"Yedo Priya Ragam Vintunna" - Is the song which won many hearts and a lot of accolades. This song happens to be one of the feathers in the cap of a renowned, dynamic and energitic Play back singer Sagar. He is one of those few singers who won a nandi award at the very begenning of his career, Not only a successful singer but he proved himself to be an allrounder by hosting the program MAA TV super singer. Recent during his US tour we got an oporunity to talk and know more about him.
Hi Sagar? Is this the first time you are visiting US? How are you feeling being in US?
Well this is my third time for me in the US. I'd come here once in 2008, when i was felicitated by the Telugu Literary and Cultural associaton (TLCA) at New York and once for performing at ATA (American Telugu Association) in New Jersey. I performed at eight more cities after ATA. Since this is the third time I'm triple excited and this time I was at Cary, Raleigh for TATA (Triangle Area Telugu Association) and it was an awesome experience right from start to finish.
Tell us about your background (childhood, college, family)
I was born in Andhra Pradesh in a village called Vedurupaka (East Godavari dt.). As my Dad Mr.Satya Murty is a script writer our family shifted to Chennai when i was less than an year old. I did my schooling at SIR.M.VENKATA SUBBA RAO SCHOOL. I graduated in Mathematics at LOYOLA COLLEGE.
Regarding my family,as i told my dad is a script writer for Telugu Films and my mom's a home maker. Everyone must obviously be knowing Devi Sri Prasad who is my elder brother and my sister Mrs.Padmini Priya Darsini is an architect.
How did your Playback singing career start ? And how many songs do you have in your kitty till date?
I never imagined a career in playback singing though i was interested in music from childhood. I started singing Chorus for my brother's films since I found it exciting. But one fine day my brother asked me to sing NEETI MULLAI (VARSHAM) and recorded my voice. The song came out really well and i got compliments from Annayya,M.S.Raju garu and Prabhas. It was then that I realised that even i could sing...!!!
After that I've sung about 50-60 songs,most of them for my brother.
I received the NANDI AWARD for Best Male Singer for the song EDHO PRIYA RAGAM from ARYA.
How supportive is your family?
My family is my biggest strength and right from childhood my parents gave me total freedom to do whatever i felt would make me happy.
Who is your favorite music Director.... Well Iam sure you would mention your brothers name ... so we would like to know the names other than him.
Haha... True, I'm a huge fan of Devi Sri Prasad.
Other than him the Music Director i love is Ilayaraaja garu. We literally worship him and i grew up listening to his music.
Your hidden talent of hosting the television shows came out with the MAA TV super singer. It was indeed the most successful shows aired on the television. How did that happen? How do you feel when you travel or when you are in public they recognize you as an anchor for the MAA TV super singer?
Actually i never knew i could manage a show like that. Initially when i was asked to host the show i said that I'll do a couple of episodes and then decide whether to continue or not. But by God's grace everything fell in place and the show become a phenomenol success and even i got a lot of recognition. It definitely feels so nice when people right from the age of 3 years to 75 years recognise me and talk to me as though I'm a member of their family. I owe each and every bit of this success to THE MAA TV TEAM, the judges and the participants because without their support and sportiveness I wouldnt have been able to do what i did.
Iam sure the kind of name you have achieved after hosting the MAATV Super singer should get you a lot of opportunities in the field of acting too. So any plans of taking up acting as a profession?
Hmmm... Well i did get a few opportunities to act but i did not take up any of them as of now. But i'm definitely interested in acting and will surely act if i get a really good project.
How is your rapport with your brother?
Me and my brother have an excellent relationship. We are more like friends than siblings. We discuss a lot about movies and career. We never take important decisions without consulting each other. And we also criticise each others' work without any mercy. Most of the time I'm the first person to listen his tunes before he plays them to the director or producer and I give him a very frank opinion and he really appreciates that quality in me.
Did you encounter any weird incident with any of your female fans?
Noooooo...!!! Each and every Well wisher (I prefer to call them well wishers rather than fans) has always been very sweet and encouraging. None of them have gone over board. I've had a few girls propose to me but I've always told them clearly that marriage is not my priority now.
I've never really thought about it nor am i inclined towards it. There's a lot more to be achieved and I'll decide about my marriage only after I'm satisfied with myself. My answer might sound cliched but that's my sincere answer.
People have an opinion that you only perform for Devi Sri prasad's shows. Is it true?
People do think that way and its only natural that they think like that cos I'm his brother. But since the topic has come up let me announce to the whole world that I'm open to singing or performing for any Music Director. Pleeeeeeeeeease print this bold letters.
What are your hobbies other than singing?
I love driving and whenever time permits I go on long drives with my friends. And its become all the more interesting cos my brother gifted me an XUV 500 car for my birthday this year.
How friendly are you with your co singers?
I share a great rapport with all my co-singers. Since all of the present bunch of singers fall in the same age category its become all the more comfortable to be friends. I can proudly say that there's no ego or jealousy among us. Each one feels genuinely happy for the other person's success and i think that's a great quality.
As you have seen a lot singers in the reality shows coming these days. According to your judgment who do u think will have a long running career?
Each singer definitely has his/ her specialities. In my opinion I really like singers Revanth and Dheeraj. They have a very good attiude and style in their voices. I see a really bright future for them. I'm purposely not mentioning any of the team leaders of Super Singer 5 or Super Singer 6 as they are all established singers already and are very good friends of mine. My best wishes and love will always be there for all of them and i do keep suggesting their names to my brother whenever i feel that a particular song might sound good in their voice.
Are you a party freak?
No. I am not a party freak at all. But I love visiting dance clubs whenever i go abroad.
Your future plans?
Well I'm not really the kind of person who plans too well in advance, yet I do have certain wishes which I would definitely love to see fulfilled. I'll talk about them as when the time comes.
When are you coming back to US again?
Well I will be back again on Jan 21, 2012. I was invited by Vikram Janagam Garu who is the President of the TLCA. I will be performing for the TLCA Sankranti Event at New York.
Do you visit ragalahari.com
Ragalahari is one of the sites i visit regularly and i also follow the tweets from celebrities through this site. And i sincerely appreciate the fact that there's no gossip or unwanted news in ragalahari.
Message for your fans?
I would like to say just this to all my well wishers and the visitors of ragalahari.com,
FOLLOW YOUR HEART... AND LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO... COS AFTER ALL YOU LIVE BUT ONCE...!!!
- Ujwal Kasthala