Milan’s musical journey

Manjeet Milan with trophies he received after doing stage shows. Picture: RAKESH KUMAR

Manjeet Milan’s musical journey began in Tabia, Labasa, where he started gaining popularity during his childhood in the late ’80s.

The 33-year-old, who now lives in Beaumont Rd, Narere in Nasinu, has released seven kirtan albums and said he was working on his eighth.

Milan is an exponent of kirtan — a musical form of narration or recitation, particularly of spiritual or religious ideas.

“I was in Class 5 when I started singing,” he said.

“At that time I was at Sangam Primary School in Labasa.

“I used to sing kirtan in mandali and school functions.

“My teachers used to ask me to sing prayers and devotional songs in special functions such as Holi, Ram Naumi, Diwali, et cetera that were organised at school.

“Apart from the Hindu devotional songs, I was also singing Bollywood songs.”

Milan said he was inspired by his parents and he dedicates his success to them.

“I was inspired by my parents.

“My mum and dad both are into music.

“My mother Anita Devi Prasad is a very good lokgeet and sohar singer.

“From my childhood days, I used to hear my uncle Mahendra Prasad singing and it drew my interest.

“He was a very popular katha pracharak (preacher) during his time.

“Another uncle, Dharmendra Prasad, was also quite popular in those days.

“They both were involved in music and used to sing religious songs as well as Bollywood songs and were followed by a lot of people.”

Milan said he started taking part in stage competitions when he was a child.

“During my childhood days, I took part in many singing competitions.

“As I won trophies, my interest and talent continued to build.”

Milan said in 2007, at the age of 19, he was encouraged to record his first album which was titled ‘Prem Sparsh’.

He said his late uncle, Mahendra Prasad, wrote all the lyrics for the kirtan in his first album.

“I used to go with my mandali and group to perform here and there.

“A lot of people asked me why I hadn’t released an album.

“So I asked my kaka Mahendra Prasad to help me with this.

“He wrote all the lyrics for the kirtan on my first album. It had 12 tracks.

“The lyrics were beautiful; we sat together and decided on the music to go with it.

“Kaka Mahendra came to Suva and made all the arrangements for the recording.

“And it ended up being a very good album.

“It gained popularity and people enjoyed listening to it.”

Milan said after releasing his first album, he became famous not only in Fiji but abroad as well.

“That time, the local radios were promoting local talents.

“Good albums and good artists were everywhere and they were hugely promoted.

“I got the chance to do stage shows with some very popular artists from Fiji and abroad.”

Milan said so far he has performed in more than 200 stage shows.

“These shows were conducted not only in Fiji but in Australia and New Zealand as well.”

He said he also had a band called Fankaar.

“There were six of us in the group.

“Some of the songs which I have sung are on YouTube as well.

“I have gathered all the equipment I need and do my own recordings now.”

Milan said his future plan was to bring more people into music.

“I would like to bring in more people into good music, quality music and for that I am already teaching some students.

“In future, I want to get in more students and teach them the right thing.

“Because nowadays, we see people singing and playing instruments anyhow.

“I want to promote good music and the right path.

“There are some groups who are already doing this and I also want to do this.

“I want the talents to come up and learn the right thing and move forward, especially the younger ones.”

Milan thanked everyone who played a part in his success.

“One of them is of course my wife Karishma Milan.

“At this juncture, I would like to thank all my Fankaar musicians – Kaushal Prasad, Satendra Deo, DJ Bolly Daniel, Sandeep Sami and Albert Prasad.

“I also got a lot of support from my friends Jainendra Sharma, Nilesh Lal and Rajnesh from New Zealand, so vinaka vakalevu to them as well.”

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