The Sip of Life today brings you an interesting personality as our inspiration. We are talking about Wilbur Sargunaraj, who is a musician, performer, educator and a humanitarian who uses his music, videos and brand to promote cultural intelligence and make people aware of social justice issues. In real life this 33 year old loves to play Cricket, drink tea and make new friends!
In an exclusive interview with us, Wilbur talks about his life and shares some of his memorable experiences.
We have addressed The Sip of Life as SOL.
SOL: We have read about you coming up with a unique idea of having a video instructing on the ‘fine art’ of using an Indian lavatory or even simple things like getting blessings from an elephant or using an elevator. How did this idea come to your mind?
Wilbur: My purpose statement in life is “Making the common extra ordinary”. It all began with being confident in me and my identity! I realized that I didn’t have to sing, dance, look or compose music a certain way; I could have my own style! I have the freedom to be original! People liked the music and the videos and thus it began!!!
SOL: It’s been said you get a tremendous response on the Facebook and YouTube. Please share with us some interesting feedback from your fans/viewers? Also tell us about your interesting videos you have uploaded.
Wilbur: Easiest way to find out is to go on the YouTube channel or join Facebook fan page! You will see all the dialogue that takes place! We have people from all around the world interacting and just recently I received an email from a lady in Scotland who was going through a difficult time with the passing of her father and said these videos and the music are helping her immensely! I am humbled! I also received an email from a doctor in India who sent me an email saying that my music helped her go through a time of depression. You can read about that on my blog. The response has been great! Of course there will always be people who ridicule you but you have to be careful how you respond to them as you never know what people are going through! Most people find it a fun way to educate themselves. Lots of comments are being posted on YouTube. What I don’t like is when people from India say that it is not a true depiction of India!! (Laughing) If people in India have never been to a village or never experienced a latrine like this then I need to make more videos to educate them! As I said before –people need to step outside what they are comfortable! Even if that means going to a latrine in a rural village!!! (By the way that is still a very hi class rural latrine!) Yes! There is never a dull moment on the fan page! Wilbur fans are so wonderful! Huge shout out to all the Wilbur fans!!!! Thank you for your undying support! I try to be an example for my fans! If someone says something someone else disagrees with I try to make sure people deal with it in a gentle and respectful fashion!!!! I encourage all of you to join the Wilbur Sargunaraj Fan page!!! I am on twitter, YouTube and you will get to see all interactions!
SOL: Your latest single, ‘Love Marriage’ has also been making waves? What is so special in this number that it got so popular? Please share with us the concept behind.
Wilbur: It is giving ordinary and common people a voice! For example the lady in Love Marriage comes from a very impoverished background and till then no one knew who she was. Rajmani acca (term for elder sister in Tamil) is an amazing human being who always smiles even though life is difficult! People like to see other people having a good time!! This video has made her…a very common person….extraordinary!!! 1st class!!! I think that is why it got popular! I also think it’s the music and melody that makes it very catchy! Not to mention a dash of Auto Tune!! I just returned from Muscat where all my dear Omani friends were humming this song all day long till we drove ourselves crazy!!! Yepadi o!!!! (Oh my goodness)
SOL: What is your number ‘Simple Superstar’ about?
Wilbur: Simple Superstar is such a fun album! I can’t wait for the release! My whole idea for this song is to encourage people around the world not to have their identity in their external success but to really be simple superstars by placing emphasis on their character and richness of relationships. Once again the album is a mix of songs with different styles. It is not a Bhangra Album! I enjoy the Bhangra beat so I decided to compose a Bhangra song! There is dance music, techno, salsa and even the traditional South Indian dapankoothu!!! It’s a fun album that I hope will make people smile and dance!!! For all the Fans in India your wait is over as in early 2011 we plan to hold the CD launch party in Chennai followed by Bangalore and Mumbai.
SOL: Why are you still single even when you are such a popular personality?
Wilbur: At the moment I am really busy traveling and working on a variety of Projects so time is a factor. For us Indians marriage should not be the defining factor of who we are as a person! Just because we are not married does not mean we are any less of a person. I hope all single people will take comfort in that and will marry for the right reasons!
In this world we live in we are told by our society that having lots of money is what makes you wealthy. This is an illusion and many people are deceived by this. What makes a person rich is his family and relationships! I feel so rich to have so many friends from around the world who have taught me so much!!! My message to the world is to focus on quality…not quantity! Don’t let society dictate who you should be or what you should do! Be a culturally intelligent person! Be a first class citizen by developing your character not just your bank account!!!!
You may like to visit the official website of Wilbur at www.wilbur.asia