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'I'm not ashamed of singing at weddings'

His magical voice made his fans crazy about him and his stint as television anchor made him a household name. Sonu Niigaam in a talk session with Rachana Dubey.

music Updated: Sep 18, 2008 16:16 IST
Rachana Dubey

Sonu Niigaam’s talk session with

Rachana Dubey

.



So

Rafi Resurrected

is finally releasing in India.


Yes, Sa Re Ga Ma released the album in the international market before bringing it to India. It’s already a hit in the US and in Europe. It found a market in the UK too because of the presence of the Symphony Orchestra.



What’s happening with the private album of your father (Agam Kumar Niigam)?

He has collaborated with T-Series on three very successful albums. He’s committed to a fourth one now.



And what’s the update on the careeer of your sister Neekita’s career after

Marigold

?

To make it the top you need to be super-ambitious. She’ll always get work but I don’t want her to go through the grind. If someone wants her to sing, they will call. She’s done good work with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, MM Kreem and Sandeep Chowta.



You’re supposed to be playing the lead in two movies. Apparently you want Sunidhi Chauhan as your heroine in one of them.

Don’t believe half of what you hear. It’s true I’m getting quite a few offers. I’ve been reading plenty of scripts in the last eight months but I haven’t zeroed in on a project yet. I’m proud of is

Love in Nepal.

The other films started off well but then went somewhere else. This time I want to play safe. I won’t do a film I’ll be embarrassed by all my life.



You once said that you are the highest paid singer.

Singers aren’t paid much. Sunidhi (Chauhan) and Shreya (Ghoshal) are among the highest paid singers. I don’t sing unless I get my price.. at the same time, I’m not stubborn about my fee. Most of us prefer to concentrate on live shows which get us big bucks. But for friends, we sometimes sing for free.



You sing even at private weddings.

What’s wrong with that? It’s nothing to be ashamed of. These functions earn me my bread and butter. I’ve been performing since I was three..sometimes at melas, weddings and government functions. Those who say they don’t do shows have probably never been invited. It’s not a joke to sing for two hours at a stretch, without a sip of water or a visit to the washroom. I’m not like those actors who dance for 20 minutes and take home a fat cheque. I justify every rupee I’m paid.



You once hosted

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa

. Today, Abhas Joshi and Aditya Narayan have taken over. How do you feel when you see them on the show that made you a household name?

I was one of the first one to exploit the medium of television. Mika recently messaged me to tell me that he’s learnt the art of exploiting TV from my experiences. When I hosted Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, I spoke from the heart. Shows weren’t scripted then. Who says singers always have to be behind the mike? Today, music is visible.. composers, singers, lyricists, they are all doing shows. There’s a face associated with every show, whether it’s Madonna or Sunidhi Chauhan.



Does your son, Neevan, show signs of following in your footsteps?

(Smiling fondly) I have a recording of him trying to match

sur

and

taal

with me. He was only eight months old then. He’s a bright kid. I’ll support him irrespective of whether he wants to be a singer, a cricketer or a

sadhu

.

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