Going solo: The era of Indi-pop albums and singles is back
Every music lover reminisces about the '90s and early 2000s, when the popularity of pop music was at its peak. That was a time when launching albums and releasing singles was a regular occurrence. Alisha Chinai, Sonu Nigam, Remo Fernandes, Baba Sehgal, Shaan, Palash Sen, KK, Lucky Ali, Hariharan and Lesle Lewis were some of the top artistes. But gradually, as Bollywood music gained greater popularity, the Indi-pop culture started waning. However, various artistes have now resolved to give their film careers a break to focus on their solo projects. We find out what some popular musicians are up to.Sonu Nigam
Who wouldn't remember the melodious Deewane Hoke Hum from Sonu Nigam's 2000 album, Jaan. From releasing multiple love ballads, and devotional numbers to singing tribute songs, Sonu was one of the most popular names in India's pop music phase.
While the singer remains occupied with film music and concerts, he wants to take time out to work on his solo projects. "I am currently working on the mixing of my father, Agam Kumar Nigam's sixth album, Bewafaaiyan, with T-Series. It should be out in a month or two. After that, I will release a single that also features my sister, Teesha," he says.Shaan
Shaan is among the top solo artistes of the '90s. Tracks from his albums like Loveology and Tanha Dil are hummed even today. As the singer got busy with Bollywood film music, he couldn't spare much time for his solo projects. But, he is planning to cut albums soon. "I am working on a ghazal album, a Bengali record and a pop album," he says.Ali Zafar
became a popular name in India after his single Sajaniya started airing on music channels. He made his Bollywood acting debut in 2010, and has been busy juggling film projects and concerts ever since. He released his last album, Jhoom, in 2011. But now, Ali wants to focus on his solo projects. "Music is my passion. I have been busy with my acting ventures and making music for films, but I want to concentrate on my solo projects now. I am working on a series of singles that I will be releasing this year," says Ali.Shilpa Rao
Shilpa Rao climbed the Bollywood popularity charts by singing hits like Tosey Naina Lagey (Anwar; 2007) and Khuda Jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno; 2008), among others. While the singer tours extensively for concerts (she is currently touring the US), Shilpa plans to take time out for a solo project. "I am working on an Indian folk music album that should be out this year. I will get a team of versatile musicians together for it," she says.Atif Aslam
While Atif Aslam is mostly known for his soulful Bollywood renditions, the singer is one of the most active pop artistes in Pakistan. He released his first album, Jal Pari, in 2004, which was a huge hit across the world. In India, his claim to fame was his second record, Doorie, post which, Bollywood music offers started pouring in for the singer. Atif now plans to take time out from his packed film and concert schedule to cut an album. "I am working on an independent album that will be released by the end of this year. I've been writing the lyrics for it like my old-school album, Jal Pari. So it's like going back to the roots," he says. Shekhar Ravjiani
While Shekhar Ravjiani is usually busy juggling composing music with playback singing, he has started devoting time to his solo projects too. He released an album, Saazni, in 2013, and composed and sung a version of the Hanuman Chalisa in 2014, which was received well. He will be releasing more projects in the coming months. "I've been working on an album for the past four years. The songs have been written by Swanand Kirkire. I will release it by end of 2015. Also, there's a single that I'm working on, the lyrics of which are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. It'll release by August/September."