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Thursday, 24 February 2011
''X-Factor'' is beyond the mediocracy of talent shows: Sonu Niigaam
Mumbai, Feb 23 Singer-composer Sonu Niigaam, who will be judging a show after six years, says he agreed to be part of Sony''s music reality show ''X-Factor'' because he feels the concept is beyond the mediocracy of other such shows.
Mumbai, Feb 23 (IANS) Singer-composer Sonu Niigaam, who will be judging a show after six years, says he agreed to be part of Sony's music reality show 'X-Factor' because he feels the concept is beyond the mediocracy of other such shows.
'It would be very, very big, dynamic and a very well thought show. For example, we have love stories in Bollywood for 60-70 years, but we still love to see a love story which is written differently. We discard love stories that are made half-heartedly.
'This show is beyond the mediocracy of (other) talent shows. India definitely needs a show that is as great as grand as 'X-Factor',' Sonu told IANS at the launch of the show here Wednesday.
'I am part of this show because it is as truthful as I believe I am, as rebellious as I feel I am, as contagious as I feel I am. I am pretty glad to be part of this show,' he added.
Sonu, who hosted music reality 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' in 1995, stayed away from judging reality shows after he judged the second season of singing talent show 'Indian Idol' in 2006.
'X-Factor' is a talent show franchise that originated in Britain and has now come to India. Unlike other talent shows, 'X-Factor' will not have any upper age limit for the contestants.
'You will get to see a huge variety of singers of all age starting from 16-year-olds to whatever,' said Sonu.
With the band culture being in vogue, 'X-Factor' will have a group singers segment along with traditional solo and duet singing sections.
Asked about his criteria while judging the contestants, he said: 'X-factors are like X-rays. You can't see them, you will have to feel from heart. You will know it. If anyone could explain X-factor then it would have been an available commodity. Let's not go with any pre-conceived notions.'
What is Sonu's X-factor?
'As a person, I am absolutely true to myself, absolutely original. I don't see myself like anyone else in the world. I have lot of inspirations in my life - from (Mohammad) Rafi saab to Michael Jackson to Lataji (Lata Mangeshkar) to Ashaji (Asha Bhosle). As a human being, I adore a lot of people, but I don't follow anyone and that is what I believe is my X-factor.'
To be hosted by Aditya Narayan, the show will have two more judges but their names have not yet been revealed.
Sonu Niigaam At The Press Conference Of 'X Factor India' VIDEO
Sonu Niigaam has hired a chartered aircraft for his ailing mother
to commute to Bangalore for ayurvedic treatment
We often hear about celebrities jetsetting to various destinations to holiday and party but beyond all the glamour and fanfare, family has proven to always come first.
It was only in December that singer Sonu Nigam's 61-year-old mother Shobha was diagnosed with stage four of cancer.
Ever since, Nigam has been scanning the city and beyond in search of medication that could cure his mother.
However, since the doctors said they could not do anything more to help Shobha, the Nigam family has not let the lack of allopathic cures deter them.
The family has found a new ray of hope in an ayurved practitioner in Bangalore.
Sonu is trying to stay positive and is stopping at nothing to provide the best for her. To facilitate her treatment he has hired a chartered aircraft for her so that she can commute between Mumbai and Bangalore, whenever need be. Our source tells us, "Sonu is extremely close to his parents and this news about his mother has shattered him.
Sonu is doing everything in his capacity for his mother. His mother is at the last stage of cancer and someone suggested that a vaid in Bangalore can help patients.
Sonu got in touch with him and now his mother is being treated by the vaid. Sonu is hoping for a miracle and so has hired a 14-seater plane for as long as his mother needs to travel to Bangalore.
He is doing what every son would do for his mother. The family is together and they are trying to cope with the situation."
When contacted, Sonu's business manager, Ben Thomas, spoke on his behalf and said, "It is something very personal and Sonuji does not wish to comment on it."
God bless sonuji's family - Lets Us All Pray For Shobha ji To Recover soon!
Playback singer Sonu Niigaam's has put on hold his album, which he was supposed to compose with an American composer, because he wants to be with his mother Shobha who has been diagnosed with cancer.
