Sonu Nigam is in Leh to shoot a music video. The singer is over the moon after Britney Spears congratulated him online and even praised his voice in his desi remix of Britney’s I wanna go . Excerpts from an interview with Sonu:
Last month, you sang a number with Jermaine Jackson. And now, you’ve collaborated with Britney Spears. How did it all happen?
I was approached by Britney Spears’ management to do the collaboration. I didn’t want to disclose anything about the project before the management had okayed the remix. On Tuesday, Britney sent me a message on my microblogging account saying she was so excited about having me on board for I wanna go . She said my vocals add a different feel which she loves! She followed it up with: Watch out Bollywood, it’s Britney and Sonu! I don’t think any Indian vocalist has ever had a collaboration so big. Of course, AR Rahman is there, but then he is a composer.
But, one had Sunidhi Chauhan collaborating with Enrique…
Yes. That’s true. Britney Spears is on some other level. The Pussycat Dolls used to open for her.
Since you are as good a listener as a singer, what do you feel about Britney the artiste?
Britney comes from a country that respects music. In America, there is music and there are movies. She is almost a legend. She started off at a very young age. She is controversial and she is hot. She knows the pulse of the listeners.
So, when did work start on this collaboration?
A month ago they sent the sound tape to me. DJ Llyod worked with me on the tape. We used a lot of Indian drums, including matka, for this number. I penned the Hindi and English lyrics that I have sung in this remix. The lines go like: Asoolon ki hadon se tujhe chheen loon/I wanna take you to a world that’s crazy and new/Aaja panahon mein . Then, we sent the tape to the management. We didn’t come out with the news till we had the go-ahead from the management.
Have you interacted with Britney?
In these kind of collaborations, we don’t really deal with the artistes. But, it was really a pleasure when Britney herself sent me a message on a microblogging site!
So, is there any chance of you performing with Britney any time soon in India?
If she come down to India, I will definitely want to perform with her. Now that I have a song with her, it is all the more exciting for me.
With you having recorded with Britney and, then, news of Lady Gaga coming down to India, do you think such developments will change anything in the Indian music scene?
The scenario in music might take a turn. I hope, music labels understand that the huge business of music is not supposed to be only seen as a film commodity. Unfortunately, in India, music is diluted by only harping on Bollywood.
But fact is that your two most-recent international acts have had no connection with Bollywood…
Yes, that’s true. Last month, I wrote and composed a tribute to Michael Jackson where I collaborated with Jermaine Jackson. We performed the English number in Toronto too. Now, this Britney number is also not connected to Bollywood. I think, that’s is a significant step in the context of Indian music. TOI