From expressing the pain of post-break-up loneliness through ‘Tanhayee’ (Dil Chahta Hai) to bringing the party alive through the peppy notes of ‘Maahi Ve’ (Kal Ho Na Ho), Sonu Nigam has connected with music lovers across the globe over a diverse range of emotions and never failed to strike the right chord.
The veteran singer, who ruled Bollywood music with his magical voice in the early 2000s, turns 49 today. And here is a list of his songs you can listen to on loop.
Sonu Nigam released his album Deewana, produced by T-Series, in the year 1999. The title track of this album, ‘Deewana Tera’, became an instant hit with the masses, making Sonu a household name. Deewana Tera is an upbeat piece with intensely romantic lyrics.
Yeh Dil Deewana
‘Yeh Dil Deewana’, a chartbuster from Subhash Ghai’s Pardes (1997), is a number in which Sonu comes into his own. Composed by Nadeem Shravan and written by Anand Bakshi, the song takes you through the process of moving on after a break-up and Sonu aces the mood of the song through his exceptional singing. Picturised on Shah Rukh Khan, Yeh Dil Deewana aligns perfectly with the expression of one-sided love portrayed in the film.
‘Shukran Allah’ plays along with the on-screen playful chemistry of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in Rensil D’Silva’s 2009 film, Kurbaan. This romantic track, composed by Salim-Sulaiman and sung by Sonu Nigam, not only exudes warmth but also becomes the exposition to the relationship that unravels later in the film.
Tumhi Dekho Na
Karan Johar created a dreamy romantic sequence in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), picturised on Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherji. This sequence was made more enchanting with Sonu’s voice in ‘Tumhi Dekho Na’. Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik’s dreamy voices make Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition the go-to-song for the hopelessly romantics.
A.R. Rahman composed the music for Mani Ratnam’s 1998 film, Dil Se. ‘Satrangi Re’ is a part of this exceptional playlist, which traces the Arabic seven stages of love – Dilkashi (attraction), uns (infatuation), ishq (love), akidat (trust), ibadat (worship), junoon (madness) and maut (death). The song offers an intensely amorous expression through Gulzar’s words and Sonu Nigam’s passion.
Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai (2001) has a soundtrack with songs for all mood and all of these went on to become hugely popular numbers. ‘Tanhayee’, picturised on Aamir Khan, speaks not only of heartbreak but also of the void in life following the loss of someone you love. Sonu Nigam’s voice on Javed Akhtar’s lyrics made this an iconic song and the fitting expression of melancholy in Bollywood music.
Shaad Ali’s Saathiya has an exceptionally beautiful soundtrack crafted by A.R. Rahman. Sonu Nigam lent his voice to the title track, making ‘Saathiya’ a playfully romantic number to align with the overall story and the characters in focus.
Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin
Ajay-Atul composed the music for Karan Malhotra’s remake of the 1990 film, Agneepath. The 2012 film has an interesting soundtrack that traces the storyline. ‘Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin’, sung by Sonu Nigam, is a beautiful expression of wanting to start life afresh. While it offers a soothing effect, it is also characterised by fiery passion. ‘Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin’ has earned Sonu Nigam several awards and nominations, making it one of the most celebrated works of his career.