Wilbur Sargunaraj (born July 7, 1977) (Tamil: வில்பர் சற்குணராஜ்) is an Indian performing artist and celebrity. He was described by several press reports as "India's first YouTube sensation," with nearly 3.1 million views for his music and instructional videos posted on the video sharing website.
Sargunaraj performs a blend of Indian music and electronica. He has been influenced by such artists as Boney M. and Michael Jackson. He claims that his songs are his way to promote cultural intelligence with various languages being heard in his track listing. Sargunaraj has travelled to various places, including India, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Cuba, Bangladesh, South Africa, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Nepal, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia and Australia, where he has made live performances of his music videos and has given motivational speeches.
Sargunaraj was raised in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. His father is from Tirunelveli district and his mother is from Madurai district. During his childhood days he spent time in Darjeeling, Calcutta, Benares, and Ooty before his family moved to Madurai. He studied privately with drummers in the United States, including Dom Famularo and Alex Acuna. He also studied in Havana, Cuba with drumming pioneer Giraldo Piloto.
He is a strong supporter of the Chennai Super Kings and Pune Warriors and a fan of M. S. Dhoni and Robin Uthappa. Sargunaraj is fluent in Tamil, English and Japanese, and the language of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
Sargunaraj has been a vocal supporter of human rights and humanitarian issues. He has performed and organized numerous benefit concerts including workshops at the Balarenik Children's Shelter in Jakarta, Indonesia and orphanages in Kigali, Rwanda and Mumbai. He is heavily influenced by Jean Vanier and promotes the concept of climbing down the ladder and being with common and ordinary people to develop community. The two met in Trosly-Breuil, France in May 2012. Wilbur just released a video series for Steps International and their campaign "Why Poverty" about engaging with the other and entering into the world of the poor. Wilbur will be visiting South Africa in early 2013 to do a series of concerts for children affected by HIV in Southern Africa.
Sargunaraj has produced the film Simple Superstar, which is slated for release in 2013. It was screened at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2013.
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