Singing medicine man
3 June, 2021, 8:00 pm
By day, he is a renowned doctor and surgeon.
But when his shift is over and he hangs up his stethoscope, Dr Ravneil Divnesh Singh gets immersed in his other passion — music.
His love for rhythm, rhyme and melody and composing original music has caught the attention of the music fraternity in Fiji.
Dr Singh’s popular song, Sleeping On The Right Side, resulted in him being nominated for Most Popular Music Video at the Fiji Performing Rights Association’s 2021 Music Awards.
The 30-year-old Laucala Beach Estate resident works at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva as a surgical doctor while doing his Masters in Surgery.
While being a doctor was always his dream, Dr Singh said his love for music ranked a very close second.
“All throughout the day, I would be singing, both English and Hindi songs, whether it’s in the house or in the shower,” he said.
“Even in school, I used to get melodies and beats for songs which I never got around to making into full songs as I was too focused on my studies.”
Dr Singh said he believed his interest in music was sparked by relatives who used to perform regularly during his childhood.
“I have uncles who are singers.
“They mostly sing Hindu religious songs and I guess that was a big factor that drew me closer to music.”
The singing medicine man said while his compositions were very reflective of him as a person and an artist, he was heavily influenced by musicians and singers from a range of genres.
“As you may have noticed from my songs, I am not restricted to one genre.
“I have had influences from a wide spectrum of artists.
“The most notable ones are Coldplay, Usher, Eminem and Jon Bellion.”
When asked why he did not pursue music as a career, Dr Singh said being of service to the community was always a priority.
“Medicine was another love of mine and I worked really hard throughout my school years to get into medicine and this was always my career of choice.
“I never even thought about pursuing music as a career as I knew from the start that earning a living from just making music is very difficult in our country.
“I also had certain responsibilities and I needed a career that would provide for my family and music wasn’t going to be able to cut it.”
Dr Singh said his responsibilities as a medical man was always at the forefront and he always made sure that music did not get in the way.
“It is very demanding balancing both work and music, however, because I enjoy doing both, I have found a way to manage.
“I usually work on my music in the late hours of night, from 10pm to 2am.
“In medical school, I used to do a bit of music, however, never really took it seriously.
“My thought process was that when I graduate and have a steady job, than I can always go back and do something in music.”
Dr Singh’s musical journey progressed to another level when he was posted to Koro Island as a medical officer.
“In my first year of becoming a medical officer, I was posted to Koro and that experience really changed my way of thinking.
“Three days after I went there, Cyclone Winston came and I went through what I would call a near death experience.
“It completely changed my whole outlook and perspective on life.
“I realised that if you really want to do something, you should just go for it as you can never foresee what will happen tomorrow.
“That’s when I started to write songs and learn music production.
“And during the year that I spent there, I wrote quite a few songs including an iTaukei song which is already released and plays on Bula FM from time to time.
“I have not slowed down since.
“I do multiple genres, mainly focusing on pop, RnB, hip hop and reggaeton.
“For all the young artists who are wishing to make music in these genres, please do so.”
Dr Singh said when his songs were well-received by the public, it always inspired him to go one step further.
“I guess the music elements that I use in my songs and my overall production makes it different from other artists.
“The lyrics of my songs are usually whatever I’m feeling when I’m writing them and they are very authentic and honest and that is the message I always try to project with my songs, to be honest to yourself and others.
“It was a dream of mine to make music videos for my songs and so I planned them and executed to the best of my ability.
“My greatest advantage was that I had friends and family who were willing to help.
“In fact the music video of my latest song Mera Maal was planned, directed and produced by a close friend of mine who also had an affinity for filmmaking.”
Dr Singh said his biggest inspiration was his mother.
“I have seen the difficulties that she has gone through to bring us up and this keeps me going.
“Even when I get really tired of juggling my two passions, I always reflect on the hardships that she has faced, which were 10 times greater than the ones I face every day and that is the major driving force in my life.”