How was the Rafi Resurrected concert in London?
It was phenomenal. The show was sold out two weeks in advance. It’s encouraging for an artiste to get this kind of response. People turned up in flocks and it shows that classics still sell. There is something missing in today’s Hindi film music. I think we’re only catering to pubs these days.
What can change the music scene, then?
I think we have to stop churning out the same kind of ‘pub’ numbers. Independent music has to be given due space to grow. It should be promoted better. Right.
So what have been the reactions to
I don’t know. I didn’t even hear it after I recorded the song. I don’t know if they are even promoting it in the trailers. I sang it only because I share a great rapport with Ramesh Taurani.
Why are you being so picky about playback singing?
I’ve become a little more conscious of what I do. I’ve not taken
but I will not jump at every song that comes my way. It’s important at this stage of my career to keep a quality check. Composers know what I want.. so they also know when to approach me.
You’re still the highest paid singer.
Yes I am. And they better pay me because we don’t even get royalties. But it’s not that I shoo away people who can’t afford to pay me my fee. Sometimes, I’ve sung for people for free because of the relationship I share with them. I don’t fight for money because I’m not obstinate.
How did your albums—
Punjabi Please— fare?
They’ve done well.. even at a time when album sales are at an all-time low. Punjabi please was a single.. not an album.
was an album and appreciated for its freshness.The second video will be shot early next month.
Are you cutting any more albums this year?
I’ve cut my first Kannada album, which will release shortly. The Rafi Resurrected album has been released in Europe. It will be on the Indian shelves soon. Then, I’m planning a Ganesh bhakti geet album to be released around Ganesh Chaturthi. No singer holds the record of cutting four private albums in a single year.
And the album with DJ Sanj..
Yes, that’s there too. Sanj approached me when I was in the U S last year. He has made me sing in English. He’s also roped in some American rappers.
Will you be back on
The makers of Indian Idol won’t approach me because they know I won’t do it. I may take up
if I find it good enough. But if it sounds monotonous like all the other shows, then I may stay away. I have loads of movie offers.
What do you have to say about Shrinjini Sengupta, whowas struck by paralysis after being reprimanded on a show?
I don’t know what actually happened. She might have been unwell even before she participated or her illness may have been the judges’ comments. All I can say is that most reality shows today are unreal. Contestants are made to feel like dirt. If I don’t like something as a judge, I can say it politely.
What’s new on the personal front?
Nothing new. It was my son Neevan’s first birthday last Friday. We had a small jagran at home. Several of my industry friends turned up to give him their blessings.
It’s your birthday on July 31.
(Smiles) Yes, I’m turning 35.. I don’t think I want to celebrate birthdays anymore. It’ll be a low-key family dinner. Besides I’ve already hadmy share of fun on Neevan’s birthday.