Imran Aleem Beharry, popularly known as “GI”, is a Trinidadian singer who is known for his big hits in recent times. For many who may not know about the talented chutney singer, his singing career began some years ago before his teenage years.
In a recent interview with Guyana Times Entertainment, the artiste reflected on his journey. Born on January 8, 1987, Beharry grew up in a single-parent family, which prompted him to turn to music as an escape.
With the help and encouragement of his mother, he entered a local competition known as Children of Mastana Bahar and in 1998, he placed second in the Grand Finals.
Not giving up, he entered the Mastana Bahar adult competition and in 2003, he placed third in the Grand Finals. In recognition of his talent, esteemed promoter Rafi Mohammed enlisted Beharry to sing in the concert in 2004 at Anchorage.
He captivated hearts with his melodious voice and had the crowd in raptures over his wonderful performance. And it was that year Beharry was recruited by the Chutney Soca band “Karma” as band leader Anil Bissambhar sought him out to be one of the frontline vocalists. Beharry’s first official recording was entitled “Badi Door” and it was an instant hit on almost every radio station. From then on, he was labelled as “General Imran” – “GI”. That song won him his first official award as “Best New Recording Artiste 2006”.
Beharry would sing with Karma, dominating both local and international shows in North America, South America and Europe. He would then go on to be the first Chutney Soca Artiste to win “Top 20 Stars of Tomorrow”, a prestigious award from the former President of Trinidad and Tobago in 2007. Later that year, Beharry won another coveted award at 103FM’s Music Awards for “Best Collaboration”, with a song entitled “Ek Tera Saath”.
After working with “Karma” for almost four years and touring extensively with them, he joined the infamous Chutney/Soca band, Dil E Nadan. He maintained the name “General Imran” and continued to produce excellent work with this band, learning from persons like Raymond Ramnarine and Richard Ramnarine.
In 2013, “General Imran” resigned from Dil E Nadan and took a break from music to focus on his family and his business efforts. He continued to produce music for the airwaves, and performed at private events.
In 2015, Beharry joined forces with renowned producer Zaheer Khan and with a proper management team focused on marketing, producing and managing him, he re-branded himself “GI”, an acronym for General Imran.
“GI” released his first song under his new label, and it was an instant hit. Entitled “Raining Rum” (2015), it crossed over into the urban markets and was being played on most of those radio stations. In February 2016, “GI” entered the esteemed “Chutney Soca Monarch” competition, and with a magnificent performance, placed sixth.
With his brand now firmly established, he continued to produce cover versions of Bollywood songs as well as original compositions, collaborating with numerous artistes, including veterans like Rikki Jai. In November 2016, “GI” released three songs for the 2017 Carnival season: “Loner”, “The Chosen One” and “Ho Ja Ram”.
He has produced all of his music for the songs that he has sung, as well as for other artistes. “GI” comes from humble beginnings and has remained a humble, fun-loving, charismatic personality. He is very health conscious as he is actively involved in the gym, promoting a healthier balance of life. At all times, in the public sphere, he is mindful of his deportment. His aim is to achieve international recognition and represent Trinidad and Tobago on the Grammy stage.
In the next few days, fans of “GI” and WR Reaz can watch out for a new collaboration, titled “Pretty Girls”, which is expected to be released soon. The song was produced by Bigrich from the Pungalunks Factory and was written by Shatta Youth.