What happened with your recently released album Classically Mild?
It's not such a big matter. Actually, my album, which I released in February, got appreciated by the veteran Bollywood singers including Lataji and Pandit Yashrajji. After all that, I was charmed thinking that all the big radio channels will broadcast my songs from this album. But they never even tried for that. And as a result my album got hyped and the sale increased. At the same time I knew that since the radio stations started playing the new songs, people have stopped buying CDs. And having the experience with my own CDs, I can realize the truth even better. So I thanked all the radio stations by sending bouquets and thanks-giving letters. Later on they asked me to pardon them and wanted to play the songs on their stations. I am happy that everything settled down quite peacefully. Now that's what I call semi Gandhi-ism.
Why not total Gandhi-ism?
In total Gandhi-ism, people normally go for complaining which I avoided in my maneuver. And even if I was in loss in selling because of their non-cooperation I would have behaved the same with them. And that would have called total Gandhi-ism. But the scenario is completely different and I have thanked them in my way.
Will you thank them again for playing your songs?
Their playing the songs would be a help to music in general. Audience would enjoy something new besides the repetitive Bollywood songs. When they are not interested in Sonu Nigam's songs, then what will happen to the other new talents? I think radio stations must understand that promoting new talents is a great responsibility to them. They would never have felt shy, afraid or doubted playing songs from Classically Mild. Now it's better if they play songs from the album. At the same time it also doesn't matter if they don't play it.
How do you feel the need of releasing such an album after reaching a great stage in your career?
I think classical music is the backbone of Indian tradition and culture. Taking care of the classical music is like being supportive to our seniors. Making the classical music more interesting and presenting them to the audience is the best way to serve it.
How did you think of making it?
I thought experimenting with classical music in the way I want is not possible in filmy songs as there we always have the control of producers and directors. Many times we have to sing something in support of the story where there is no scope of experimenting that way. Despite that, I have sung classical in films like Baabul and Dev. And in Dharm I have sung only classical songs. I wanted to make such an album that can offer me satisfaction at the end of my life. Now I have time and scope to go for something of that sort very willingly. I have no bondage now. At my position, I don't have to follow the market to sing and can decide offering the audience something that I wish. At the same time I am happy that HMV is ready to make two new versions of videos of my album in the age while all are avoiding videos to save money.
Had you ever thought of getting such response before making this album?
Not at all. I never thought of common people accepting the album, but I knew that music lovers would appreciate the hard work involved in the album. Even before that, all the albums that I have made such as Deewana, Kismet and Chanda Ki Doli have grabbed enough attention from the audience. It proves that the makers of albums are fools to think the audience a fool. Same theory is applicable in films too. There both Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho Munna Bhai work the same though they have different appeal to the audience. In the same way Taare Zameen Par and Partner are also two great examples. Audience always wants something new.
So do you want to say that today's audience is completely changed?
Absolutely. They are always looking for new things. They are ready to accept things which are entertaining and at the same time profitable to them. They will surely reject if you serve them the same thing again and again. I would have made another album like Deewana, but people would have reacted like what the hell Sonu is doing! And I can promise to give you something different from Classically Mild in my upcoming album.
Please tell us about Classically Mild.
It's not very classical that people may not understand them. It's made in a way that all the people from any age group, any society and any place would accept that. There are songs of different genres that you cannot differentiate as either remix or fusion. I have worked really hard for the album. I have taken extreme care of all the things whether it's from lyrics to music or from songs to their remixes. I had to appear in one of the videos of the album and I worked hard on my physique, too.
Does it mean that you have got six packs for the song?
No, I didn't attempt anything like that as everyone is trying it out. The funny side is that it's not tough to have six packs at all and I think even 'Majnu' can have it. The less someone eats the more his abs get visible. I think it looks better with a good and balanced physique only. Otherwise it'll simply look too bony.
Which would you like to prefer most, is it the songs that you have sung for films or is it the songs in Classically Mild?
It's tough to decide on anything like that because I worked hard on both the fields. At the same time, I never compared amongst my works.
What's the reason behind your singing less for films?
Actually I am too busy with private albums and cassettes. So I don't have time to work for films.
You have even acted in films. Do you have any wish to come to acting again?
That's another reason behind my being busy. I am getting so many offers for films that I have to take time meeting producers and directors every now and then. I have to spend much time in that, as all want me to listen to their stories. But I have not decided on anything right now. I want to stay free all the time and I don't want any kind of bondage. If I start doing films, then I have to stay away from all other things.
What do you like most amongst singing, acting and concert?
I like all of them. I don't believe in doing only one thing stubbornly. I am the only singer whose song 'Bijuriya' has become famous along with its dancing steps. Along with singing, I love to compose and program songs. They all are part of my art. It's tough to count on any one song as my favorite.
We have heard few new talents will sing with you in an upcoming show in the radio station Big FM. Please tell us about that.
It's not a new show but my new album called I Want Punjabi Beats. They will take audition of few talents, and from there I will choose five or six of them to sing with me.
Pakistani singers are always applauded in Bollywood. But nowadays they are coming in lots. And they have increased the competition also. Do you think these competitions are healthy?
I don't have any problem with Pakistani singers. I think the whole world is like a single family and proved they are not doing anything illegal. Everyone is allowed to travel without any hindrance. Now a Pakistani may come to India and I would like to see the vice versa also. But it's really bad that Indian singers cannot go to Pakistan.