Sunidhi Chauhan has reigned over the music scene in Bollywood for over a decade. Despite that, her zeal refuses to die. When we met the singer at her apartment in Lokhandwala recently, she was as jovial as ever and was all set to tackle the questions coming her way. Excerpts:
Over the years, have you become choosy about the kind of songs you sing?
Slightly. Mainly because I do not wish to repeat myself. People approach me for the skills I am known for, but even in an average song I make sure I give my 100%. and make it sound great. The kind of songs I was offered in between made me feel that someone else could sing that track and add their colour to it, which is why I chose not to sing them. Not that the songs were bad, just that I want to keep doing something new which excites me.
You recently sang Baadal in Sonakshi Sinha’s Akira. How was the experience?
I totally fell in love with the song the moment I heard it. When I got the track, Shekhar (Ravjiani) was not too sure about where it was heading, yet we recorded the song roughly. I remember that I was unwell on the day of the recording and had a feeling that I didn’t sound great. So I just sang the song thinking I shall re-dub it. But since I didn’t receive a call from Shekhar for some time after that, I assumed that the song has been shelved or will be used in another film. Eventually, I heard it on TV and am really happy with the response I have been getting. It’s got over one million views and I am looking forward to singing it in my live concerts.
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We saw you in the short film, Playing Priya. Are you open to acting in films? If yes, what kind of roles would you prefer doing?
Of course I am open to acting, but I am too new to list out the kind of roles I would want to do. Whatever I do next, I want to make sure that I excel at it and am able to break away from the image of singer Sunidhi Chauhan. When I am acting, I would want to be known as the actress Sunidhi Chauhan and not the singer Sunidhi Chauhan. After Playing Priya my respect for actors has gone up immensely. I thought it was going to be simple considering it’s a 5-minute film, but we shot for 23 hours and I had to stay in that character throughout the film. However, I loved the process and would want to do more films. I have been getting a lot of offers but haven’t signed anything as yet.
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How has life changed after marriage?
Not at all, it’s the same. I have been travelling for shows, recordings and meeting new people just like I did before I got married. However, I feel freer since I tied the knot. I was living by myself earlier and now I live with a friend. We are individuals who have their own jobs. Whenever we are at home, we talk about various things, just like any other couple. The only thing we don’t get to do is go on a vacation. I crave for it, but that’s part and parcel of life.
Does your husband, Hitesh Sonik, give you feedback about your work?
Yes. Whenever he has the time, he does. Scoring for movies and composing is a very long process and consumes a lot of time. While it takes about 2-3 hours for me to record a song in a studio, for Hitesh the process of composing music goes on for 3- 4 months. However, both of us give feedback to each other when we have the time..
When do you intend to start a family?
I don’t know. I already have a beautiful family and am surrounded by amazing people. If someone new has to enter our life, it will happen when it has to.
The number of songs in Bollywood is reducing. Do you feel insecure about it as a singer?
No not at all. Today, film making process has undergone a drastic change. Now, the film is the hero and songs happen for the movie, toh requirement he change hogaye hai. In fact, ab toh singers saath mein gaana bhi nahi gaate. We just do our jobs and vanish. Sometimes even the music director is not in the studio with us. Earlier, producers, directors and even the actors would be present in the studio just to celebrate the process of music making. I miss that a lot. I remember singing duet songs with KK, Shaan, Sonu and many others. It used to be fun, but it doesn’t happen anymore. However, it’s okay. Times have changed and people are in a hurry. Every time and anytime is a deadline. I started in 1995 and we are in 2016, so I am glad that I am a part of every change. I like to go with the flow and have no complains.
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We heard that when you tried touching Jaspinder Narula’s feet the first time you met her, she moved away. Is that true?
First of all, I love and respect Jaspinderji. Secondly, I have never touched Jaspinderji’s feet. I touch very few people’s feet, so jab maine woh kiya he nahi hai toh I do not know where is this coming from. Jaspinderji has been in the music scene even before I came in and I know if she sings today, she will rock.
A lot of singers today try and imitate your singing style. How do you feel about it?
If I can be somebody’s inspiration, what more do I want in life? But let me tell you that all singers now are brilliant. This is the best time for singers as there are a lot of opportunities and there is a room for everyone. People who can or cannot sing are singing, so it’s good. Now it’s for the audience to decide what they like or dislike.
Who sounds the closest to you?
I don’t want to say that. Everybody is unique in their own way. It’s absolutely fine to get inspired.
What do you think about the concept of multi- composers?
It’s a good thing because everybody is getting a chance to display their skills. However, I don’t know why filmmakers rope in 3-4 composers to do one project. According to me, it takes away from the film a little. Just like a director has a particular vision for a film, a composer does too. Hence, it’s a single composer is a better option. But, as I said, times have changed and so have the songs. There are times when a song, which is made to promote a film, has nothing to do with it.
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Name one song that you would want to sing again.
I would want to resing all my songs because I am never satisfied. The only two songs I like to hear that are sung by me are Aa Zara (Murder 2) and Behta Hai Mann (Chameli). I have them on my IPod. Not that I do not like other songs, but you can’t be proud of every song you sing.
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Is there a song you would have never attempted?
No matter how difficult, I don’t think there is a song I wouldn’t have attempted.
Name a song, sung by someone else, which you would have wanted to sing.
Even if I wanted to sing a song by someone, it would mostly be for the way the singer has sung the song. I don’t say I wish I had sung the song, but the tracks Laakad and Jag Ja from Omkara are the ones I love.
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