Okay, there will be no clever featurish intro here. I’m a diehard Sonu Nigam fan, there’s this mega concert,Sonu Nigam’s Klose To My Heart, happening for the first time in South India in Bengaluru on the 12thof November, 2016, at the Supernova Arena and Convention Centre, NITTE Meenakshi College Road. Go grab the tickets already.
The great Lata Mangeshkar has famously said that Kishore Kumar was such a complete entertainer that she liked to call him the Danny Kaye of India. I would add there is only one singer-performer who deserves to take the mantle of that title ahead — Sonu Nigam, of course. Never mind if that sounds like an all-out plug. I’m just a big silly fan of Sonu Nigam. The singer who, years ago, stormed into our hearts and lives with his amazing presentation of Gajendra Singh’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee. This is a singer who has perhaps the biggest hits in the post-Rafi-and-Kishore era; in fact, so many, now, that he’s happily become extremely choosy about recording new songs, and is now apparently happiest performing at live stage shows.
That, incidentally, is what makes for a complete musical experience for lovers of great singing and the best songs from Hindi movies – a live show led, driven and beautifully delivered by Sonu Nigam.
The great Lata Mangeshkar has famously said that Kishore Kumar was such a complete entertainer that she liked to call him the Danny Kaye of India. I would add there is only one singer-performer who deserves to take the mantle of that title ahead — Sonu Nigam, of course. And the man is performing at this huge Bollywood Musical, studded with 30 top-grade musicians in Bangalore, called Klose To My Heart.
The ‘My’ in that title, of course, is what makes the event extremely special, because this is all about how Sonu connects with his live audience, singing his favourite songs, recounting beautiful memories, keep everyone entertained and wanting more.
Sonu’s Klose To My Heart concerts have entertained people worldwide, and now, he’s bringing the series to India for the first time. Ironic, that, isn’t it? But better late than never, because the excellent singer will be accompanied by a full-fledged orchestra, replete with a full complement of string, percussion, brass and woodwind instruments.
Musicians caressing the strings of richly burnished gleaming wooden violins with real bows, coaxing beautiful musical note from shining trumpets and wind instruments, pumping out smooth and heavy-bodied acoustic and electronic bass riffs that thump into your solar, slap-tapping palms and fingers and finger nails on congas, bongos, djembes, thudding bass pedals into bass drums and sticks across that beautiful percussive spectrum that is the drum set, dexterous fingers flying across pianos, guitar frets, piano accordions and more roll on in beautiful synchronicity with that heart warming, goosbumping voice and those bright, shining, happy and laughing eyes reveling in the fans’ delight.
That’s Sonu Nigam in any live event for me. The man is finicky, nitpicky about the quality of his musicians, the sound, the placements, the balance, the complete audio and audio-visual experience. All driven by brilliant musicians carrying his beautiful, powerful, soft, inimitable voice memorably forward.
I remember, several years ago, I had called Sonu up for an audio byte on my mobile phone to wish music director A R Rehman on his birthday. Sonu’s title track from Saathiya had burnt a deep fan-furrow in my heart, and when I asked Sonu on the phone to tell me of the Rehman songs that he had sung was his top favourite, I expected him to mention the Saathiya title track. But Sonu said it was another song he had sung for Rehman, Mera Rang De Basanti Chola, Mahe Rang De, and he burst spontaneously into singing that song on the phone.
Here’s the audio file of that phone conversation. You can hear me only in the beginning of the recording, the rest, of course, is the brilliant Sonu – sweet, sincere, all heart!
And here’s Sonu in a promo from an earlier concert. Check out how brilliantly he sings Kishore, Rafi and Manna De songs, among others. Even does a brilliant Lata Mangeshkar in a piece from the greatest arranged Hindi film song of all time, Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho. Anybody imitating Lata Mangeshkar, especially in the not too gracious vein of comedienne Sugandha and the loud Krishna is, in my view, sacriligeous, but Sonu has attempted it well, purely as a singer, trying to do a female voice a la Kishore Kumar in his live shows. Now I’m now saying this will be part of his performance in the Bengaluru concert, but who knows, we might get lucky.
Right. Enough, already. Go get the tickets — they’re available on Goeventz which I think is an excellent events ticket booking and selling portal. In fact, they have plenty of concerts, conferences, workshops, festivals, fundraisers, trade fairs and other events happening across cities. And I understand that if you’re organizing an event in your city, you must sound them out, check with them if they can partner you to help you with the ticket sales. I mean, go to Facebook like everyone else does, too, telling friends an event is up, are you attending, please please attend, and all that, but I think Geventz reaches out proactively to bloggers and others who have interactive conversations with their audiences and readers, and that is a very good way of connecting with and informing likeminded people about some event that could well be entertaining, useful, fun, whathaveyou. I mean, frankly, they were the ones who reached out to me about Sonu’s concert, and I went over and studied the entire thing, and loved what I saw.
So here it is: My very own personal recommendation, for whatever it is worth J to you my reader, to go check out the event details and hopefully experience a lovely evening with excellent music with the amazingly charming and interactive Sonu Nigam. This is an event you want to attend and enjoy with your family and friends. For all you know, you might get really lucky and his charming, beautiful andenormously talented son, young Nivaan, might also be there and actually perform for you. No other singer comes anywhere close to Sonu Nigam today. He is by far the best.
But you don’t need me to tell you that.