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Singing a new tune

Sonu Nigam juggles singing, acting and television with felicity while he awaits the release of his pop album and his film "Love in Nepal," writes RADHIKA RAJMANI

"IT IS an honour to introduce Sheroo, the mascot. I am happy I was chosen to do this and sing an energetic number composed by Raju Singh," says Sonu Nigam, the singer who has chosen to be under the arc lights too. His third film Love in Nepal (never mind if the earlier Kaash Aap Hamare Hote and Jaani Dushman failed at the B.O.) is slated for release shortly and Sonu is eagerly awaiting it. He is excited about his new English pop album to be released in the U.S. in December.

He has the trappings of an actor - good physique (he is a regular at the gym), good voice and expressions and the a la mode streaked hair. But so far success has evaded him (as with others). "Love in Nepal is contemporary stuff - youthful and a wicked and wacky thriller," says Sonu, who is essaying an ad man - "a guy who is extremely good with words. He is shrewd and has the knack of getting out of any situation because of his word play and power. It is exactly what I am in real life say most people." The delay in release has been due to theatre problems. It is yet another film, which Sonu has to carry on his shoulders (like the earlier two). "I am not from a film family, nor do I have a godfather. In fact those who had sneak peeks have told us the title is misleading. It is an enjoyable film," he says on a positive note.

Sonu may not be riding on a success wave in acting but his singing front is firmly anchored. Movies and songs have kept him preoccupied. But he found time to write and compose an English pop album - Spirit Unfolding. Sonu is fairly tight-lipped about the ten-song album; "I will talk more about it when it is released. I was in the U.S. for four months to record this. I am hoping to release it in December." About 10 songs feature in it." With this English album life turns full circle for this singer, actor, television artiste. "I have tried tasted everything - playback singing, pop, television and even danced in my films. In fact it has been fun on both screens," says Sonu. He gave up two movie projects when Kaash...failed. "There is lot of difference between a narration (in the beginning) and the final execution," rues Sonu who is now game to sign more.

"Offers keep pouring in but I have to decide," informs Sonu, whose life is pretty hectic and eventful. Juggling movies and singing goes on though Sonu says "I have the time to sing better songs now - look out for Kal Ho Naa Ho and LOC." This young man is candid and forthright to admit he is a "shameless learner", and this imparts the immense confidence in him to dabble in almost every thing. "In fact I had diverse interests even in school," says this `self-taught singer' who learnt to grasp what came his way quickly.

From his `Mohd Rafi' days Sonu has moved on with a flourish unfolding his `various voices' in an eventful career in music in Bollywood and South Indian films. Sonu's versatile voice has made many a song memorable like the poignant Rang De Basanti chola (The Legend of Bhagat Singh) or Tanhayee (Dil Chahta Hai) and he is waiting to enthral more with his singing and acting as well.

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