For over 2 decades, his golden voice has entertained the audience and he has been one of the most prolific names in the industry. On the occasion of Sonu Nigam’s 43rd birthday, SpotboyE.com spoke to the singing sensation where he opened up about his growing detachment from Bollywood, why he is extremely choosy about his songs and more. Excerpts:
First of all, tell us about your birthday resolutions for this year.
I keep making resolutions but nothing specifically for my birthday. I focus on improving myself professionally or personally and I feel that I am a little better as a human being as compared to last year.
If one looks at your 2-decade long career, you were much more aggressive initially but now you are much calmer. What has brought about this change?
My transformation happened in 2005. It was due to the Yoga classes I joined in 2004. Yoga brought me to a different world. Had I immersed myself more into that world, I would have taken up sanyaas by now. But I balanced my life. I worked hard, pursued my profession, partied, made friends but at the same time, I kept myself focussed. However, somewhere down the line, I realised that mar mar ke kaam nahi karna chahiye. At one point, I wanted to win the world and had the killer instinct. But that faded away slowly. Today, I’m happy that I am working wholeheartedly and also enjoying my life to the fullest.
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Is that the reason why you have become extremely choosy about your work?
The music industry initially had camps, which is now replaced by a business module. A lot of music labels are artist management agencies too. Many artists have now been signed by the labels itself. So if I am not signed by particular label’s artist management company, why would someone give me a song? Not that I do not respect the module, but people need to stop expecting too many songs from me. Times have changed. Today, even the composers sing and the ones who can’t, use software to make their voices better. Whenever a composer feels that a certain song needs my voice, I sing the song.
You used to adopt different singing styles for different actors. But now a singer is chosen with complete disregard to whether his voice matches the actor’s or not. What do you think about this concept?
You will have to ask this question to a music composer or a producer or music label. Maybe the producers feel ki aise awaz rakho jo actor pe bilkul suit nahi hoti ho (laughs).
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In one of your interviews, you stated that your attachment towards Bollywood has reduced. Why so?
See, I wouldn’t want to associate myself with a scene where 1 song has been dubbed by 9 other singers. We all know it happens in Bollywood. I feel composers who resort to this should be ashamed of themselves. Today’s composers lack imagination and they do not know how a Sonu or a Kumar Sanu would sing a particular song. I had recorded a few songs which were redubbed by other singers later. I was really hurt because I never approached these people for work. They came to me, they wanted me to sing and I felt that they played with my self-respect.
People like these can never match up to your level, so the only thing they can do is pull you down by redubbing your song. That’s why I don’t have much attachment today. The Bollywood that I belonged to was much different, people weren’t manipulative. Like Anu Malik might have been tough with the singers but he definitely brought the best out of you.
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Do you think Bollywood today is focusing only on creating hit song and in the process, losing out on good music?
I think people need to start focusing on good work rather than planning on how to create a hit number. The music makers and labels think they are smart enough to know which track will be a hit. Had that been the case, then each of their favourite melodies would be a huge hit. Every song has its destiny and if a track is destined to be a hit, it will regardless of its genre. The intervention of the labels is stopping the audience from getting different genres of songs. Previously in an album, even a bhajan would be a hit, a romantic track would work well or even a quirky number would be loved by the audience. I think we need to stop playing God and instead focus on good work.
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Tell us your favourite from the songs sung by you.
There are many – Tum Hi Dekho Na (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna), Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin (Agneepath), Sandese Aate Hai (Border), Is Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Doon (Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai), Patta Patta (Azhar) and many more.
Thumbnail Image Source: facebook/SonuNigam