There was a time when every second popular Bollywood track was sung by Sonu Nigam. Right from romantic songs and party numbers to private albums — Sonu’s was the voice that resonated from all corners. But things seem to have changed a tad bit since then. He has become a lot more selective about his tracks and self-admittedly, a little choosy.
“These days composers are also singers. Look at Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar, Himesh Reshamiya to name a few. When you’re a singer and composer, it’s natural for you to save the best songs for yourself. And I wouldn’t like to play second fiddle to anyone. I don’t want to sing the second-best song. I don’t blame these composers for doing what they are doing. I’d have done the same thing in all probability,” he says.
Besides, Sonu has grown to dislike the idea of spending a lifetime in the recording studio. “I don’t want to grow old in the confines of a studio. When I grow old and my knees go weak, I don’t want to look back at a life spent within those walls alone. Look at Indian Idol winner Sandeep Acharya. Such a talented singer and nice guy, he died so young. You never know how much time you’ve got left to make the most of,” he adds.
Having said that, Sonu is thankful for every song that he has sung till date. He believes it is this rich and varied repertoire that has made him what he is today. “I can proudly say that I sang "What Is Mobile Number" (from 'Haseena Maan Jaayegi') and "Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin" (from 'Agneepath') in the same lifetime. Besides, the latter is very representative of my life. There’s more to me,” says the singer who has sung songs in more than eight Indian languages.
Despite his huge fan base, Sonu has never believed in measuring his success in terms of the number of songs he sings or fans he collects. “As a child, when I used to learn from my father, he always used to tell me that I’d gain the praise of not so much my fans, but other great singers. ‘Dusre guni log tumhari tareef karenge’, he used to say,” reminisces Sonu.
Citing one such instance in particular he tells us, “Once Manna Dey saab was present at a live show I was performing at. He heard my voice and asked someone who I was. He later came to meet me and told me that he was envious of my voice and added that I should have been born in the same era as he was so that we could have a fair competition. Moments like these define your journey,” he adds with a smile.
Sonu’s sister Teesha recently made her singing debut with the film 'Singh Saab The Great' along with her elder brother. Is he playing mentor? “No, not at all. Yes she did get to sing that one song because of me, but I am not playing mentor to anyone. The new generation is far too independent to seek a mentor. She has her own ideas of music. She wants to start her own band and be independent. I am just here if she needs me,” says the doting older brother.
Sonu is currently huge in concerts and live performances and wants to make his fans as much a part of his musical experiences as he can. In a bid to give his fans a feel of being Sonu, the singer has associated himself with leading celebrity digital network — Fluence, which connects celebrities with their fans and brands through their online presence.
“My fans have always been a constant in my life. Earlier through fan letters, now through the digital medium. My social media platforms without any strategy or professional expertise reached to a 13 million base, only because of the love and positivity we have towards each other.
They have ended up becoming my extended family; with whom I share my music, my moods, and my life. With the expertise of Fluence, I look forward to imbibing fresh ideas and exploring new platforms using various ideas to communicate with them,” he adds....