Meet Rishi…Britain’s new teen heartthrob
Zayn Malik may be off the market but there’s a new direction that every teenage girl’s heart is about to take and it points towards Rishi.
Gayatri Sahay caught up with him for his first ever interview at his dad’s restaurant, Yum Yum Thai in London, where Rishi was taking an afternoon off from the studio to hang out with his entourage and finalise what kind of merchandise he would like to promote… just your average start to the weekend when you’re a sixteen year old soon to be sensation.
So, are you all still at school?
I was at school but I think I’ll be leaving soon to focus more on my music.
Although you’ve been into music for some time now is it true that you only got into it properly last year?
Exactly 11 months ago.
Did you always want to be a singer? Was it a childhood aspiration?
Well I’ve definitely always had an appreciation for good music - even when I was younger I remember sitting in the back seat of the car with my parents and listening to country music. As I got older and listened to more varieties of music, my general understanding of it all developed and then one of my dad's friends, very randomly, asked me, ‘do you want to take singing lessons?’ so I was kind of like ‘yeah why not?’ and I started to really enjoy it.
That’s cool, why country music, was that on your parents’ playlist or your preference?
It was my mum’s favourite!
So what kind of image are you looking to promote yourself with?
I want to get across a sensible side to me because I think that’s what people appreciate most. I think I want to some across as educated and sensible; someone who is able to make good choices in life.
You have quite a diverse background as well, so do you consider yourself to be a role model to your community?
Definitely. My mum is Chinese, my dad is Bengali and right now there isn’t anyone currently out there like me – I mean there’s Jay Sean but there’s always room for more!
You’re at the beginning of your career and you’ve been given a platform from which you can talk to the whole world, what’s your message?
Enjoy music. I mean that’s what it all starts off with, passion for music. Everyone has to have an appreciation of the music that they listen to and that develops round the world and that’s how music becomes popular.
I had a question for you to answer on their behalf, but since your friends are here…how have you guys reacted to him going into music? Or is it something you saw coming?
We didn’t see it coming at all; we’ve all known each other for nine years so we have been there through the whole journey. He just called up us one day and it all started from there. We would never have imagined that he would pursue it like this. But it has been amazing for him so far and we wish him every success.
What have you been working on recently?
I’ve been working on a cover of a Drake song called Hold On We’re Going Home.
Who do you think is headlining today as our best contemporary artist?
Alright, there’s no dispute about this. I know my friends will back me up on this. Definitely, Justin Timberlake.
What do you think about people like Justin Bieber? Do you think he can stand the test of time?
Whatever you do in music it has to be calculated. I think Justin Bieber will last for another five or six years. Everyone has heard the stories where he goes to restaurants and does these naughty things but I reckon if he is able to mature and make himself better, he will last longer.
Yeah; He wasn’t received too well on his London/UK tour - I think I read a tweet ‘Justin Bieber never come back to the UK’.
That’s really horrible, but sometimes you can’t pin an error on artists themselves, personally, I heard it was actually a technical difficulty with his sound system, which is why he wasn’t able get to the stage on time.
Do you think you could deal with hate at such a young age?
Yeah I think I can to be honest. I’d like to think I’m quite a grounded person and I’ve got these guys (his friends and parents) to help me if anything goes wrong. I’ve got people to fall back on.
So what’s this about your merchandise plans, isn’t a t-shirt enough?
I want something quirky, really quirky - like a shisha pipe – you know those new electronic ones that have come out!
You're still young but what words of wisdom do you have for people that are looking to do the same thing?
Right now the words of advice that I would offer are if you love something so much and you’re willing to pursue it as a career then keep at it, you can’t stop, if there’s a bump in the road then get over it.
And what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Stay grounded; the only people you can trust are your friends and your parents.
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