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Meet Rohan Singhal: The Musical Prodigy Who Became World Famous by Playing Harmonica

Teenager Today

Rohan Singhal, the 16-year-old musical genius has gained world fame just by playing harmonica, a simple musical instrument. He was part of the Padma Shri winner Usha Uthup’s new Blues single Wokay where he played a blues solo. He has also won several international competitions like National Harmonica League Bristol, UK (2017) and Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival in Beijing, China(2018).

article-imageCredits: Free Press Journal

“I grab every opportunity I get when it arises,” states the teenager, who recently completed his 10th grade. The Indore-based boy has been playing the harmonica ever since he was four. He sings in almost all genres — from Blues, Jazz, Funk, Rock, and Fusion of Western and Indian classical music.

Rohan says he was inspired to play harmonica by his grandfather Dillep Naik who lives in Goa and gifted him a 10-hole diatonic harmonica. His grandfather was a self-taught musician who played a vital role in his journey.
His parents decided to introduce him to Indian Classical music under guru Madan Kumar.
He will be appearing for the exam of Indian classical music from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. It is this training in Indian Classical Music that has helped him to perform Raag on the Diatonic harmonica.

Rohan also used to take swimming classes in his school early in the morning to enhance his lung capacity and diaphragmatic breathing. This not only helped him in his singing but also aced his recovery when he contracted COVID-19.

Diatonic Harmonica Player Youngest India - Rohan Singhal

Junior Rohan


It was his presence at a workshop by renowned diatonic harmonica player Ben Hewlett in Pune in 2014 that proved to be the turning point for his career. Hewlett suggested to Rohan’s grandfather that he had talent and should continue his practice with a world-renowned teacher and two-time Grammy award winner Howard Levy.

Since then, Rohan pursued his training in a video exchange program with Levy and participated in the National Harmonica League, UK as proposed by Ben Hewlett where he won in the senior category in 2017.

He composed his first album at the tender age of 13, Blues @13. The CD has 13 blues songs and hence the name. Some of them were composed by Rohan himself. He performed a Bluesy Hanuman Chalisa titled ‘The Power of Hanuman and Raag Multani’, which made him one of the youngest winners at the World Harmonica Festival in Germany.

Rohan has been offered a scholarship by SPAH(Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica) to visit Oklahoma, USA. However, due to visa issues, he would be joining it online. However, that hasn’t dampened his spirit. He’s all set to go to Shillong to take a workshop on Diatonic harmonica and Blues styles in early August.

Rohan’s favorite moment was at the National Harmonica League in Bristol when he gave his first solo performance to an international audience. Rohan opened to a sold-out show, and the multiethnic audience appreciated his performance, as they had never heard such notes before!

To conclude, it is not too much to say that Rohan is a big inspiration for teenagers across India!

References: Free Press Journal

Featured Image Source: Teenager Today

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