By Subhojit Panda
“Music is my life. I eat, drink and sleep music.” These are the words of the current singing sensation of Odisha, Human Sagar. The playback singer with a rustic voice that tugs the hearts of listeners, he is credited to have taken the industry to enviable heights and bringing back the youngsters to Odia music. Fondly called as the Arijit Singh of Odisha, Human continues to remain the undisputed king of music industry who has been the voice behind many actors in Ollywood. “I have no words to express how happy I am to get so much of love and support from the Odia people worldwide. The successful singer I am is due to the blessings of my parents, mentor Premananda sir, Anubhav sir and well-wishers,” he says.
Human hails from a musical family. His grandfather was a renowned music composer during his times. Besides, his father was an AIR artist and a folk singer and his mother was a singer and lyricist. Growing up, he took part in several singing competitions and always stood first in them. Human always aspired to become a playback singer. But as fate would have it, he was pursuing MBBS studies in Burla when he decided to drop out in the second year to pursue music forever. “It was a bold decision to quit medical studies midway. My father wanted me to become a doctor. So he was very angry over my decision. My mother too was upset. When I told them that I want to make a career in music, they ridiculed me. But I didn’t lose any hope. I listened to my heart. I knew one day I will make a mark in the industry,” he reminisces.
Human was aware of myriad challenges ahead of him. He too was ready for every challenge and struggle. He decided to start from scratch. “Initially it was a struggling phase in Cuttack. But it taught me a lot and made me stronger,” he says. Subsequently he took part in a singing reality show ‘Aamari Swara’ aired on ETV. Human was expected to win the reality show but he had to quit the show midway due to some personal issues. “I have no regrets. I took part in the show just to enjoy and learn more about music. I took it on a positive note and thought may be some better opportunities were awaiting me. I met my mentor Premananda sir on the show for first time. There were some amazing judges and mentors on the show who helped me a lot,” said he. Then what followed changed Human’s life forever. He won the second season of singing reality show, Voice of Odisha aired on Tarang TV thereby announcing his arrival on the music scene. “The reality show was of great help. It gave me a lot of popularity and a lot of music directors took notice of my talent,” said he.
I really thank all the people of Odisha. They have accepted me so fast. It is my biggest award.
In 2013, Human got his first major break in Anubhav Mohanty and Barsha Priyadarshini starrer, Something Something 2. Talking about his first break, he says, “Premananda sir had actually called me to record a dummy. I gave my best and the song Prema Heijaaye Re was recorded successfully. But Anubhav sir liked my voice so much that he requested Premanand sir to record my voice for the original song. The song became an instant hit among the music lovers. Since then he has never looked back.” He then sang the title track of 2014 flick Ishq Tu Hi Tu which was again liked by the people.
But it was the song Tate Gaai Dele Tu Geeta Heijaau from the film Gapa Hele Bhi Sata that made him an overnight sensation. “Interestingly, I had recorded the dummy of the song in place of Udit Narayan. But it was Anubhav sir once again who insisted that only I should sing that song. The song was the biggest hit of that year,” he quoted.
Since then he has been the blue-eyed boy for all the music directors and film producers. He has sung for films like Love You Hamesha, Tu Mo Hero, Abhaya, Sundargarh Ra Salman Khan and many more. Besides, he has a string of music video hits under his fold. Some of them have even raked in over million views on YouTube, a record of sorts for Odia music industry. His duets especially with singers Diptirekha Padhy and Indian Idol fame Ananya Sritam Nanda like Ghazal Ghazal, Tu Mo Love Story, Rabba Rabba, Zaalima, etc have ruled the charts.
For a singer who enjoys an unprecedented fan following and popularity in the state today, Human still feels he is like any other commoner. “I still think I am not a celebrity. I only want to live a simple life and sing for people,” he said humbly.
Coincidently, the singing sensation’s wife also happens to be a singer. “I met my wife, Shriya Mishra, during Voice of Odisha Season 2, where she had participated as a contestant like me. We became good friends on the show. But by the time the show got over, Human felt she was the dream girl he was looking for. We later tied the nuptial knot and are happily married since then,” he says adding that she has been a great support for him. Notably, Human and Shriya recently recorded a song together for Sarthak Music.
The passionate singer feels the Odia music industry is going through an exciting phase now. “Today all the Odia songs are garnering million likes and shares on social media. This never happened before for the industry. Singers and music composers are given equal respect and love by people. We couldn’t have asked for more,” he says.
Human has a piece of advice for novice singers. Success, he says, doesn’t happen overnight. “Struggle is important for every singer. Patience, practice and perseverance is the key. Work with a positive attitude. Give respect to others. And success will kiss your feet one day.”
The playback singer says he wants to sing till his last breathe. “I hope, 10 years from now, Odia music and songs will be literally present everywhere. I know nothing except music. Till I am alive, I will try to entertain my fans through melodious and soulful songs.”