Kesavan steals hearts online with his rendition of Siti Nurhaliza songs

Kesavan became an internet sensation when he took up an Instagram challenge to sing the missing lyrics of a string of Siti Nurhaliza’s songs. (Kesavan pic)

PETALING JAYA: Never in his wildest dreams did Kesavan Vekraman expect to see the video of him singing a string of Siti Nurhaliza’s songs go viral on Twitter.

“I always knew who Siti Nurhaliza was,” Kesavan says of the Malaysian songbird who is hugely popular in Malaysia.

“My mother used to tell me stories of her but I never took the time to listen to her songs because my music preference back then was mainly Tamil,” Kesavan tells FMT.

The 21-year-old, who is originally from Melaka, is currently majoring in TESL at Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) Kampus in Ipoh.

He told FMT that he never had many close Malay friends growing up until he entered college so he was never really exposed to Malay songs.

However, he admits to being blown away when hearing one of his seniors singing Siti Nurhaliza’s “Nirmala” during a singing competition once.

Curious, he looked for other Siti Nurhaliza songs and before long was hooked himself.

Things took a strange twist however after Kesavan came across an Instagram filter featuring Siti Nurhaliza songs. The filter was a challenge to sing the incomplete lyrics of a song within nine seconds.

He took up the challenge and aced it. But being a little shy and nervous, Kesavan only posted the video on his Instagram stories. His friends however encouraged him to post it on Twitter and after much persuasion, he did.

“They had a strong hunch the video would go viral. I was very hesitant about posting it on Twitter because Siti is, after all, a powerful songstress and Malaysia’s sweetheart. I was afraid people would criticise my voice,” Kesavan says, explaining that he has put up with some rather harsh criticism in the past.

“Having this voice at my age as a man comes with its fair share of negative comments. I was never confident but my friends’ support pushed me forward.”

Within hours of the video going up, his Twitter account exploded.

The post was flooded with encouraging comments, so positive in its content that Kesavan found himself feeling rather overwhelmed – but in a good way. He was overjoyed beyond words.

The biggest compliment of all was having Siti Nurhaliza herself share his video on her Instagram page.

“The last thing I expected was for her to share it. I actually joked with my friends about how amazing it would be if she noticed it. The moment I realised she had shared the video, I broke down and cried.”

Although Kesavan was still a little puzzled at why his video had gone viral, his friends explained that it wasn’t every day that a young Indian man could belt out Siti Nurhaliza songs without missing a beat and with correct lyrics to boot.

Buoyed by his online popularity, Kesavan now has a passion for Malay traditional songs. (Kesavan pic)

Siti is not the only Malaysian singer Kesavan adores. “Ernie Zakri, Wany Hasrita and Sufian Suhaimi are a few of the many Malaysian singers I love.”

Kesavan has a special message for his favourite idol Siti Nurhaliza. “I am a tremendously huge fan. I wish to get the chance to be able to meet you personally and sing in front of you,” he gushed.

Hope your dream comes true, Kesavan!