It is lovely to have new artistes on the show who have something special and different about them and today I was delighted to meet and speak to someone who does just that. Singer Sairam!

Sairam hails from India and has an incredible talent — he can sing in both the male and female voice — something that no one I have ever met can do even remotely well! Sairam was a pleasure to meet and I was most excited to hear that he had performed alongside Bollywood Actor Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla and one of his performances has even been watched by pop legend Madonna.

It is very rare that a guest makes such an impact. His smile and charismatic personality not only made me a fan but he created a wonderful aura around himself which very few guests have been able to do until now.

We spoke about his experience in the music industry and even though he has been labelled the “eighth wonder of the world”, Sairam has had to face a lot of hurdles along the way. He has always loved to sing and wanted to be a world class singer like Lata Mageshkar and Asha Bhosle, and as a child he was told he sang like a nightingale, but like all boys when his voice broke he prayed for a voice like a woman, and God literally answered his prayers.

After giving me a demo in the studio of his ability to sing in both voices, I was actually blown away. It was handy that Kumar Sanu had been in the studio a few days before he came for when I asked Sairam to sing one of the songs I had asked Kumar Sanu to sing, he sang it exactly on point. Then I asked him to sing Tujhe Dekha from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and if I closed my eyes and didn’t look at him, it felt like Lata Mageshkar was singing the song on my CD player.

But with this amazing talent came a lot of discrimination which Sairam spoke about. He spoke about his struggles in trying to be a Bollywood playback singer and would attend numerous auditions and the film Directors loved his voice and would want to see the woman with the “beautiful voice” however when he came out of the recording room and they saw he was a man with a moustache, he was soon told “thanks, but no thanks”- a blow for any artiste.

What was incredible was that he narrated these stories not with any bitterness but with a sense of humour. I really admire him for his strength and dedication in face of so much adversity.

But regardless of the hurdles, he is hopeful for the future. His smile is truly infectious and as someone who really wants to become a successful playback singer (male and female) I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Sairam for that title.

After speaking to him, not only did he have a really pleasant aura about him, but after hearing him sing, I must confess that as far as I am concerned he really is the eighth wonder of the world.