From the school stage in a small district of Arunachal to the platform of Indian Idol, the journey of Jeli Kayi Tamin has been quite an interesting one. Jeli has currently qualified till the theatre round of the show which is in the 12th season. In an exclusive interview, Jeli talks about his life, career and Indian Idol.
We know you as this amazing singer. Tell us about your personal life.
I am from a village which about 100kms from Aalo district in Itanagar Kiro Moba circle. I moved to Itanagar to pursue my career. I have been travelling back to back, from Itanagar to Mumbai. I have done my graduation in arts and then I started concentrating on my career in singing. I scrapped the idea of further studies as I had to stand on my own feet and also look after my family and now here I am.
When did you realize that you have a penchant for singing?
My love for singing started to grow since I was a child. I remember I was in 4th or 5th standard, I used to perform in almost all the functions in my school. I would be overwhelmed to see the appreciation and encouragement from my teachers and friends in the school. That meant a lot to me. Also, whenever there would be some family functions or social event, my kins would always urge me to sing a song. After every performance, elders would give Rs5 or Rs 10 note as a token of love and appreciation. As a kid, getting that much money was a big deal.
When did you decide to take up singing as your career?
The first season of India Idol was aired when I passed my 10th board exams. In that same year a district level singing competition named Aalo Idol. I participated in the show and was eventually declared the winner. When I was in 12th standard, the first season the show named Voice of Arunachal was organized. I participated in that also and came out as the 1st runners up. That’s when I started getting recognition as a local artist in the state. I started doing shows. After being in the district and state level, it was my dream to be in the national platform.
How did Indian Idol happen?
This was not my first attempt in Indian Idol. I auditioned for the first season in Kolkata. I got till the Mumbai audition but was unfortunately eliminated. I tried again in season 9. Then finally I was there for season 12 amid the pandemic and so far I have been to reach the theatre round.
Tell us about your experience in Indian Idol?
The reality shows that I have done so far, whether it’s local, state or national, I received a lot of love, appreciation and encouragement. Also from the eminent judges, Neha Kakkar, Vishal Bharadwaj and Himmesh Reshammiya, I got to learn a lot. In spite of being such big names in the industry, the judges were really sweet and supportive towards us all contestants. They are friendly and treat all of us equally. Overall it was a wonderful experience. Also, being in a reality, especially like Indian Idol, you will need a lot of patience and dedication. Sometimes the shooting goes on for more than 24 hours, so one has to be really patient. But yes, I am having a lot of fun being in Indian Idol. It’s really fun working with the team.
What about the precautions for Covid-19?
Owing to the pandemic the show is taking a lot of precautions. Our temperatures are checked very often. Proper sanitization is also done before and after the shoot. We enter into the studio with full precautions.
During the audition you mesmerized the judges as well as the viewers with your ability to sing in both male and female voices.
Being able to sing in both male and female voices is god-gifted plus I have worked on it a lot. I consider Sonu Nigam as my idol. I used to listen to songs of the popular 90s singers like Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan. I wanted to make a different identity of mine. So I thought why not work on both male and female voices. In initial stages I sounded really bad. But as they practice makes a man perfected. I worked really hard on my voice modulations and this is what it is. I have been getting a lot of offers for singing in female voice. In my state as well I have play backed for female in movies here.
What are your upcoming plans?
I have worked for district level, state level and now I am performing at the National level. So, now I want to perform on an International level. So I would like to go for Asia Got Talent. I always believe that one should pursue his/her dreams. There should be no regrets. I am working on a hindi solo album. After Indian Idol I want to focus on Asia’s Got Talent.
Any message for our readers?
There is no dearth of talent in the Northeastern region. Don’t ever feel that you are from Northeast so you cannot shine at Bollywood. If you have talent you will shine.