When Sukhwinder Singh charged just Rs 101 for a song
Sukhwinder Singh’s voice resonates with Indians across all the age groups — be it the invigorating anthem Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire; 2008) or Chhaiyaan Chhaiyaan (Dil Se; 1998), which remains actor Shah Rukh Khan’s most recognised number till date. One might think that with such a prolific career, the singer must be charging a bomb for every song he agrees to lend his voice to, but that’s not the case.
“Apart from Chhammo in Housefull 4 recently, I have Shamshera up next, which will be a fantabulous film. There’s one more good film, Aadhaar, starring Viineet Singh; I have sung one song for that. The makers got to know I was on tour, they contacted me and said, ‘We have a limited budget, not like Shah Rukh’s films. Our team said we should wait for you’. After I recorded the song, they offered me a cheque. They must have got to know through someone how much I charge, and been told just about anything. I said, ‘Even I have some budget. When love is added to that, the figure becomes not a rupee above ₹101,” reveals a humble Sukhwinder.
Besides adjusting his remuneration for special cases, what the 48-year-old is also careful about is the lyrics to his songs. He doesn’t promote something which he knows isn’t beneficial to the society, such as alcohol and drugs.
“If you consume alcohol more than the limit, it destroys your body and life. But they have official shops under the government. There aren’t any drug shops licensed by the government. Those who sell drugs through their song (lyrics), unka kya karne ka hai? That’s bad. I don’t want to emphasise or appreciate alcohol — it has an exemption, such as in parties. But drugs are a crime. Those who sing about it in the name of songs, that’s a crime too,” he says.
What about some of the singers or rappers saying that they only incorporate what the youth talks about? “Thoda zaroorat se zyada bhi karte hain. Like the prasad you get in a temple. If you eat too much, your stomach will get upset. The medicine which cures your headache, if you eat four of those tablets, you will die! Main kisi artist ko badnaam nahi karna chahta. Not just alcohol and drugs, beech mein ashleel gaaliyaan bhi aayi thi. Such song makers don’t approach me. I explained to some people ‘tamasha karne se TRP milegi, aisa nahi hai, isko badal daalo’,” says Sukhwinder.
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