By conventional standards his childhood was 'different'. But singer Sonu Nigam insists he grew up like any normal child.
“My father had a transferable job so I changed a lot of schools. I got the opportunity to study in seven schools till I reached Class VII. I did my graduation through correspondence course,” he reveals of his formative years.
But shifting schools frequently had a flip side: It exposed him to new people, new environment and new experiences, that went a long way in building his confidence. Always at ease with facing an audience since he was a tiny-tot, Nigam reveals with some pride that he was "earning from the time I was three-and-a-half years old.”
As a student, he shuttled among shows, sports and academics. “I was a great cricket lover and wished to pursue a career in the game till I broke my hand in a bike accident. After that, I switched to playing badminton and table tennis,” he says. The accident changed course of things for Nigam, who then focused on his musical career, a flair he inherited from his musically inclined parents.
“Both my parents were very good singers and they were the first influence on me,” he says. “After my father, I credit Mohd Rafi saab, Manna De, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Ghulam Ali saab and other legends as my influence and inspiration in music.” Musical accomplishments apart there is a very socially active side to the artiste.
Known among friends for always standing his ground, Nigam joined the ‘Justice for Priyadarshini Mattoo’ campaign in which veteran actor Anupam Kher took part. Nigam has also lent his name to AIDS awareness campagins and doesn't fight shy of endorsing what he believes in. “I am notorious for speaking my mind,” he says and feels blessed to have “friends who know me as an honest person. That is all that counts in the long run.”