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We’re not looking for a package: Sunidhi

Sunidhi Chauhan’s looking for a playback voice on Indian Idol 5 on Sony and says originality should be the main motto of all the contestants.

entertainment Updated: May 02, 2010 14:01 IST
Rachana Dubey Rachana Dubey

Sunidhi ChauhanSunidhi Chauhan’s looking for a playback voice on Indian Idol 5 on Sony

You’ve been in breezing in and out of recording studios, doing live shows and shooting for Indian Idol 5. Biting off more than you can chew?

I agree there’s just too much activity around me. But I don’t mind it. I’m thankfully healthy enough to manage work and not fall ill. You can’t imagine what will happen if I fall ill in the middle of all this.

It’s been a week since Indian Idol 5 came on air. Enjoying it?
Completely! I’ve never been a judge on a reality show. Strangely, though lot of people had notions that I never wanted to be part of a reality show, I would get so many offers. I took on this show only because it’s Indian Idol, a brand I would love to associate myself with. It’s unique and widely watched. I was sure I was headed in the right direction.

Are you ready for occasional tiffs with co-judges, Anu Mallik and Salim Merchant?
(Chuckles) Darling, the tiffs are not scripted. They happen in the spur of the moment. We have to be honest with our audience, right?

So, what were those ‘reported’ tiffs between Anu Mallik and you over choosing contestants?
Anuji and I have worked together on so many songs together. We didn’t fight. They were minor differences over creative issues. He and I, at times, wouldn’t be on the same page but that was bound to happen because we’re different people with different work profiles. I respect the man. We get along fine.

What is it that you are looking for on the show?
Not just me, all three of us are looking for that one good playback voice. For the last four seasons, the show has looked for a performer who is a complete package. This year, we plan to dig out that one singer, who has tremendous control over his or her voice on every song. The contestant can be groomed later on. Voice is the priority. But a contestant at one of the auditions tried to sing like Sonu Niigam. That’s what we’re trying to tell people through this show that they shouldn’t follow a singer like that. Picking up a singer’s qualities is a good thing but imitating is not. I find so many wannabe singers who imitate me but it doesn’t make them any great. Only if you’re original can you do something in life.

Do you get upset, like Anu Mallik, when you don’t find a contestant performing to his or her optimum?
Of course! I was on the verge of screaming at a few of the contestants who have made it to the advanced rounds of the show. They were just not getting their basics right on a said day. That’s not how they can deal with their career once they become established names. I can’t get up one morning and behave like it’s the first riyaaz of my life. Some of them just don’t take the platform seriously, which irks me.

I’d never want to act: Sunidhi
I’ve had loads of offers from so many production houses. But I always turn them away, politely, that I can’t act. Actually, there’s so much to do behind the mic in the studios that I don’t want to take on something as demanding as acting.

I’ll surely cut my album this year: Sunidhi
It’s been four years since I have been contemplating my album. At the beginning of every year, I promise to cut my album before the year ends. It’s not happened in four years. If no this year, it will definitely be out next year. I don’t want to do it in a rush. I want it to sound relaxed.

Sonuji is an idol: Sunidhi
He’s a sweetheart, a great teacher and someone I adore. He’s a living legend, someone with a great voice and a fantastic sense of music. He once said in some interview that I was his female version. I treat that to be a great compliment.

Favourite five
Le chalein (My Brother Nikhil): It’s a beautiful song that I can hear on loop. It’s soft and soulful.

Mere haath mein (Fanaa): It’s beautifully romantic. The words are magical.

Saaki (Musafir): It’s got fantastic energy and rhythm. You’ll be forced to start tapping your feet with it.

Rang rasiya (Rang Rasiya): It’s the title track of the film. No one has heard it yet, but it’s among my favourites.

Behta hai man kahin (Chameli): It creates an imagery of someone enjoying herself dancing in the rain.