He is one of the most loved playback singers in Bollywood. And when he performed before a large crowd at Everybody Loves Raymond — a post-Valentine's Day concert one week ago, Ash King claimed his place in the hearts of thousands of local fans.
The annual event was held at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya and featured a concert performance by local entertainer Raymond Ramnarine and his band, Dil-E-Nadan. It was titled "The King meets the Show Stoppa".
The London-born artiste wooed the ladies with ballads, hip hop, rock 'n roll and Hindi film songs. His recent hits "Te Amo" and "I Love You" from recent Bolloywood movies were crowd favourites.
King, a relative of one of India's greatest playback singers, Kishore Kumar, said it was his first time in Trinidad and the love he received was overwhelming. "This is another side of the world and I didn't know what to expect. I was born in London, but my family is from India. I am always touring India, but the love here is amazing," he said.
King performed at a charity concert for underprivileged children at Gaston Court in Chaguanas. "It was amazing to perform for those special children from momes. You never know what they went through — abused, neglected," he said.
King, who is also a writer and composer, paid tribute to the singer Whitney Houston, who died last month.
But when the lights went out at exactly 10 p.m., the crowd went wild. Dressed in a white tuxedo, Ramnarine emerged on the stage, accompanied by violinist, Phillip Carter. The fireworks and confetti exploded as he performed "Teri Meri" from the Bollywood movie, Bodyguard. His powerful voice echoed as his fans roared with excitement.
"Indian culture is alive and we are here to support Indian culture. I love it and I want to keep on promoting it," he shouted.
Ramnarine performed a selection of Hindi songs including "Tu Is Tarah" and "Tere Mast Mast Do Nain". He serenaded his elder son, Varun, who was celebrating 11th birthday.
Johaan Chukaree performed a medley on the steelpan.
Generation 3 — the children of the musical Ramnarine brothers - Raymond, Rennie, and Richard, also showcased their talent in the second session of the concert.
Varun Ramnarine performed his father's most popular song, "Musafir Hoon Yaaron", Rennie Ramnarine's daughter, Samara, joined her father in a duet and Richard Ramnarine twin sons sang "Dere Dere" — a song made popular by their father.
But it was little Vinesh - Raymond Ramnarine's younger son - who had the crowd dancing. "You remember me? I am Vinesh Ramnarine", he said as he belted out a medley of songs.
The children then joined Raymond Ramnarine on stage to perform "Rang Barse" in celebration on Phagwa. And Ramnarine invited his older brother Rennie to perform alongside him. "We have to encourage families to stick together in these times. You should love your family," he said as he planted a kiss on his big brother.
Ramnarine's chutney songs "Lawa", "Goodie, Goodie" and "I Doh Know" were enough to have patrons dancing in front of the stage.
"I love to perform at this concert. This is something I look forward to every year. I don't really get to perform this kind of songs, which I love so much and I want to thank you for this opportunity. I am already looking forward to next year," he said.
King, who accompanied Ramnarine on stage for an energetic performance, described him as a "special" person.
Patrons were also treated to comedy by Kenneth Supersad.
And although the show ended at 1 a.m., patrons remained in their seats until Ramnarine and his cast exited the stage.