"Unfortunately my mother was diagnosed with the fourth stage of cancer in December (last year). I realised that maybe this is god's wish that I should be in the country and not go to America until my mother is fine." Sonu told IANS in an interview.
Though the life threatening disease is in its fourth stage, Sonu is confident that she will recover. "Even being in the fourth stage, she is going to recover," he said.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
The Indian version of the X Factor might be the concerned channel's biggest show but its budget unfortunately is not as big.
Rishi Kapoor, who was all geared up to judge the show, was turned down because the channel could not accommodate him into their budget after signing on Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sonu Niigaam. They have now signed on Salim Merchant.
A source tells us, "Rishi Kapoor was to judge the show but when the channel got the confirmations from Sonu Niigaam and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, both of whom had quoted huge amounts as fee, the channel was in a fix.
They opted for Nigam as he is known to appeal to all sections of the audience and has not been on any reality shows for a long time now.
Bhansali was also signed on because he is yet to finalise his new film script, after the release of Guzaarish."
Friday, 18 February 2011
Singer Sonu Nigam who has judged many music reality shows, will now be seen judging yet another upcoming reality show, The X Factor, which will be hosted by Aditya Narayan.
This is a singing talent show adapted from the successful international show The X Factor. "Sonu has been finalised as one of the three judges.
We are still in the process of freezing the remaining two judges on the show. The show is expected to launch post the cricket world cup," reveals a source.
Sonu Nigam was on cloud nine when he spoke to us just as he was boarding his flight from Delhi airport to Bangladesh.
He was to perform at the opening ceremony of 2011 World Cup Cricket in Dhaka, that happened on Thursday evening. "As a child I always had a passion for cricket. I grew up playing the game in my school and college days. Frankly, I never got the opportunity to watch any match in a stadium – till now, that is," he laughed. "But now, I shall try to watch at least the final in Mumbai. It is a great pride for our nation to be hosting such a mega sporting event for the first time. As an Indian, I feel immensely proud to be associated with this event. And as a singer, I thought it was high time that I did something more creative and innovative besides doing regular Bollywood numbers in films. Hence, I decided to write and compose a special song dedicated to the Cricket World Cup," he lets in.
"This will be one of the most prestigious moments for me – to be singing before such eminent international cricketers. It will be awesome. But the message in my song is not only for the cricketers, but for people from all walks of life. Whatever you are – an actor, singer or painter – whoever is struggling and striving hard to make a name for himself and is trying to attain glory will identify with the song," said the singer. It definitely did, Sonu.
So does he think India will win the CWC? He promptly said,
"Yes, surely. The team is good and they have been performing very well. There are a lot of young, talented players in the team and they have proved themselves for the team. I am sure they will perform well and win the cup. I am a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar and will be looking forward to watching him play during the World Cup."
Thursday, 17 February 2011
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 kicked off on Thursday with a grand opening ceremony at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. All the 14 captains of the various teams were led on a cycle rickshaw into a packed stadium with cheering crowds.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina watched as home skipper Shakib Al Hasan received a rapturous welcome as he arrived at the rear of the unusual parade at the start of the two-hour ceremony.
Addressing a packed Bangabandhu National Stadium, Hasina said, "I hope that fraternity among the nations will further be strengthened through the Cricket World Cup."
"It is my great pleasure to be present at this colourful opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka. We feel greatly privileged to co-host the cricket extravaganza in our beautiful country. I welcome the ICC officials, guests and spectators in this majestic ceremony," she added.
"I would like to extend my thanks to the ICC for selecting Bangladesh to host the opening ceremony and eight matches in Bangladesh. My thanks go to the organisers and patrons for their immense labour to hold the ICC Cricket World Cup successfully. I congratulate my cricket-loving countrymen for their great enthusiasm and cooperation to make this event a grand success.
"Good luck to the players and I hope that fraternity among the nations will further be strengthened through this World Cup."
Her opening address was followed by a performance famous Bollywood singer
Sonu Niigaam, who got busy enthralling the spectators with an English number.Bryan Adam will render two songs, while Sonu Niigaam will sing songs in praise of the participating countries.
