Page last updated at 23:37 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 00:37 UK

Indian Idol fails to stop singing

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Anshul Tomer
Indian Idol 2003 quarter finalist Anshul Tomer will be at the Mela

A singer who reached the quarter final of India's version of X Factor in 2003 will appear at the Edinburgh Mela, which is being held in Pilrig Park.

Anshul Tomer, 25, said he was sent to Scotland by his father in a bid to stop him entering singing contests.

Tomer, who is studying a masters in accountancy at Napier University, said his father wanted him to pursue a "less risky" career.

He will perform Bollywood hits at the multicultural festival.

The 25-year-old said he could not stop singing and has now released his debut album, Baawari.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "I think I was born for singing, as I have been singing since I was about five years old.

"Then when I became an adult I was entering all the singing contests in India and winning some of them but my father didn't want me to go to these shows and said I was to go back to studying.

"He thought if he sent me to Scotland then it would keep me away from the singing auditions in India."

Tomer has been doing his Edinburgh course part-time since 2006.

My father says the music industry is very risky so he wants me to use my education to get a job
Anshul Tomer
Indian Idol 2003 quarter finalist

His album is in India's national language of Hindi and he described the songs as soulful.

He added: "At the time I was annoyed with my dad for sending me away but now when I look back I think he was right because when you get fame very quickly after not having done much for it, it can often not lead to much.

"However, when you do things by yourself and work at your career it makes you a real person when you are a struggling artist.

"My father says the music industry is very risky so he wants me to use my education to get a job, either way I know my singing won't die and I will always sing for people even if it's just for my friends."

This year's Edinburgh Mela runs from Friday until Sunday and includes DJs and producers Punjabi Hit Squad performing with Punjabi singer Alyssia - described as the Mary J Blige of the Asian music world.

The Pilrig Park festival will also have favourites such as the ladies-only night and a fashion show.

Up-and-coming Scottish DJs G-town Desi are to kick-start the Ladies-only night.

The night will also include a Bhangra hip hop dance-off and a performance by East African Asian bilingual rapper AG Dolla.

The big top will be host to New Asia, as well as drummers Kakatsitsi.

Edinburgh-based Persian jazz band GOL featuring Iranian-born lead singer Roxana Pope will perform a specially commissioned musical piece, 'Mixed Up'.

Outdoor stage performances include Umkathi, a dance-theatre production from Zimbabwe, snake charming in Jardu the Magic of India and hip hop dancing with a twist of Bollywood by Glasgow's Desi Bravehearts.

"Princess of Bhangra", Mona Singh, and well-known brothers from the Scottish Bhangra scene Tigerstyle will also be at the festival.



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