Hey Stubborn Army !! “Tum Jaise Chutiyon ka Sahara hai doston” a line which fills your heart with nostalgia and love for your friends sung by Rajeev raja .While listening to the song, every moment that we have spent with our friends just flashes before our eyes.
What’s a better way of celebrating Friendship day by listening to the stubborn story of the man behind it, Rajeev Raja. So come with me to the serene lands of Himachal where Rajeev’s tale began.
Today Rajeev Raja songs have impacted more than 500 million people but his beginning was not that huge. Rajeev Raja roots from the land of gods ‘Himachal’ and spent his early years in a happiness filled environment.
“I started singing at a very young age. Also I used to participate in various school level competitions. When I reached high school, I had already competed in multiple national level singing competitions.” says Rajeev Raja .
Rajeev Raja started out early but never got burned out. Wins or losses, highs or lows, whatever came , Rajeev Raja love for music never ceased to grow. Along with being so involved in music he never stumbled in academics too. He maintained a respectable academic record.
His passion for music was so fierce that he chose to actually study music in the university. He did a post graduation in Music from the prestigious Shimla University. Along with studying music Rajeev Raja kept performing but the path was never so easy.
The Struggles in beautiful valleys
The beautiful valleys of Himachal are very welcoming to those who wish to be mesmerized by their serene beauty but the people there do have their own struggles. Rajeev Raja coming from a typical middle class background had to struggle a lot to snatch every opportunity.
“The artists in Himachal or any part of India for that matter are not judged on their talent rather they are selected on the basis of which politician has pitched in for them” says the himachali artist.
“I keep my self respect much higher than money. I preferred not getting opportunities than licking boots of so-called ‘mantris’ to get opportunities.” Rajeev Raja adds
He was not very successful in getting much exposure in his college journey. He did some shows but none of them got home any big opportunities. Now on a quest to stand upon his own feet, Rajeev Raja chose to perform in clubs and hotels.
He almost performed at each and every hotel and club in and around Himachal. Performing regularly for such a long time made him a seasoned performer rather than a technical singer.
Non Stop Singing Made The Difference : Rajeev Raja
“I believe , If someone has paid to listen to you, then don’t just force your art upon him rather see what lets them have the most fun. It is important to sing well but is more important to make it enjoyable for the audience if you want to be a good performer. ” says Rajeev Raja in a conversation with the CEO of Stubborn Stories Neetu Chopra.
Rajeev Raja was never disheartened by his slow growth and kept working hard every day to improve on his art. This shows his virtue of ‘stubbornness’ because of which today Stubborn Stories is celebrating the friendship day with his story.
He became very popular as a club performer. His usp being his ability to sing for 13 hours non stop. Other singers came to the show, sang for an hour or two, took their money and went. Rajeev Raja on the other hand never left the show until the audience was enjoying it. That’s Why a lot of opportunities for doing club shows came his way.
One such opportunity made him meet a man who appreciated his art and gave him an opportunity to come to Mumbai. Rajeev gladly agreed and with his Himachali innocence without thinking anything through, he packed his bags and left for the ‘City of Dreams’.
‘Tum Jaise Chutiyon Ka Sahara’- A Life Changer
“After coming to Mumbai, I realised soon that no one here is happy to help. In a few months, I was struggling to even pay the rent, so living a good life was out of question.” remembers Rajeev Raja
He used to perform at various clubs but his art was not getting the level of appreciation and recognition he deserved. Little did he know that one such performance will completely flip his life’s scenarios.
“My uncle used to sing a song which went like ‘Ehsaan Mere Dil Pe Tumhara Hai Dosto’ I listened to the song and made a version of it myself. I used to sing that song for friends at many places. Even I never knew that it had the potential to move hundreds of million people” says Rajeev Raja .
In 2018 , when Rajeev Raja was performing this song for a group of friends and one of them made a video and posted it on Facebook. Overnight it blew up. Rajeev Raja song was listened to by lakhs of people even before he woke up the next morning.
Rajeev Raja being the sweet Himachali guy didn’t even know what to do next. He was overwhelmed by the milestones that song was achieving. Someone suggested him to make memes on that song and share them on his social handles.
Then one of his friends stepped in and said Rajeev Raja do you want to become a singer or you want to be a meme stock. Rajeev Raja choose to be known as a singer. They planned to shoot a music video for that song and put it on Youtube.
This was Always For The Audience , Not For The Money : Rajeev Raja
“We shot the music video in an under construction club. The chairs that you see in the video were rented from a tent house and the audience that you see are my real life friends.” Rajeev Raja told with nostalgic giggles.
Rajeev Raja didn’t know that some of his songs lyrics were from a Mohammed Rafi song from a 1966 movie. His video got a copyright claim from the company who owned the earlier song. Rajeev Raja didn’t approach them for 7 months after the song became a nation-wide hit. One day he gathered the courage and went to the company. To Rajeev Raja surprise the people form the company were his fans and they gladly removed the claim.
“The time when I finally got the copyright claim removed the video already had crossed 60 million views on Youtube. Someone told me that the revenue for that would have been around 20 lakhs. I thought he was joking but soon I realised that he was not.” told Rajeev Raja .
Rajeev Raja didn’t earn a penny for such a tremendous hit for 7 months. This tells that Rajeev Raja sings for the love of singing not for the fame and money associated with it. This is the true artist spirit that we should all learn from him.
But everything didn’t came overnight.
The Journey Afterwards : Rajeev Raja
Rajeev Raja has released multiple singles , one of which was once again a hundred million reaching song. He has sung three anthems namely the friendship anthem, pardesi anthem and breakup anthem.
Rajeev Raja has still remained the whimsical performer he was. He today has 1.5 million subscribers on Youtube and is followed by at least 10 million of his die hard fans.
Rajeev Raja is appreciated by huge names of the industry. “I was contacted by the manager of Sunil Shetty sir, he told me that Sunil sir is a big fan of mine. I thought he was kidding but when I met Sunil sir he actually told me how much he had liked my friendship anthem.” told Rajeev. Rajeev has also shared a big news that his friendship anthem is soon going to feature in a bollywood movie which is produced by none other than Sunil Shetty sir. Also Rajeev Raja is also the ambassador of ‘Jio Youth icon’.
“I come from a background where happiness is much more important than ambitions in life. I would never want to pay happiness as a price for earning money or getting famous. Also I value the peace of my mind much more than any of the materialistic things” says Rajeev .
Rajeev is a friend we all should have because he can teach you to be happy in whatever you get, He is way beyond the materialistic battles that we fight day in and day out.
Rajeev’s Recipe of ‘A Successful Artist’
“I want to tell all of you, who are today struggling with no one to watch your back, that one day it you will succeed but for that keep working hard. This world is a place of cut throat competition, if you want to be at the top then make 360 degree growth. Focus on being an ‘Audience’s man ’ as much as you focus on your art. ” says the seasoned performer.
“Along with that don’t forget to be happy. True happiness is not something that we find very easily. Especially in these tough times of this pandemic, happiness is our only saviour. Make a lot of friends and stay close because no man is a failure if he has friends” adds Rajeev.
This was the tale of the man behind the song who moved half a thousand million people. His simplicity touches hearts and his values strike chords. Rajeev even after being such a great performer doesn’t have an ounce of arrogance which is very amazing and we all should learn from him.
On that note I will be signing off. We will bring a lot of new stories that will lit your passion and up. So stay tuned. Till then
Stay Stubborn, Stay Passionate