Be it Navratri, movie Ramleela, Pujya Shri Morari Bapu events or Gazals, his voice touches soul – A Story of Osman Mir
22nd May 1974
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
An injury while playing cricket introduced him to Tabla and a natural flair of musical notes led him to become a singer… Osman Mir is known for his ‘Desi’ style singing and has come a long way with many struggles that were defeated by his simplicity and positive attitude. Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali chose him for the Ramleela superhit song ‘Mann Mor Bani Thangat Kare’ and how! Bhansali said he would drop the song from the film if Osman Mir doesn’t agree to sing it!
Team imd1 was humbled to know his interesting story. Read on to know more…
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
Since around 28 years, I have been associated with music. Infact, I used to play cricket as a hobby during childhood. Once, I got badly injured while playing cricket. Just to engage me into something else and ensure my safety, my father encouraged me to play Tabla during free time, instead of playing cricket. That pass time went on to playing Tabla with many family friends and legends. My journey started by playing Tabla with Pujya Shri Narayanswamy and this continued for 15 years. My friend Shri Pradeep Dave used to consistently push me to take up singing / Tabla for public performances but I used to take it casually and just continued music for my own satisfaction. I used to play Tabla at Pujya Shri Morari Bapu’s events. Once, Bapu’s son Parthivbhai heard me singing and recommended to Bapu. There came my first performance at his events with a Sufi creation – ‘Dilkash Tera Naksha Hai…’. Since then, I have been regularly performing at Pujya Bapu’s events and it has been a blessing! This gradually moved on to playback and folk singing.
What’s your success mantra?
My Success Mantra is one of the sayings of my Guruji – “Riyaaz Karo aur Raaj Karo”. I strongly believe that to construct a strong building, the foundation has to be super strong. In music, Riyaaz is that “Buniyaad”!
Quote for Life
Khush Raho aur Abaad Raho
My Religious Guru Pire Tarikat Abhala Bava, My Guru Shri Ismail Dataar and Pujya Shri Morari Bapu
My Mother Sakinaben
Food I love
Simple homemade food
Food I hate
Had I not been Singer then…
Have never thought of anything else!
Like Vacations at
Favorite Past time
I am associated with Music 24*7…
Taare Zameen Par, Ramleela, Sholay
Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Hema Malini, Deepika Padukone
What were the hardship & hurdles you encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
I come from a lower middle class family background. My father had struggled a lot in spite of being a brilliant artist. In those times, payments were low and musical shows were limited in number. Due to financial constraints, I could not continue my studies completely. Adding to that pressure, I lost my father when I was just 14 years old. For the sake of family needs, I used to work as a daily wage laborer too. But I do believe that when destiny shuts one door, it opens four new ones in return. Those days gave me a strong foundation of values and I am still thankful.
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
One should always keep in mind that nothing in the world is permanent. If we keep pursuing what we like with complete integrity, passion and consistency; then nothing can stop us from being successful. People around me used to express concerns over my ‘Mazdoori’, but I accepted it as a phase and that too passed. I specially acknowledge Ashwin Kaka, my father’s close friend, who initiated to get me out of my issues and connected me to Pujya Narayanswamy with whom my musical journey began.
Do you think Singing and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
I would want each and every one to learn music. Music is a real treasure of this world, a treasure that gives you the most effective solution to get stress free and prosper. I have few friends who are doctors. They treat patients while listening to music. I always wanted to know how these doctors focus while music is on. They shared that listening to music results into a better and effective treatment of their patients! Music is like nourishment for every life.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
My mother has been my biggest influencer. I am what I am today majorly because of her constant blessings and prayers. I also thank Parthivbhai Hariyani who introduced me to Pujya Shri Morari Bapu and Ashwin Kaka, my friend Shri Dave who helped me get my first public performance break at Ahmedabad. I also acknowledge the contribution of my friend Kishan who has been a strong force behind improving my pronunciations and language clarity which is very essential in singing.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I Am The 1”?
Amongst many public performances, my “I Am The 1” moment was when I had a full house performance at Babbly Arena Hall in London. It is a privilege for a singer to perform there and Pujya Morari Bapu was also present. I sang many Ghazals there and the audience kept demanding for more! That was a moment of pride for me. Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali chose me for the Ramleela song ‘Mann Mor Bani Thangat Kare’ and I was told that he would drop the song from the film if I don’t agree to sing it! That was the moment when I really felt ‘I Am The 1’.
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
My guru has been Shri Ismail Datar. It was more of experience based learning. I used to play Tabla and he used to play Banjo. During leisure time, he used to share lots of in depth concepts related to singing. He is a classical ‘Vishaarad’ and I am blessed to have learnt finesse essentials from him all these years.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Singing?
For systematic training, it is very important to identify the existing knowledge level and natural qualities to begin correctly. The current generation is very smart and their grasping power is really fast. Training could be suited to their levels of understanding.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
The most important would be Child’s mindset. Few grasp singing lessons in a matter of six months, while a few may just not be able to understand and develop keen interest. The ideal age could be 4-6 years since grasping power is much higher. The child is also away from any distractions and stress of daily routines at this age which makes learning much more focused. However, music is an art and can be learnt at any age; it’s never too late!
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Singing. What’s your take?
Technology has made it very easy to access and learn music. Media exposure has become much wider and given multiple platforms to the upcoming generations to showcase their talent globally.
How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Singing?
Parents could take references from existing students of a music teacher. That makes it easier to select the ideal one. When one is blessed by an ideal guru, the singing quality becomes immensely good. For instance, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi in Pune, our star singer Sonu Nigam has learnt from Ustad Ghulam Mustafa and we can see the remarkable perfection in his ‘Taalim’, similarly Suresh Wadkar ji is doing a marvelous job through his academy and many others.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Singing in remote parts of India?
I believe, there are music legends in almost all parts of India. One just needs to be aware and identify them for access. Technology can help in this search too.
In your opinion, what are the basic key traits apart from formal training that make “imd1”?
Educational background can add to personality. As I said earlier, the foundation of conceptual clarity is very important in music, the basic fundamentals should be very strong. Little things like sound controls and mic controls make a huge difference in singing quality and one should be open to learning these basics before getting into formal singing. Stage performance and studio recording are completely different. In a studio, out of a 4.5 minute duration song, 2.5 minutes is just music. A singer should be confident with the fact that he/she needs to give full justice to all the required emotions in the remaining 2 minutes for that particular song, that too in a restricted studio room atmosphere. Whereas stage performance is completely different experience altogether. One doesn’t get second chance and many things can go wrong and has to be carefully managed quickly. Many times we have to change plans including songs based on audience mood and response.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.
I would suggest parents who are interested in music coaching for their children to be careful on strengthening the ‘Buniyaad’. I have performed over 70 Gujarati playbacks, many Bollywood songs, Ghazals and various versions on different stages and it has been a very beautiful journey. There is nothing to be skeptical when it comes to music since we are all born with our own proportions of ‘Sur – Taal – Lay’!
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down memory lane…
I am thankful to destiny for whatever phases I have seen. I could have wanted to learn singing since early childhood but am happy that those days of struggle taught me to be ground to earth and simple, which is very important to sustain a glamorous career like singing.
How can one identify & encourage talent in the family?
Observe the nature and interest of your child and you can surely identify his/her interests. Nature has gifted all of us with music sense; your focus can lead to a systematic development of child’s interest.
Any other thoughts you want to share?
As it is Navratri, the festival of music and spirituality, I would mention – Saraswati Maa is one important Swaroop of Mataji! We should be thankful to Goddess Saraswati and keep learning positively. I wish Team imd1 and readers a very Happy Navratri! God Bless You all!