Raqueeb Alam is a playback singer and lyricist. He hails from Madhupur, Bihar. Growing up, he preferred singing in local orchestras to his studies. Worried by his lack of focus on studies, his father packed him off to Chennai to study engineering. Raqueeb’s father wasn’t financially well-off and Raqueeb took to singing in hotels for money.
The beginning of Raqueeb’s film career was modest - he sang and wrote the Hindi lyrics for the Hindi dub of the Telugu film “Devi” (1999). His big break came when lyricist, P.K. Mishra, who wrote Hindi lyrics for many A.R. Rahman songs dubbed in Hindi, introduced him to A.R. Rahman. The meeting fetched him his first song, “Monalisa” (“Mr. Romeo”, 1996) which he sang along with Sonu Nigam.
Despite his work for Rahman, his career didn’t really take off and he had to wait till 2005 to get his first break as lyricist, when he wrote “Shyam Rang Bhar Do” for Deepa Mehta’s “Water” (2005). Another high profile film he has been a part of is the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” (2009) for which he wrote the song “Ringa Ringa”.
Given the highly competitive playback singing field, Raqueeb Alam currently focusses on lyric writing, as opposed to his singing career.