Mohammed Rafi, one of the immortal playback legends came back to life with Sonu Niigaam's concert, An evening in London- Rafi Resurrected. Sonu with Saregama India Ltd pays tribute to the ever-green singer with the orchestral excellence of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Rafi Resurrected is the album which is released in Europe and soon will be releasing in India.
The concert will be aired by Sony this coming week September 21 at 8:00pm
We bring you an exclusive interview with the singing sensation where Sonu shares his experience on performing the concert and about his favorite idol Rafi saab.
How was your experience while performing Rafi songs? Did you choose the list of songs?
Rafi sahib is my idol and I had been listening to him since childhood. It was a great honor that I was selected to sing songs of this great legend. It was like a dream come true and with the help of SAREGAMA I achieved it.
For choosing the list of songs, I had zero involvement. It was done by the producers and Tin Pottier from the orchestra.
What was the difficult part of the entire exercise?
It was certain technical things that created some difficulties while performing live and also during recording of songs for the album. In recording songs there was no metro norm that we use in our studio, so I had to go with the connecter which was a difficult part.
While performing live with foreign band, I had to see to it that we are in sync. Sometimes the band used to go fast and accordingly I had to adjust with it. There were 75 people who were in coordination with the connecter and at the same time even I had to coordinate with it. I could not show my back to the audience so I used to tilt a little so that I get in sync with the band
You have many fans overseas. Can you elaborate one of the incidents that you remember while performing?
As soon as I started singing, people were applauding in the middle of the songs especially when I took a high pitch. I could hear my female fans shouting that ĎSonu I love youí. Our conductor who was trying to get in sync with the band and me was amused to see such things and started looking back in surprise. It was all overwhelming and I was surprised to know that I have so many fans in London too.
Some people also requested me to sing songs from my own films and album, but I could not as it was a Rafi sahib night. I enjoyed my overall concert.
How was the response of the audience?
There were more Indians present in the concert in Birmingham than the ones you can see in India. The Indians over here bought the tickets in advance leaving British with options of fewer tickets. It was a pleasure to perform in front of them. Sometimes I feel overseas audiences have greater sense of music than our Indians. There are very few people left who would love and enjoy the classical and gazal genre of singing.
What was the best thing that you liked about Rafi? And what did you rediscover during the concert?
He was really a supreme when it comes to singing and composing music. I feel the reason for the success of Rafi sahib is that firstly his voice was immaculate and secondly he believed in simplicity when it came to singing. Well Iíve not discovered anything but just met the grandson of Rafiji.
What do you have to say about these singing reality shows? When can we see you in one of them?
Well there are too many of them I know but no more reality shows for me at least. In todayís reality show there is so much of violence and things shape up in a different and difficult manner. Iím not so hungry.
Talking about the singing reality shows I feel we get good talents from such shows. In earlier days it was believed that a person who aspires to become a singer canít sing live, then he/she is not fit for the genre. I feel reality shows singers are still good and not yet corrupted. Later on most of them get away from the track.
You have been part of Indian Idol first two seasons, what do you have to say about the upcoming fourth season?
Well I have seen the promos of the fourth season and I must say that Kailash is quite good. I enjoy seeing him on television and I must say that he also has a good sense of singing.
Reporter and Author: Rachana Trivedi
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Rafi: immortal voice
Rafi sahib was above religious, race, cast, political, national and even commercial differences. As a Rafi-family friend, and neighbour in London, for over 50 years, I am honoured to have met the most humble, honourable and modest man that I ever knew in my whole lifetime. Rafi still continues to entertain millions around the world. That makes Rafi and his voice immortal. He politely refused to copy other singers in case they get offended. Kehta hai koi dil gaya dil bar gaya. Sahil hai pukarta samandar chala gaya. Jo baat sach hai kehta nahin koi, keh es dunya se musiqi ka payambar chala gaya, according to one tribute to Rafi sahib by the great poet Gulzar. That sums up the late great singer Mohammed Rafi. So, is it fair to compare him with others, alive or dead?
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