'I want to be so popular that when people think of dance, I come to their mind': Akshat Singh
Child prodigy Akshat Singh on participating in Britain's Got Talent and his dream of becoming a worldwide sensation like Sachin Tendulkar
After garnering immense attention for India’s Got Talent and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, child prodigy Akshat Singh became a household name in India. The 14-year-old, who recently returned from Britain Got’s Talent, tells INDULGE about his dream of becoming a name known worldwide, just like Sachin Tendulkar. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Were you always passionate about dance? Tell us how dance began in your life and your first reality show, Dance Bangla Dance.
Akshat Singh: I got the ‘dance ka keeda’ while watching the song ‘Tera Hi Jalwa’ from Wanted (2009) and soon after, I joined a dance class. People used to laugh at me saying how can a fat guy dance but I didn’t give up. Instead, I decided to prove them wrong and show everyone that even fat people can dance. So, in 2010, I participated in Dance Bangla Dance and qualified until finals. I even got an award for ‘great expressions while dancing’.
Q: Which reality show has been instrumental in shaping your journey so far? Was it India’s Got Talent or Jhalak Dikhla Jaa?
AS: I would say India’s Got Talent because it gave me an identity. It was my first national show and it made me so popular that people started recognising me. I was also invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after India’s Got Talent and that was a big achievement for me. It was like a dream come true!
Q: How many reality shows have you been to since then and what attracts you about them?
AS: After that, I have participated in India’s Got Talent and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and recently in Britain’s Got Talent. I feel reality shows are the right platform to showcase my talent. I participated in Britain’s Got Talent with an aim to become an International kid.
Q: What do you mean by ‘international kid’?
AS: We all know that Sachin Tendulkar is the god of cricket, whenever we talk about cricket, we think of him. I want to be like that! So, when people talk about dance and acting, I come to their mind.
Q: What does reaching Britain Got Talent mean to you?
AS: Britain’s Got Talent was a dream come true for me and getting Ant and Dec's Golden Buzzer was like a cherry on the cake. I prepared for my performance in just 20 days and did everything from fitness training to dance training but when I got a standing ovation for my performance, it felt like all my hard work has paid off. All the judges on the show are really jolly like me.
Q: How different are reality shows in India vs abroad?
AS: The only difference is that there are a set of rules with respect to working with children. For instance, children won’t work after a certain time of the day like after 4 pm. Besides that, there isn’t much difference.
Q: Share with us your experience of being on the Ellen Lee DeGeneres show.
To appear and perform in The Ellen DeGeneres Show was a dream come true for me. The first segment featured Bradley Cooper and the second segment featured me, so that was also one of that ‘OMG!’ moments for me. People in the US were great, the food was amazing and Ellen was very humble and nice to me, I had a lot of fun being on the show.
Q: What are the dance styles that you perform. Have you received formal training in dance?
AS: I perform several dance styles, from Hip-Hop, Krumping and Locking Popping to Bollywood. I learned dancing from Sagar Dance Academy and I wish to learn many more dance styles in my pursuit to grow as a dancer.
Q: How difficult is to manage work and studies both and how do you draw a balance?
AS: Wherever I go, I carry my books along be it sets or the airport and whenever I get time, I study. My father helps and supports me a lot in balancing work as well as studies. This year, in the final exams of Class 9, I scored 85%. So, I balance my work and studies well.
Q: You mentioned been bullied for your weight. Do you still get bullied for your weight or has your work silenced them?
AS: Not bullying but people use to tease me a bit but now I have shown them that even fat people can dance. I strongly believe that it does not matter if you are fat, slim, tall or short, the only thing that should matter is that you are doing it from the bottom of your heart. I am not teased by anyone now.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
AS: I have two movies coming up - one is from Russia and another is a Hollywood movie. I have also done a Bollywood movie recently called ‘Bawari’.
Catch Akshat Singh performing on the latest season of Britain’s Got Talent on Colors Infinity, every Monday to Friday at 9 pm