Playback singer Sonu Niigaam will be singing a self-composed English song 'Rise Up for Glory'. "I used to play cricket as a child till showbiz happened. My song and performance is a tribute to my childhood, the spirit of cricket and most importantly an ode to all the legends this game has given birth to," Sonu said. "All the captains will appear at the ceremony for the first time with me."
Later, Bangaldesh Cricket Board president Mustafa Kamal delivered the welcome address. Then it was time for the usual speeches with ICC president Sharad Pawar too delivering his speech.
"Today is a historic day when the people of Bangladesh join India and Sri Lanka together to host the ICC Cricket World Cup, and make this tournament the most memorable yet," said Pawar in his speech.
The ICC chief also acknowledged the contribution and support of the Government of Bangladesh and, in particular, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her support.
He also praised the Government of India and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government for their support and cooperation.
With the speeches over it was time for some cricketing action. But, it wasn't the usual cricket, but the spectators got to witness an interesting version - an 'aerial cricket'. The players were certainly not cricketers but stunt performers hung from wires playing with illuminated cricket gear.
That was followed by the 'lavni' dance, a folk dance from Maharashtra and soon other dancers apt in other folk dance forms, be it Punjabi, Kashmiri, South Indian or Bangladeshi came out to form a huge amalgamation of artists.
Later, singer Runa Laila of "Dama Dam Mast Kalandar" fame sang the famous number in front of 21,000 spectators and pop singer Mila added a local touch to the extravaganza.
Finally, the moment came that was much anticipated. Canadian singer Bryan Adams came out and delivered a breathtaking performance. He even sang the famous: "18 till I die" in front of cheering spectators.
Lastly, the World Cup's official song "De Ghuma Ke" composed by composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy was sung by Shankar to mark the end of the opening ceremony and the beginning of the mega cricketing extravaganza.
Monday, 14 February 2011
MUMBAI: It was a sight to behold. In a city that never stops, over one lakh Mumbaikars stood mesmerized by the mellifluous voice of Sonu Niigaam. The grand finale of the Times of India Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2011, which unfolded on the steps of the Asiatic Library on Sunday, saw citizens, cutting across class barriers, sing and sway to Niigaam's 'unifying' tunes.
Such was the turnout that the additional security personnel deployed to maintain law and order in the heritage haven seemed too few to manage the crowd. Midway through his performace, Niigaam had to stop twice to request the crowd to calm down. The singer kept the audience glued to its place as he belted out one hit after another-Shukran Allah from Kurbaan, Chori kiya re jiya from Dabangg, to name a few-during his performance of over two hours. Niigaam kept the music enthusiasts in splits with his mimicry of Bappi Lahiri and Anu Malik.
Earlier in the day, the crowd was treated to a rhythmic fusion presentation by Ustad Fazal Qureshi, son of Ustad Allah Rakha Khan, and his troupe. What made the performance even special was the fact that it happened to be the tabla master's birthday. The maestro's tabla master's jugalbandi with guitar and sitar players left the spectators spellbound.
Maneck Davar, honorary chairperson of the Kala Ghoda Association, said, "The festival will be held from February 4-12 next year."
Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal also attended the grand finale. Davar asked Bhujbal to set up a single window clearance system to provide permissions for the festival. The minister has promised to call a meeting and ensure a smooth sailing for the festival.
It was a pre-Valentine's celebration party organized at Café Crusise by Luvpreet and his wife Anu.
The guest list didn't include the party regulars, but the party didn't lack the thrill. Anu chose to wear a casual outfit and was seen chilling out with husband Luvpreet.
Jammin' with the DJ: While the resident DJ spinned the best of commercial house and Bollywood tunes, percussionist Veshesh Pasey did some classic jugalbandi along with the DJ and entertained the crowd at the party throughout the evening. Amidst the crowd, we spotted a group of young firang girls – Efy, Gosia, Camila, Veronica and Seohee grooving to the music. Varun, who came along with his group of friends Priyanka, Mehul, Gautam and Divyaansh, enjoyed listening to the music, and the group couldn't stop shaking their booty on the floor.
Veshesh ki Videsh yatra: Veshesh was heard talking about his next project, "I will be soon leaving for Bangkok . I shall be performing at an NRI wedding, where I shall be performing along with Sonu Nigam. This will be my first break to perform along with a Bollywood singer. I hope this good phase continues ." We hope so too!
