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Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam embraced the music world with cover versions and has reached the pinnacle of famedom in his playback singing career. The Delhi based vocalist came to Mumbai with two assets - ambition and perseverance. Impressed with the young man's passion for music, late Gulshan Kumar gave Sonu an opportunity to follow his dreams. And since then there has been no looking back. Working his way through ups and downs, this earthly soul finally found his sky of eminence. He has witnessed his share of ordeals only to emerge stronger each time. Having won several million hearts with his previous music albums, the sensational Sonu Nigam is back on the pop scene with his new album Chanda Ki Doli. Poonam H. Raichura caught up with the singer to speak about this album and much more…

Four years and then Chanda Ki Doli happens. Why the long waiting period?
Well, about three to five of my albums were released in the period between 1998 and 2000. So I wanted to take some time off private albums, giving both my audience and me a much-needed breather. Another album sometime soon would have meant an overdose of Sonu Nigam. Besides, I wanted to come back with something unique to offer to people, who had positively responded and appreciated my previous albums Kismat, Mausam, Deewana, Jaan and Yaad. My decision to indulge into composition meant learning skills of programming and reinventing music at each level. It was a tedious task and I needed time. I am glad I took my time and have come up with something people are loving.

What's the specialty of Chanda Ki Doli?
Chanda Ki Doli features nine tracks revolving around the theme of romance. The album promises mesmerizing melodies rendered by yours truly. The lyrics are beautifully penned by Nusrat Badr of Devdas fame. Times have changed and with that peoples' taste in music have evolved too. I am entering the pop music scenario after four long years with the promise to live up to the expectations of all my fans and well-wishers. This album bears my trademark in every way. It consists of all fresh and new tracks that will take you into the world of melody and music. I have composed the songs myself to lend it a distinct Sonu Nigam flavour. What sets the album apart from the other albums is its simplicity and fresh romance.

You have been traveling a lot recently for concerts. Did that influence your decision to come up with an album?
Not at all. With God's grace I have umpteen songs to sing at my concerts. I even have the liberty and the option to delete songs. If you fill a bucket of water from an ocean, the ocean doesn't get dry.

You have turned a composer for the album. People say Sonu Nigam wants to be the Jack of All Trades. React?
I consider myself amongst the few who are blessed with the talent to successfully carry on with playback singing on one hand and come out with a private album on the other. And now that I have indulged into composition too, I feel I have conquered yet another frontier of music. I take this as a compliment when people say that Sonu likes to do several things together. I have never planned things in my life. But I have always wanted to be different and innovative in whatever I do. I am grateful to God that he has given me several opportunities to experiment with different things in life and so far I think I have succeeded in everything I have tried. I don't regret any decision of mine so far.

You are considered to be a contemporary singer. When you were put on the panel of judges for Indian Idol, how did you feel?
Indian Idol took me back to the days of Sa Re Ga Ma. The experience was different in the sense that here I could advise the participants about sur and taal and the task of judging was truly challenging. The participants were closely scrutinized with respect to their styling and presentation skills. Farah Khan, Anu Malik and I were confronting stars of tomorrow in this competition. I never felt that I am still too young to judge others. I think if I am able to guide someone to be better in their field of interest, I should do it. Indian Idol was a perfect platform for me to realize how important I was in people's lives.

In what way?
When we toured the whole country listening to thousands of participants, a majority of them were trying to ape my singing style. That's when I realized that I had become big enough for people to follow…I had set my style, which will remain for many years to come. I felt a sense of responsibility. Indian Idol has indeed helped me mature as an Idol for those millions who love me through my songs everyday.

You can read the rest of our feature on Sonu Nigam in the June 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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