The young ones are going places, sometimes beating the oddest of odds. Talent is what drives them, passion is what leads them, and determination is what defines them. On International Youth Day, Match My Talent takes you through the golden boulevard of talent. Meet India’s young women and men who are prodigiously talented.
Mohini Dey – Bass Guitarist
Basking in glory since she was 11, all thanks to her accomplishments with the guitar, Mohini, all of 20, has been strumming from the age of three. Her father, a bassist himself, introduced her to the instrument, and ever since it’s been a steady journey towards excellence and glory.
Soon after her induction to the world of music, she was taken under the tutelage of music composer and drummer Ranjit Barot. So impressed was Mr. Barot by her performance, he featured her in his album ‘Bada Boom’ and made her a part of his band on MTV Unplugged. Later, she played in two seasons of Coke Studio.
Over the years, Mohini has played with luminaries in the field of music. She was barely 13 when she was ushered into the famous Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai and played along with Ustad Zakir Hussain, the legendary tabla virtuoso. She regularly performs with legends such as Hariharan, AR Rahman, Sivamani and Stephen Devassy to name a few.
“Mohini is remarkable for her virtuosity and has gone beyond the novelty of a child prodigy to a promising stretch of great musical longevity”, remark Uday Benegal, Singer-songwriter and founder of the band
Jasleen Royal – Singer, Songwriter, Music Composer
Jasleen Kaur Royal has received no formal training in music and is a self-taught musician. However, her prowess in her chosen field has been amazing. She has been a semifinalist at the first season of ‘India’s Got Talent’ when she was 18. Her ability to play guitar, mouth organ and a tambourine – all while singing – has earned her the title of ‘one woman band’ by an eminent panel of judges comprising Shekhar Kapur, Kirron Kher and Sonali Bendre.
Playing various musical instruments is not the only talent she possesses. She can also sing in Punjabi, Hindi and English with effortless ease. Her debut song “Paanchi Ho Jaava”, which she not only sang but also composed, won an award for the best indie song at the MTV Music Video Awards 2013. Another achievement that summarises her talent was her winning the ‘Best Indie Music’ at ‘Free The Music’, an initiative especially for indie musicians. She was nominated along with big names including Kailash Kher, Rabbi Shergil and the band ‘Indus Creed.’
In 2014, Jasleen made her bollywood debut with the song ‘Preet’ for the movie ‘Khoobsurat.’ However, her moment of glory came with the life anthem ‘love you zindagi’ in the movie ‘Dear Zindagi’, released in 2016. The song became a big hit and established her career in Bollywood.
Today, Jasleen Kaur Royal is a well-known name in both indie music and bollywood alike. She lives in Mumbai and works on multiple projects.
Amiruddin Shah – Ballet Dancer
Amiruddin’s story has all the elements of a fairytale. It can be a beacon of hope for those who strive to beat odds. Born and raised in a Mumbai slum, the teenager is now enrolled at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York. Amazing, isn’t it? Read on.
The son of a welder in Mumbai, the 16-year old used to dance at weddings and events. However, he had no idea what a pleasant surprise life had in store for him. Everything about his life changed when he went out to enroll for hip-hop classes at a dance centre that offered lessons for underprivileged children.
After a year of his joining Danceworx Performing Art Academy, he was spotted by Yehuda Maor, the Israeli-American ballet master. Impressed by the boy’s talent, he persuaded him to leave hip-hop and joined his ballet classes. Maor took him through rigorous training sessions and was astonished by Shah’s ability to master complex moves such as the pirouette and the pointe quickly.
“Somehow his body learned this classical language with such ease that in the two and a half years that I’ve been training him he achieved the level of a professional dancer that takes nine-ten years to achieve” said Maor. He further added, “As a ballet teacher, I’ve been trained to look at the weakest point of a dancer. With him I cannot find a weak point. He is a class by himself.”
Akshat Singh – The Little Dancing Sensation
At eight, most young boys are concerned with cartoons, movies and the like, but not Akshat Singh. The Liluah boy, who was just eight in 2014, had gone all the way to the U.S., got himself featured at the famous Ellen DeGeneres Show and won recognitions and hearts alike.
A diehard fan of Salman Khan, he even calls himself Chhota Salman. Following his performance at the Show, CNN declared his moves “better than Jagger.” The Huffington Post called his act “brilliant, hilarious”.
What catapulted him to fame first was his being a contestant at ‘India’s Got Talent.’ He became such a sensation that he received a standing ovation at the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
There are indeed thousands of people who are immensely talented patiently wait for their ‘turn’. A lot more are waiting to be discovered the way Yehudi Maor discovered Amiruddin Shah. It was coincidence of the highest kind. And it’s not just Amiruddin or Maor who benefitted from their union, but the world of dance.
At MatchMyTalent, our mission is to help talented people find the right opportunities. This International Youth Day, we would like to encourage you to visit us and register yourself, if you haven’t done it yet. Unlike in the past, when opportunities were few, today’s world is teeming with them. If you got talent, we can be the light on your path.