'I have come out of my own grave'
He may not promise big numbers, but actor-singer Adhyayan Suman says that all he cares about are his limited fans as he starts afresh
It has taken almost 10 years for Adhyayan Suman to find his feet in the industry. He is no longer someone's son, or so-and-so's ex, but an upcoming social media star. His song Soniyo 2.0, with Ease My Trip as presenter and Shivanshu Pandey as producer, from his 2009 movie Raaz 2, now has more than 7 million views. The difference this time around is that he has sung it, and also directed the six minute-long video.
The last movie he did was Ishq Click in 2016, and when we ask him why he shifted to singing, he is surprisingly candid. "I think not getting the right kind of work pushed me towards other avenues. I used to be home and wonder, what do I do next. You sit one day, and then you realise two years have passed. Then you sleep again, and wake up, it's been four years, and then you are like 'dammit'. I have been in the industry for nine years and nothing has happened. I used to sing at parties, and then I was told, 'Why don't you sing?' I have a raw voice, but I sing from the heart. I have had enough heartbreaks to sing well. It's not about having the perfect voice, but that emotional connect," he shares.
In a world where digital media stars are revered plenty, this could be a wise decision. Suman, popular TV host and actor Shekhar Suman's son, also became infamous as actor Kangana Ranaut's ex-boyfriend who accused her of physical and emotional abuse. The incident didn't win him sympathy votes, and instead went on to hurt his fledgling career that was just beginning with movies like Raaz and Jashnn. But the 31-year-old has accepted the past, and decided to move-on, even though it's taken him time, perseverance and courage. "My first song, Saareyan Nu Chaddeya, came out in 2017. I spent Rs 60 lakh on it, and it didn't do that well. You think a label will help you, but labels only help famous stars. They don't make stars." He didn't give up though, and did a cover of singer Arjun Kanungo's song Aaya Na Tu, and then Soniyo 2.10.
"The videos are elaborate because I want people to know I am still an actor. The songs have a proper story, and are almost like mini films." To that effect, he has just signed a web series, and has also written a movie that will go on the floors later this year.
What stands out during the chat is Suman's honesty. He strikes us as a man who could have enough reasons to give up, but has found many more not to. "This is a big deal for someone like me, who has come out of my own grave. People will keep repeating that 'you are only someone's ex', but I know I am not a failure. Nobody supports those who are trying to revive their careers. I have only been able to move on because of work. I realised that the story out there is not even 'me'. I was 20, now I am 31. I have moved on, let me move on. It's still hampering my career. People say 'image kharab hai iski'. How many people can you go and tell, that you are not that person. Nobody picked my calls, or gave me a platform, except YouTube."
Suman also debunks the notion that star kids always have it easy. "I have met big directors and given look tests, and they all say 'you are talented, but not saleable. We want market ka ladka'," he says, referring to actors, who promise numbers.
Even though he admits it's disappointing, he says he is content with the fan base he is building on YouTube and social media. "I am grateful I have a platform. Compared to everyone else's, my numbers may be much smaller, but I am working on this. I can't complain to God, because he is giving me the chance to start again. I have learned from the mistakes and I have had to forget my past. The good times have just begun."
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