Jairaj Kabir Singh Manchanda a.k.a. Acoustic Singh - "The Singh that Sings"
“Naam lamba hoga, toh kaam bada karega” (If you have a long name, you’ll do good work in life) is what my mom tells me.
Jairaj Kabir Singh Manchanda a.k.a. Acoustic Singh is a 17 year old from Guwahati studying in the 11th Standard at Don Bosco School, Panbazar. Better known as Acoustic Singh, he is a YouTube based singing sensation with over 90,000 subscribers, which he has acquired over just about 6 months. With this huge and fast growing subscriber base, Kabir has got himself an audience that loves him already. He is one of the youngest people in the city to have such a fan base.
“I hardly go to school, attend a lot of shows and perform. I don’t know if I’ll make it to my graduation, but mummy says, ‘anpadh singer nahi banega tu, graduate to karna hi hai’ (You will have to graduate, you can’t be an uneducated singer).” – Acoustic Singh.
The idea of a YouTube Channel
“I was in Delhi for a long time and my cousins used to tell me, that since I had the talent why don’t I try showcasing the same to the people? People should know about me. Based on that, I started off on Instagram, doing cover, making short clips. I brainstormed with my cousins for a long time and after coming up with terrible names like Punjab B-Singer Boy, The Khalsa Boy, we finally fixed on ‘Acoustic Singh, The Singh that Sings.’
It was after that, people started following my channel, loving my content and made requests, one of which was for me to come on YouTube and get a YouTube Channel started. Just one and a half months into it, and I started getting requests about covers.”
First Upload: 11:30 PM, August 30, 2016
My first video was ‘Ijazat’ from One Night Stand and people liked it a lot. They demanded I do full song covers. I used to upload my videos using a simple smartphone which my cousin would shoot over lot of ambient noise. People observed that I should bring into my videos some of my cool cat nature and some quality processing instead of just sitting on a chair with my guitar. I learnt some editing and some post processing which got me lots of thumbs ups. I think if I cannot give my audience what they want, the entire process would be redundant. I could offer them a good audio experience and then some.
My third cover, Teri Khair Mangdi from the movie Baar Baar Dekho was a great hit for me. People started liking it a lot and it went viral. Since then the graph has been upward. My covers from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil were massive – with over 2,000,000 views on these songs.
So much Attention?
“I am treated normally; in school, at home, or outside,” says Kabir. At home, he belongs to a regular family that eats together, stays together, fights together and yet, sticks together. At school, Kabir is like any other kid. He is often chided for missing classes, or scoring less and the teachers expect a lot from him, academically, and from his talent.
Family and Roots
Kabir’s father is an army contractor based out of northeast. Kabir’s grandmother is a Naga tribal (Tangkhul) from Manipur and grandfather from Punjab and this makes Kabir a union of two states stretched out from each other. With a Punjabi heritage and Manpuri roots it is clear that Jairaj Kabir Singh Manchanda is the best of both worlds.
The father-son duo are fitness freaks and religiously work out. Kabir’s dad says, “Kabir will be a singer with a difference – the youth icon that inspires and says no to drugs, smoking and promotes fitness.”
Since childhood, singing caught Kabir’s attention and his family has been ever supportive. Going to reality shows, being rejected, through thick and thin, Kabir’s determination has only increased with this push from his family.
How hard it is
“With the camera, it is a little difficult, but once I’m set, there’s nothing holding me back,” says Kabir. A semi-finalist at the Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa Little Champs at the age of 10, Kabir was famished, hungry and tired when performing which he says could be why he forgot a couple of lines.
Reality shows take their toll on participants and has often been a point of debate for many parents.
How he keeps his voice in tune
“I love ice-cream! If there’s a bowl in front of me, I will devour it,” says the 17 year old. He says that there is no real maintenance that he does – just avoiding soft drinks is good for him. “I also avoid shouting which often gives me a sore throat,” shared Kabir. He’s the ‘not-so-sensitive’ and rough and tough kind of guy.
His start to singing
Jeet Kashyap, the music teacher of Sanskriti – The Gurukul, in Guwahati is one of the first people who recognized and brought out Kabir’s talent. He was his guide and mentor. Kabir has learnt and picked up a lot of learning from a lot people in his journey so far. Kabir soon plans to shift to Mumbai to further his dreams because “Bollywood is Life.”
Check out his covers here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOa4ng239g5dqsWYFLR9dmQ