• Saturday, December 09, 2023


Kashmiri singer speaks about his journey to Top 20 on ‘Indian Idol 14’

By: Mohnish Singh

What could be more satisfying than attaining your dream? The same thing happened to a young Kashmiri singer Afaq Shafi, who made it to the Top 20 of the singing reality show Indian Idol 14.

Hailing from Shalimar, Afaq has longed to perform on the stage of the singing reality show since his childhood, and after years of effort, he finally realised his dream. He credited his parents and the almighty for helping him get to this point.

He told ANI, “I have been singing since childhood, and no one has taught me. All I learned is from social media and YouTube. I didn’t have exposure on how to sing and where to sing, and I got chances to showcase my talent through social media.”

Afaq started his YouTube channel in 2019 and after receiving excellent feedback from music fans, he received backing from his parents to pursue a music career.

Although it was not an easy road, and he battled economic challenges as well as cultural preconceptions, his passion for music and his family’s steadfast support spurred him ahead.

He gave auditions online initially and then also travelled to Delhi and Mumbai to give the auditions.

“Before reaching the Indian Idol auditions, I had given many auditions, and I told them I hadn’t learned anywhere and I would sing without a band. The judges appreciated me and said I had to sing with a band and music. I performed well and got selected in the top 20,” he added.

He took inspiration from singers like Arijit Singh, Kumar Sanu, Mohammed Rafi, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. On ‘Indian Idol’ while performing with other contestants he learned from them.

From his experience on the show, he wants to inspire aspiring singers in Kashmir. “I want to learn from the experience on the show and become an inspiration for young singers in Kashmir.”

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