From Patel Scope, 1999 (right) In a video from Karna Padta Hai, 2015. He now keeps busy with Navratri garba tours
We all hummed along with Govinda to his hit number Meri Marzi, from Gambler. Back then, little did we know that the person singing it was already a singing sensation; in Gujarat, a bigger name than the actor himself.
But then again, Devang Patel has never cared for fame. "I like this job, that's what kept me in the business. I don't want to be a star. I pretend to be one for the cameras in my videos but am not in real life. I just want to make people laugh and for that you need to be a simple man," he says.
Today, 45, the singer, songwriter and rapper is doing what he did when he started out in 1993: creating parodies of Hindi and English numbers. Back then, he sold out thousands of cassettes of Patel Scope and Meri Marzi. Now, he creates singles and releases videos on Youtube and social media channels. His last number was Ram Bolo Bhai Ram, a musical comedy katha of fictitious godman Sopari Bapu.
Patel may not be as big a star today as he was back then - "Bollywood is king now" - but he can still pull a crowd... of garba dancers. "I've always liked singing garba and that is what has kept me relevant and connected to the youth. I do world tours every year during Navratri, visiting China, Hong Kong, Australia, Uganda, Kenya, UK, USA and Canada," he says.
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