The two lucky winners, shortlisted from numerous entries by a panel of jury, will get an opportunity to showcase their talent in the presence of eminent ghazal maestros at Khazana – A Festival of Ghazals
Hungama Artist Aloud, a platform that supports and promotes independent content, and Khazana – an annual concert that appreciates and celebrates the art of ghazals, announced the winners of the 5th edition of Khazana Artist Aloud Talent Hunt – India’s only talent hunt for Ghazal singers. The competition, this time, has taken the celebrations a notch higher, with Surendra Kumar Rawal and Aparajita Lahiri impressing the judges to emerge as winners. In addition to their crowning glory, the duo will also get to perform at the prestigious ‘Khazana – A Festival of Ghazals’, alongside some of the most prominent Ghazal legends of India, such as Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz, Anup Jalota, Rekha Bhardwaj, Sudeep Banerji to name a few.
Celebrating the art of ghazals, the fifth edition saw participants from the length and breadth of India as well as singers from all over the world including countries like the USA, UK, UAE, and Oman, among others. The contestants were judged by eminent Indian ghazal legends, Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz, Anup Jalota, Rekha Bhardwaj, and Sudeep Banerji. Like every year, selecting the best of all was a tough task. Surendra Kumar Rawal and Aparajita Lahiri, who mesmerized the judges with their craft in different rounds of the competition, were announced as the winners after being shortlisted from over 20 other talented participants.
Sharing her thoughts about the event and winners, Soumini Sridhara Paul, Senior Vice President, Hungama Artist Aloud said, “Every association with Khazana is special. This is our fifth collaboration with them, and this time too it has been a wonderful experience. We have been working on creating this unique platform that provides exposure to lesser known ghazal singing talents to prove their ability to the world. The response that we have received so far has only inspired us to work harder. I congratulate Surendra Kumar Rawal and Aparajita Lahiri for their outstanding performance and for winning this coveted title. Through this association with Khazana, we hope to encourage more individuals to pursue their love for this art form and open doors for them to be a part of the melodious world of ghazals in the coming years.”
Talking about the contest and its objective, Pankaj Udhas added, “Over the years, we have always wanted to have a platform for ghazal singers to showcase their unique talent to the world. So, when we see winners like Surendra Kumar Rawal and Aparajita Lahiri, I can say that the right objective of this prestigious contest is getting fulfilled. We are pleased to see that the number of talented contestants is increasing every year, not just from India but across the globe. I am very happy for them and wish them the best in life and music. I hope they inspire more artists to always follow their dreams, and keep working hard.”
Expressing her experience as a member of the Jury panel, Rekha Bhardwaj shared, “This year the contest saw amazingly talented ghazal singers from all over the world. Selecting the best among them was quite a task. All the contestants were supremely talented, with each of them having their unique quality and presentation style. It was of utmost importance to look for all the necessary details to select the best of them all. My heartiest congratulations to Surendra Kumar Rawal and Aparajita Lahiri for their achievement. I wish them luck for their future endeavours and hope their success would motivate more ghazal singers.”
Khazana – A Festival of Ghazals was founded by legendary Ghazal singer and President, Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust, Pankaj Udhas along with Y.K. Sapru, Founder & Chairman, Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) with the support of ghazal maestros Talat Aziz and Anup Jalota. Currently in its 21st year, Khazana has excelled in preserving and promoting the exquisite art of Ghazal singing by giving a platform to both, new and established Ghazal singers. The Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT) and Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) are the recipients of all revenue from the festival.