music to the listeners. The Diwali party was an opportunity for me to do that. It opened up an array of amazing opportunities for me. I travelled to various places in North India, entertaining music lovers with my melodies. It indeed is a great honour for me that the music enthusiasts in North India have, in fact, shown great interest in listening to the Hindi songs sung by a singer from the South India," Anoop signed off.