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Join renowned music greats Sonu Nigam and Suresh Wadkar as they judge the Grand Finale of ICICI Bank Money2India ‘I Am Next Superstar’; the first musical talent search of this scale focused on South Asians in the United States. Final contenders have come through a rigorous selection process of multiple rounds. The winners will record a single under the guidance of judges Sonu Nigam and Suresh Wadkar; and feature in a music video.
As the event unfolds, there will be performances by the finalists, and other surprise performances to make the evening unforgettable!!
Where:Holiday Inn ,
3050 Woodbridge Avenue ,
New Jersey ,08837
When: Mar 6 2011 6:00PM to Mar 6 2011 9:00PM
Phone: 732-742-4105 - 609-865-8322
Hosted By:Third Eye Ventures LLC
Contact: 609 865 8322 / 732 7424 105
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
The technical and cultural fest of P.A Aziz College of Engineering and technology (PAACET) will start off from March 9th at the college campus.Along with fashion show , Choreovideo , treasure hunt , Gaming , etc Bollywood singing sensation
Sonu Niigaam will be performing live at the festival.
Venue & Date Technical Fest - PAACET Campus 10th and 11th March 2011
Cultural Fest - Nishagandhi, Trivandrum 11th to 13th March 2011
All India Technical Exhibitionation, Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, Trivandrum 9th to 14th March 2011
Megashow at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium , Trivandrum 13 March 2011
For More Info contact Coordinators: Abhiram.B.Nair- 7736144401 , Abhijith Mohan- 8129716816 , Jagath -9809269708
He's already earned encomiums with his 54 voices in the title track of 'Tees Maar Khan.' And presently, Sonu Niigaam will strike a high note with the World Cup Ceremony at Dhaka, since he will be performing an English number called 'Lets Go For Glory', composed by him.
The song track salutes the spirit of sportsmanship and is undoubtedly, a sterling honour for the Indian songster.
Confirming the development, Sonu elates in a media chat that his song would be a "toast to the spirit of cricket."
States Sonu in a tabloid quote, "It has a universal theme of playing it fair in life and going for glory which I think will appeal to one and all. I feel very proud of the fact that I've been selected to perform at a global event. More so, since I will be representing India."
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Kuly, Manj and Surj, aka the musical group RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass), combine a unique flavor of Punjabi beats and more to make some fabulous music! They describe their sound as "Bhangra, Hiphop, Bashment, Baseline, House, 2 Step, Rnb, DnB, and Old Skool Desi". Also part of that killer sound is the fabulous singer Nindy Kaur, who is married to Manj. Besides their hit mainstream albums, RDB also made their entrance into the Bollywood music industry with “Rafta Rafta” from Namaste London. They have since gone on to work on several Bollywood films, including Akshay Kumar’s superhit Singh Is Kingg and most recently for the title song for the hit film Yamla Pagla Deewana. We got the chance to chat with both Nindy Kaur and RDB check out what they had to say.
When did you start singing for Bollwood Soundtracks?
It all started out with Aloo Chaat where I sang the title track and Booliyan.
Tell us about getting the first job for an Akshay Kumar movie.
Actually, it was very random. It was Akshay Kumar who actually rang my husband (Manj from RDB) while we were having a meal in a restaurant. He said that I want to do some stuff with you guys and he is Akshay Kumar from Bollywood. Manj said that Shah Rukh Khan called me yesterday and hung up the phone. He thought it was a prank call. Akshay rang back and said it’s really him and things just started from onwards there.
How was your experience performing with Akshay Kumar at the Toronto Film Festival?
It was just amazing and a fantastic experience because we did not only have Bollywood actors, but also people from Hollywood. We had Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and everyone else there, which was a massive experience for us. But it was a fantastic experience just being on stage with Mr Akshay Kumar.
How were you feeling while recording these songs for Bollywood films?
