Sonu Nigam who started his singing career at the tender age of three needs no introduction today!! Considered to be one of the major forces in the Indian music industry, Sonu is now ready to judge yet another musical reality show on television, X Factor on Sony Entertainment Television.
Here is he in a heart-to-heart talk with TellyBuzz..
What is X Factor all about?
X Factor is one of the biggest shows of music in the world right now. I would say that Indian idol was the biggest earlier, but now things have changed. X Factor has given great singers to the world and the format has been tried and tested and is acknowledged throughout the globe.
Will the format of the Indian version be similar to the international one?
Yes, I think the format will remain the same but along with that our personality will also show up in the show.
How are you as a judge approaching the show?
You will see me as a strict judge when it comes to judging the nuances of singers, because this stage is strictly meant for good singers. If you cannot sing properly, you do not have the right to stand in front of the judges authentically. We are here to search for that X Factor in a singer..
How did you get convinced to judge the show?
I got this proposal some three months back, but I had immediately refused to be part of it. In all these talent hunt shows, lots of fights take place between the judges and I do not prefer that. I usually opt to take up kids reality shows, in order to be away from such fights. I have always been comfortable doing Little Champs and Chhote Ustaad. But when I heard that X Factor was not just related to music I gave it a second thought. It so happened that certain middle aged aspiring singers who auditioned for this show came to me and told me how lucky I was to get the right platform at such a young age to showcase my talent. It was something very nice, and I took it as a great incentive to fulfill the wishes of people who are in the afternoon or evening of their life. X Factor is such a show which is a platofrm for such singers, and I wanted to be part of the journey of such people by judging it. You can come here as an individual, as a Jodi or as a group to participate.
What is the kind of performance that will woo you as judge?
Performance for me is not something that prompts the audience to 'Clap hands', or come up with expressions like 'Cool' or 'Yo'. Performance is one when a singer knows that he/she is singing very well with all the confidence. That is X Factor for me, and I feel that coming up with all the extras like dancing or putting some mannerisms in your act will not help.
Being an established singer do you think you could have done way better if you got such a platform to perform?
See, as a singer you very well know that the person who will matter the most is the composer. During my struggling days, there were certain composers who had the ISI mark; if you get to work with them your life is actually set. One such composer duo was Laxmikant Pyarelal. I still remember the days when I used to drive my bike and when I used to go past their house, my head would automatically bow down, and I used to pray to God to give me one chance to prove my worth before them. I started my career with lack of confidence. I was a school drop out, and had no God Father in the industry. But in today's era if you see, all the youngsters are so good in confidence, and I feel happy when I see them doing well in such platforms offered.
So are you happy with the standard of reality shows we have on TV today?
Yes, from a singer's perspective, I agree that with more and more reality shows happening, singers get more of scope. Again, going back to my days, there was this composer who used to always shout at singers, and we used to apologize to him even if it was not our mistake. We were forced to abide to all their whims and fancies as we had no other option. But today, I don't think the flourishing singers would put up with such tantrums. They have so many options made available to them like the live shows, reality shows thro' which they can make money. So I feel really happy for the singers of today.
What happens to those who do not win such competitions? It has been noted that the singer who wins gets all the fame..
Every coin has two sides to it, and it is a known fact that only one person can be the winner. Having said this, the other singers do get their share of success and recognition. The world can never be fair to anyone. Just see for yourself, even though Abhijit Sawant won Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya is far more successful today. Though he is not getting many of the movie offers, Rahul is a content man as he gets to do so many stage shows. Atleast he is not standing outside anyone's house looking for work.
Do you feel it is wise for successful reality show singers to opt for different things other than singing?
See, they will obviously seek work outside if they do not get called by composers. Nowadays, the composers have the habit of singing their songs themselves. If at all they offer a chance to an aspiring singer, they give a chance to the one who is under their contract. If a singer does not get a good opportunity, it is not always his mistake. There are many composers who till date have not given me even one chance to sing for them. This does not mean that I am a bad singer. Nothing is in our hands. Everyone today wants to be a legend, and they do grab the first opportunity they get.
Reporter and Author: Tejashree Bhopatkar