Prasad’s passion for music

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“SINGING is my passion and it has never affected my studies or work.”

These were the words of Nitesh Prasad who is a bhajan, kirtan and lokgeet singer from Rovadrau in Navua.

A policeman by profession, Prasad is known for his humbleness and friendly behaviour in his community.

He has even earned the nickname “Bhaiyaji” for his welcoming character.

“I started singing kirtan in 1996 after being inspired by my parents who used to play kirtan and bhajan tapes at home. I was never sent to town or movies, but was never stopped to attend religious functions during school days,” he said.

“With the guidance of my eldest brother Nilesh Prasad, I started singing kirtan but it didn’t stop there. After getting encouraged by friends I learnt playing harmonium in 1998. I had to learn secretly as at home kids were not allowed to touch these instruments,” Prasad started singing bhajan in 1999 and later diversified into lokgeet singing.

Despite his successful singing career, Prasad did not leave behind his studies which were paramount to him.

“Singing did not affect my studies as I remember going out to sing bhajan in Suva a day before my Fiji School Leaving Certificate examination. I passed my Form 6 with good marks and later passed Form 7.

“I entered the University of the South Pacific, completed a few units then joined the Fiji Police Force. I continued singing and am still singing in competitions and other functions now,” he added.

Prasad urged today’s younger generation not to forget their culture and traditions.

“We did not have much resources, but made use of what we had. Times have changed. There are so many opportunities for today’s young generation. I would urge them to grab the opportunities with both hands.

“Parents should also not stop their children from attending religious activities, but in return encourage them to. It will not affect their studies. If parents help them out in planning their time. It didn’t affect mine.”

Prasad said singers these days should not only focus on competitions, but also help out those in need.

He said it was sad to see that families have to plead to singers and groups to perform bhajan at venues after a funeral, something that never used to happen before.

Prasad has had numerous local competitions starting with the great Michael Chand Mahabir in 2004.

He has also sung in four competitions in New Zealand.

He dedicated his achievements to his brothers, parents and wife Atishma Chand who helped him to be where he was today.

Prasad added that if a small town boy like him could dream big and achieve things like he had, then there was no reason why children of today, with all the available resources, could not.

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