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Sonu Nigam on Change Musical Lanes.

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*Shruti*

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*Shruti*

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Posted: 25 June 2006 at 11:15pm | IP Logged
Sonu Nigam on Change Musical Lanes.
You've become quite a youth icon among singing aspirants. I hadn't noticed this development until two to three years ago when Shaan told me that many of the songs that the contestants sang on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa were mine. Now when I'm a judge on Indian Idol I do realize that the contestants tend to go to my difficult songs like Tera jadoo chal gaya, Zindagi maut na ban jaye and Satrangi re when they've a point to prove. I've begun to realize that good work always reaches people's hearts. I don't think about how successful I am. I just do my work. As a singer I'm far away from the goal of perfection I've set for myself and maybe I'll never get there. But no harm in trying. In just 32 right now. And I hope to improve for at least ten more years . Abhi mujhe bahut kuch sikhna hai …as a human and a singer. I don't want to make errors as either. Are you getting enough challenges as a singer? I don't think the film industry is able to provide that many opportunities for me. I've to create my own challenges. This year I'll have some great songs in Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna, Shirish Kunder's Jaan-e-Man, Kunal Kohli's Fanaah , Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq , Rakesh Roshan's Krisshh , J.P. Dutta's Umrao Jaan and Farhan Akhtar's Don…I wish Umrao was a man so I could've sung all the songs. Have you sung Khai ke paan baneras wala in Don ? I wish I had. As a child I used to dance to that song on stage. By the time I asked if I could do it, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy had already asked Udit Narayanji to do it. With his North Indian background he's the right person for it. You've quite an impressive list of films . Yes. But that feeling of being challenged when I sing a classical song where I've to work on particular harkat or an alaap, is missing. Films won't provide me songs like that. All tracks today are deejay-designed. I can't expect to get something like Man mohana bade jhoothe. And private albums are dead. The furthest I could go with a non-film pop album was Chanda Ki Doli where I showed some classical creativity . I've therefore decided to come out with a semi-classical album. Might as well do something I believe in and something I'd be proud of forty years from now. At least now people will stop complaining that I'm not doing anything raga-based. The music for my album will be Deepak Pandit . He's Jagjit Singh's immensely talented violinist. What do you feel about Himesh Reshammiya's sudden success as a singer? It's easy to criticise someone for singing through his nose. Who sets the rules for how a song should be sung? Times are changing. Different voices are coming and being accepted. With Himesh at least a distinctive voice from within the country has found acceptance. Otherwise we've lately had strange voices from outside , no matter how besura, becoming successful. Pataa nahin kyon ! Why do we give so much importance to voices from outside? Stars dine with them, feature in their bloody music videos. They wouldn't do the same for me or any Indian singer. What did you think of all the singers who have come from Pakistan? A few were good. But most of them were strictly okay. In a country that has witnessed Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi who wants these voices? I'm glad to see an Indian—Himesh—getting the popular awards to someone from our country who's very smartly patented the style from another country(Pakistan). Are you happy with the state of film music in this country? Although I had raga-based songs in Parineeta and Paheli the songs didn't get any recognition. I don't mind Himesh getting all the awards. But it's an insult to nominate Paheli and Aashiq Banaya Aapne in the same genre for popular awards. Film music is expanding genres. So I couldn't be competing with Himesh for the popular awards because we sang two different genres in Aashiq…. and Paheli. The songs from Zaher, Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Aksar belong to the same genre. The genres have to be separated or our singers will stop doing riyaaz. They'll wonder why they need to work on their voices when they can get awards for simple songs. Do you think Aashiq banaya is easy to sing ? Very easy. Mahesh Bhatt started the trend of bringing Pakistani music in Bollywood… Everyone has the right to do their own thing. But if there's an infiltration we as artistes need to tighten our seat belts. Pakistan has a different flavour and colour of music. Now Himesh has given that style its own twist. Yeh to hona hi tha . Where do you intend to go as a playback singer? I'm doing too many things at the same time. I love the feeling of being in demand everywhere. I'm not passionate about anything except music. I don't like to go out to restaurants or shopping. My work is my only high. I love going to judge Indian Idol. Then I come home catch a flight for a concert , and return to get to work on my classical album. I'm blessed to have so much work. But I miss the glory of playback singing. I wish we had one good music company that could respect a good artiste. Nowadays it's more about putting up singers out of defiance rather than conviction. How're your relations with your old company T Series? They're cordial with me. But it isn't the same as when Gulshan Kumarji was around. I did try to be a good friend. But dosti ki kadar nahin hai . If I had contributed the same to any other music company there would have been lot more appreciation. I've gone out of my way to get them(T Series) out of critical situations, including political. …I'm looking at a credible company for my classical album. I'm doing this for my own happiness. Are you happy? I've learnt to look for happiness within myself. People around me have changed. I've converted them into positive people. I don't allow anyone negative in my space. I'm surrounded by people who have love in their eyes. Would you call yourself happily married? Well I am married. One can be happily married. Marriage is a very small part of life. And I'm saying that in front of my wife. There's a lot more to life .

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