Manjeet Milan’s musical journey began in Tabia, Labasa, where he began to gain popularity as a child in the late 1980s.
The 33-year-old, who now lives in Beaumont Rd, Narere in Nasinu, has released seven kirtan albums and said he is working on his eighth.
Milan is a representative of kirtan – a musical form of storytelling or recitation, especially of spiritual or religious ideas.
“I was in grade 5 when I started singing,” he says.
“At that time, I was at Sangam Primary School in Labasa.
“I used to sing Kirtan in Mandali and at school.
“My teachers would ask me to sing prayers and devotional songs in special functions such as Holi, Ram Naumi, Diwali, etc. that were organized at school.
“In addition to devotional Hindu songs, I also sang songs from Bollywood.”
Milan said he was inspired by his parents and dedicated his success to them.
“I was inspired by my parents.
“My mom and dad both love music.
“My mother Anita Devi Prasad is a very good lokgeet and sohar singer.
“Since I was a child, I heard my uncle Mahendra Prasad sing and it caught my interest.
“He was a very popular katha pracharak (preacher) in his day.
“Another uncle, Dharmendra Prasad, was also very popular at the time.
“They were both involved in music and used to sing religious songs as well as Bollywood songs and were followed by a lot of people.”
Milan said he started competing on stage as a child.
“During my childhood, I took part in many singing competitions.
“As I won trophies my interest and talent continued to grow.”
Milan said that in 2007, at the age of 19, he was encouraged to record his first album titled “Prem Sparsh”.
He said his late uncle, Mahendra Prasad, wrote all of the kirtan lyrics on his debut album.
“I used to go with my mandali and my band to play here and there.
“A lot of people have asked me why I haven’t released an album.
“So I asked my kaka Mahendra Prasad to help me.
“He wrote all the kirtan lyrics on my first album. He had 12 tracks.
“The lyrics were wonderful; we sat down together and decided on the music to go with it.
“Kaka Mahendra came to Suva and made all arrangements for registration.
“And it ended up being a really good album.
“He gained popularity and people loved listening to him.”
Milan said that after releasing his debut album, he rose to fame not only in Fiji, but also abroad.
“This time, local radio stations were promoting local talent.
“The right albums and the right artists were everywhere and they were very promoted.
“I have had the chance to do live performances with very popular artists from Fiji and abroad.”
Milan has said so far that he has performed in more than 200 stage shows.
“These shows were held not only in Fiji, but also in Australia and New Zealand.”
He said he also had a group called Fankaar.
“There were six of us in the group.
“Some of the songs that I sang are also on YouTube.
“I have gathered all the equipment I need and am making my own recordings now.”
Milan said his future plan was to get more people into music.
“I would like to bring more people into good music, quality music and for that I am already teaching a few students.
“In the future, I want to attract more students and teach them what it takes.
“Because these days we see people singing and playing instruments anyway.
“I want to promote good music and the right path.
“There are bands that are already doing this and I want to do it too.
“I want the talents to show up, learn the right thing and move on, especially the younger ones.”
Milan thanked everyone who played a role in his success.
“One of them is of course my wife Karishma Milan.
“At this point, I would like to thank all my Fankaar musicians – Kaushal Prasad, Satendra Deo, DJ Bolly Daniel, Sandeep Sami and Albert Prasad.
“I also got a lot of support from my friends Jainendra Sharma, Nilesh Lal and Rajnesh from New Zealand, so vinaka vakalevu to them too.