It did not hit me until the songs were released. I had friends and family saying OH MY GOD, you are singing for Bollywood films. That was when it really hit me. Before that, it was just like singing in the studio regularly. I didn’t know where it was going to go and didn’t know that it was going to blow up so much. Even with “Yamla Pagla Deewana”, people are telling me, wow, you have recorded with Sonu Nigam. It only hits me when somebody puts it across to me.
How did it feel to be part of a big film like Yamla Pagla Deewana and especially for the title track?
It felt quite nerve-wracking really, because you are doing a cover version of such a popular song. To redo something like that, is really nerve-wracking in the sense of how its audience going to take it. Are they going to turn around and say why did they try that or are they going to like it? So, I was very nervous until the song did come out.
How was your experience recording with Sonu Nigam?
Absolutely fantastic, but very scary because Sonu came with an entourage of 20 people and I just looked at my husband and said, ‘Oh My God, Do I have to do it in front of all these lot? But you know he made me feel very comfortable.
What did you particularly like about Yamla Pagla Deewana?
Anupam Kher was amazing and my favourite in the film. I could not stop laughing when he came on screen.
What do you need to be a successful playback singer?
I think, obviously the singing counts, but having the RDB brothers making such fantastic modern music, which has a western touch to it. I think that really puts the icing on the cake.
Yes, you do have to be a good singer but it’s the beat that people go crazy on.
Just have good music behind you and you will make it in Bollywood.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am going to continue singing for Bollywood movies and I have got a few things in the pipeline, which I can’t officially announce yet. I have also got my Album releasing at the end of April. We are going to wait for RDB Worldwide, and then I am going to drop my Album as well.
Was making music for Bollywood films something that you always wanted?
It was always on our agenda but it was a matter of natural progression. We wanted to make music for films but it got the push when Akshay Kumar came to us and said that he wants us to produce a track on one of his films.
You performed with Akshay at the IIFA Awards in Yorkshire, UK. Was that a perfect introduction for RDB to Bollywood?
The IIFA Awards was a real eye opener, in terms of all Bollywood connections. When we were there, we got to find out that a lot of these artists (Bollywood Stars) actually listen to our songs and were fans of RDB, right from the beginning.
How was your experience composing songs for films like Singh is King, Aloo Chaat and Khambakht Ishq ?
It was amazing and certainly exciting. Singh is King is special because we collaborated with Snoop Dogg. Kambakht Ishq was also a great experience and really quick. We did the song within 24 hours.
You seem to have that special Akshay Kumar connection. His film De Dana Dan featured a song called “Paisa Paisa”. It turned out to be the most popular song from the whole album. How does that feel?
It feels great. If our song is more popular than the others from the album, it does feel amazing. We are thankful to our fans who like our music.
“Paisa Paisa” was actually one of your hit songs with Manak-E which was remixed for De Dana Dan. Why did you revisit the song and change everything?
Yes, it was a huge success even before De Dana Dan. Akshay wanted the song for the film because it fits in so well with the story. As you might know, it’s all about money in the film, so Akshay wanted this particular song in the film. But we changed the song for the Indian audience. Our father rewrote the track but Manak-E still sang the track. Everyone like the song and it’s fully justifiable from what you hear right now.
How was it working with Sonu Nigam and the Deols for “Yamla Pagla Deewana” ?
It was a brilliant experience. We had to do something out of the box for the Bollywood audience, as they might not have liked the Bhangra and Dholl with the western beat. The Doels are great people and we enjoyed working with them. We didn’t get a chance to work with them on the music video, but there is a video of us and the Deols, which is a remix.
For Tanu Weds Manu, you again used one of your old songs called Saddi Gali. The song was introduced at the IIFA’s in Yorkshire where you performed it along Akshay. Why did you chose an old song instead of creating something new ?
Actually unlike Paisa and the other tracks, which we had to remodel, we haven’t remodelled this track too much. The film company was happy with the song as it is, with the original vocals. We licensed the original song to the music company and we have been happy with it and so have they been.
Which upcoming Bollywood soundtracks are you going to feature on?
We have got a few, but we can’t say anything at the moment.
We certainly have enjoyed the tunes of RDB and Nindy Kaur and can’t wait to hear more! Be sure to check out their newly released song ‘Saddi Gali’ for Tanu Weds Manu.
With contributions by Stacey Yount