Suraj Jagan and his love for Rock!

IJ Anita Tejwani
Published on: 19th December 2014
Born in a family of doctors and businessmen how did Suraj Jagan end up becoming a renowned singer in Indian Film Industry? Let’s know him better.

“My grandmother was a doctor, my uncles were doctors and my grandfather and father were businessmen. So naturally, every kid born into such a family is expected to follow the tradition set by the elders,” says Suraj.

Right from his childhood, he was considered the “odd one” in the family. His specialties included dreaming, cycling around, enjoying the nature, the sky and exploring new roads, just to see where he’d end up.

“I never liked being confined in a class room, so naturally wasn’t interested in learning from textbooks and teachers who only knew to impart education with cane in hand, instilling fear in the kids so that they scored good marks,” he recalls.
Suraj Jagan and his love for Rock!,rock music
As a result he refused to comply with the education system and was taken out of one school and put into another and another so on. By the time he had finished schooling he had an extravagant experience of going through 9 schools! When he was in the last year at college, he wasn’t really sure about what he was going to take up as a profession, as all the options available at the time didn’t appeal to him in any way.

Around this time I started hanging out with some musicians, because by this time the only thing that made me happy was music. So one day while we were sitting outside a church I just started singing something and the guys in the band suddenly asked me if I would be interested in singing in their band. I was thrilled but at the same time wasn’t really sure if I would be able to sing in a band, because I had never sung anywhere other than at home and that too, never on a mic. The next day, I was called to their practice pad and that’s where I sang on a mic for the first time. The whole experience was such that I decided that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. The sound of the guitar and drums and the rest of the instruments in that rock band just made me feel alive for the first time in my life.” He says with a smile on his face.

His very first performance on stage was at a rock show. That day proved to open all doors to the world of singing for him and that music gave him an outlet to be able to express himself the way he wanted. “It gave me a sense of freedom that I had never felt before,” he mentions.

He then says, “Once I started singing I didn’t want to do anything else, so naturally I got a lot of flak from my family for “wasting my life away””.

If we don’t have a supportive family, it’s very difficult to convince them about our future in music, and mainly because we ourselves have no clue where this career will take us. There’s that risk that one may end up with nothing. But then any creative field has that same risk. “For me it made complete sense to stick to singing, because I know for sure that if it wasn’t for music I would be either dead physically or at the very least alive but dead inside,” the rock icon narrates.

His journey in music hasn’t been an easy one. There have been a lot of ups and downs. He didn't really get any encouragement from people around which made it more difficult to hit a rock everytime and keep encouraging self to try and try harder next time. He then developed a nature to enjoy the good times to the fullest as he had experienced the feeling of hitting the rock bottom.

“My dream was to be a part of a rock band, that’s it. But it wasn’t so easy keeping a band together for more than a few years because not everybody has the same dream. So when one band broke up I either formed another one or joined another band. This went on right from the 80’s to 2000’s,” he narrates.

Meanwhile he had started doing jingles to earn a living and got to sing for ads like the Hutch jingle ‘You & I in this beautiful world’ and various others. The first time he sang for a film was for Vishal Shekhar’s first movie ‘Pyar mein kabhi kabhi’. “I never went out actively seeking to sing for films, so my next film song was ten years later, the title track for ‘Johnny Gaddar’,” Mr Jagan recalls.  

In the meantime he used to write, compose and perform with his band called ‘Dream out loud’. Around this time he was called to sing a song for ‘Rock on’ and as he had finished recording the song he was asked if he would like to play a role in the movie, “Again with absolutely no experience in acting I went for it and it turned out fine and the movie was a hit too,” he laughs with glow in his eyes.
Then came ‘3 idiots’ which was a huge hit. The song -‘Give me some sunshine’ which was also a hit was sung by him and there have been other songs in various movies that have become hits.

“I have been very fortunate to have met and worked with all my favorite music directors in the music industry, some of them, living legends like Illyaraja sir.”

He will continue to sing for movies and ads but the one thing that he aims to continue with the highest zeal is singing in a rock band. “The reason I got into singing was that guitar sound that I absolutely love.”

“I chose a career where there’s no job security, no financial stability, no pension plan etc. but it’s a career that brings such happiness not only to me but to so many others, and that’s what my heart desires.

Money, fame, possessions etc may come and go but one thing that will never change for me is that I have always followed my heart, and will keep doing that till I die.

Even to this day when I get up on stage I still enjoy it like a little kid,” were Suraj Jagan’s inspiring words.

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