Sonu Nigam, undoubtedly, is one of the finest singers in India and perhaps, one of the last of the legends. While he has sung several chartbuster songs in his career, there are a bunch of wonderful melodies sung by him that have gone unnoticed for several reasons. Today, on his 46th birthday, we list ten lesser heard songs by him that you need to listen to.
Tujh Sang Bandhi Dor
Music: Aadesh Shrivastava
Lyrics: Nida Fazli
Long back in an interview Sonu Nigam had stated in an interview that “Tujh Sang Bandhi Dor” was the best song of his career. Composer Aadesh Shrivastava, one of the most trained composers to have worked in the industry, put together a wonderful, thematic soundtrack for director Govind Nihalani’s intense drama ‘Dev’ and this raga based melody definitely stood out from the other well-composed and written songs in the album. Shrivastava did not add any elements to make this song sound commercial and Nigam dived deep into the intricacies of the composition and delivered one of the best but criminally underrated songs of his career.
Film: Meenaxi: A Tale Of Two Cities
Music: A R Rahman
Lyrics: Rahat Indori
A R Rahman’s only collaboration with lyricist Rahat Indori resulted in a marvellous soundtrack in the form of ‘Meenaxi: A Tale Of Two Cities’. While my favourite song from the album continues to be “Yeh Rishta” sung by the much underrated and under-utilised Reena Bhardwaj, the album had no dearth of gems one of which was called “Do Kadam”. Rahat Indori weaved in some deeply philosophical lines which were rendered Sonu with utmost perfection. Rahman layered the minimal arrangements consisting of a bit of piano, violin, trumpet and a mild electronic beat that ran throughout the song.
Zindagi Mein To Sabhi Pyaar Karte Hain
Music: Mehdi Hassan (recreated by Nikhil-Vinay)
Lyrics: Sadique, Shafir, Ishrat, Katil Shifai, Yogesh
Sonu Nigam paid a wonderful tribute to Mehdi Hasan’s immortal ghazal “Zindagi Mein To Sabhi Pyaar Karte Hain”. Not sure If the maestro was credited for his composition but nevertheless, Nikhil-Vinay rearranged the song well to suit within the parameters of the film. This is, arguably, one of the best renditions by Nigam. Though the film ‘Bewafa Sanam’ is synonymous with “Achcha Sila Diya”, this was the best song on the album. There is another beautiful rendition by Anuradha Paudwal that you must check out, if you haven’t already. This is a popular track but definitely deserves more attention.
Agar Aasman Tak Mere Haath Jaate
Music: Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen
Lyrics: Rani Malik
Composer duo Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen showed immense faith in Sonu Nigam’s talent as they gave him multiple songs to sing in their films ‘Muqabla’, ‘Meherbaan’ and ‘Shabnam’, all of which released in 1993. Out of the seven songs he sung for them that year, the best was “Agar Aasman Tak Mere Haath Jaate”. In the film, Sonu lent his voice for Mithun Chakraborty. The song instantly wins you over with its charming tune and innocence brought out effectively by Rani Malik’s words. Sonu sung a similarly tuned “Abhi Saans Lene Ki” (Jeet) for composers Nadeem-Shravan a couple of years later.
Hawa Sun Hawa
Film: Ada A Way Of Life
Music: A R Rahman
Lyrics: Nusrat Badr
Around 2001-02, director Tanvir Ahmad conceived ‘Ada – A Way Of Life’ as a film that would star Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar. The film never went on floors and he launched a new film with the same title in 2007. A couple of songs Rahman had composed for the original film were used in this one too. Whole the album (released in 2008) was not promoted release and the film had a delayed release in 2010. Sonu had three wonderful songs in the album but if one had to pick one, one would probably go for “Hawa Sun Hawa”, a dreamy melody sung beautifully by Sonu and Alka Yagnik. Special mention must be made of Nida Fazli who does a splendid job with the pen.
Kitni Narmi Se
Film: Dil Jo Bhi Kahey
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
‘Dil Jo Bhi Kahey’ had a bunch of lovely songs by the trio. The film, which served as the launch pad of producer-director Romesh Sharma’s son Karan, failed to do well at the box-office and the album was not promoted well by the label. As a result, the songs went unnoticed. The best track on the album was the Sonu Nigam sung “Kitni Narmi Se” which had an inexplicable calming quality to it. The wonderful lyrics by Javed Akhtar served as an icing on the cake.
Paane Chala Tha
Album: The Music Room
Music: Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh
Lyrics: Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam and table maestro Bickram Ghosh worked as a composer duo on a couple of projects including the independent album ‘The Music Room’. Both the trance based music and the lyrics (which speak of wanderlust) of “Paane Chala Tha” lend a dreamy vibe to it. The free flowing tune is very simple but it has a very addictive quality to it. The tabla beats (by Bickram Ghosh) are very appropriately used. If not for the unconventional arrangements, one would have easily mistaken it to be a Hindi film song.
Rang Hain Pheeke Ghata Kya Hai
Music: Viju Shah
Lyrics: Madan Pal
If you do not check the credits, you might assume this song to be composed by Nikhil-Vinay. The style of composition and the arrangements are the kind one associated with the composer duo and not with Viju Shah who is the creator of the song. ‘Prithvi’ is one of the most underrated albums by Viju Shah and this song, sung by Sonu Nigam and Anuradha Paudhwal, is a must hear for those who love the typical sound one associated with the music of the ’90s. Madan Pal’s poetically rich lines are the highlight of the song.
Tumse Kya Kehna
Film: Dus Tola
Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Composer Sandesh Shandilya, who gave Sonu Nigam one of the most popular songs of his career in “Suraj Hua Maddham” (‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’), composed this serene melody for the largely forgotten film ‘Dus Tola’. Gulzar wrote some simple yet thought-provoking lines for this melancholic number which also has some good arrangements to boast of. Sonu brings out the sombre feel in the song effectively to the fore with his effective rendition.
Koi Aisa Aalam
Music: Vishal and Shekhar
Lyrics: Dev Kohli
‘Karam’ had a very popular song in the form of “Tinka Tinka”, sung by Alisha Chinai. The rest of the songs, though good, were not promoted well and the disastrous performance of the film ensured they faded into oblivion. “Koi Aisa Aalam” is a duet by Sonu and Mahalaxmi Iyer, arguably one of the best underrated singers of the present times. Vishal and Shekhar’s tune is very interesting; it goes from being soft and mellow to a little dark at times. The lyrics, by Dev Kohli, are very nice.
Disclaimer: The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by KiaGia.com. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.