From Puri To Rahman’s Protégé, Odia Lad Sings A Success Song

Odisha has always been a proud cradle of talents. Be it in sports (ace sprinter Dutee Chand, for instance), bureaucracy (Principal Secretary to PM, PK Mishra), entrepreneurship (OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal) among myriad fields. And Anurag Mohapatra from Puri is another emerging name in this list of notables.

Anurag recently won the internet with his singing at a digital reality show on YouTube originals. The show, ‘ARRvied’, was hosted by none else than musical maestro AR Rahman, who featured Anurag as a ‘talent’.

“AR Rahman had chosen me from thousands of other voices. That was a winning moment for me because I had come to the show to meet the maestro and learn from him,” Anurag said in a recent interview to an English magazine. “We used to have training sessions and every moment with him has contributed to making me the musician I am today.”

So, how did it all begin?

Musical Stirrings

Music was in Anurag’s genes. His Puri-based parents had pursued music for some point of their life and knew their son had talent. But it was not till his days at Gandhi Engineering College in Bhubaneswar that Anurag found his true calling. His singing was a regular feature at cultural events and college fests and he also participated in various shows around town.

During such soirees, he met many local musicians as well as reputed professionals. This spurred his interest to pursue live music notwithstanding his studies (“necessary chore”) for Computer Science Engineering.

Getting Around

Sudeep Jena, the celebrity guitarist of Odia film and music industry, took the young Anurag under his wing, mentoring him in music as well as the industry. Now, Anurag set his sights on becoming a professional singer. And his parents supported his career choice, willingly. His friends too backed his decision.

“I realized that I was born for music when I was in college. With positive advice from my well-wishers, I started listening to international music a lot and decided that it was time to take up singing professionally,” Anurag said.

He soon dis playback for a couple of Odia albums. He has also started working on some soon-to-released Hindi tracks.

On Stage With Shaan

A couple of years back when he was working in Bengaluru, a friend told him about a competition in which the winner would get to perform with Bollywood singer Shaan. Without having a second thought, he immediately came down to Bhubaneswar and auditioned for it. He won and finally got the opportunity to sing alongside the noted singer on stage in front of thousands of people. And that completely gave a new direction to his live gigs profile. Now, Anurag is well acquainted with Shaan and hopes of collaborating with the singer on some projects soon.

Magic Moment

Anurag auditioned for ‘ARRived’, a reality show hosted by AR Rahman on YouTube originals. And he won, piping thousands of other talented contestants from across the country. Rahman tutored him, helping him to re-invent his inner skills. The maestro then presented Anurag as a ‘talent’ in his show.

During these training sessions, he met more people from Rahman’s team like Ranjit Barot and Gulraj Singh. It was they who helped him get his grounding in the Mumbai music fraternity.

Way To Go

At present, Anurag is associated with Bollywood actor Jacky Bhagnani’s recently launched record label—‘Just Music’. He is now all set to take off for Singapore, where he will be performing for various corporate and private events.

And this is just the beginning for this talented lad from Puri who dared to dream big and chase them too. After all, as he himself declares: “When it comes to dreams, either you live them or leave them.”

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