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Disappointing Sonu Nigam at London on Rafi songs

This article is written by Mr. K.S. Ramachandran

Diappointing Sonu Nigam at London on Rafi songsSonu Nigam, much to my expectations, sang Rafi songs very normally. In fact, I would rate him much much lower than what he used to sing when he came in about 13years ago through Saregama. His voice has conspicuously deteriorated with his singing all types of medlee/Hindi pop songs and of that sort.

He was always a fast singer and now-a-days with his singing Hindi pop and medlees, he is even faster. His first song Yaad Na Jaaye from Dil Ek Mandir was like traveling in Nilgiri Express, while the original song by Rafi is slow deep expressive and extremely emotional. This was the general pattern in which Sonu has been singing these days with his impatient attitude to sing slow numbers very fast is very painful. “Muje Teri Mohabbat Ka” from Aap Aaye bahar Aaye” was again a deep number with full of rhythm and Sonu sang like a breeze..

Diappointing Sonu Nigam at London on Rafi songs

Rafi songs are predominantly slow with rhythm and with so much of labour in his singing – be it depth, dard, range, voice modulation, expression, emotion and what have you.

I was however amazed with the orchestral excellence with the british national giving interlude music to the T. The 75 piece orchestra was par excellence and I could not find anything different from the original music by the composers. Indian orchestra bands doing shows should take this as an example to see how well the symphony was directed and delivered. Another wonderful experience – nothing like original and natural instruments – playing with a 30 team violin for the right interlude music was way way ahead of playing the same tunes today on a key board.

I thoroughly enjoyed the orchestra and was really a treat.

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608 Blog Comments to “Disappointing Sonu Nigam at London on Rafi songs”

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  1. fask says:

    I do agree with all that he did some mistake he was bit fast but if you see his earlear performence when he was anchor of the famous show SAREGAMA on zee tv. He was singing good. But there is no doubt we cant compare any one with RAFI SAHAB. But some time it happens and i think due to the symphony orchestra may he was not matching himself. Any ways sonu nigam is a good singer for 2000 in bollywood he is the only singer now a days who can sing any kind of songs.

  2. Gurpreet Bhatia says:

    I attended the performance at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and must admit that i really enjoyed the evening together with my friends. We all found that Sonu Nigam was superb on the night. What was even more inspiring was the humilty of this talented individual. It was the first time i have heard him live and will definately go again if the opportunity arises.

  3. Karina G says:

    Did anyone from this generation talk about Mohammed Rafi Ji as much until Sonu Ji sang his songs, wake up.

    The only reason Sonu is being talked about here is because he WAS good at resurrecting Rafi.

    I attended his performance, and he did Mohammed Rafi proud. Listen to the originals that Rafi did and even I would agree that Mohd Rafi has his place in history, but Sonu Niigaam is of the here and now and I did not read anywhere that said:’Sonu is replacing Mohammed Rafi’.

    At the start of his UK tour Sonu took time for a minutes silence to the memory of Rafi, he showed respect to his memory and even more so to Mohammed Rafis work by resinging his songs.

    Is anyone seriously trying to say that Sonu Niigaam is trying to get famous by comparing himself to Rafi. He is already well known, a very reputable playback singer and a singer in his OWN RIGHT, who happens to have sang songs that Mohammed Rafi sang, so what! Why the criticism?

    Of all the remakes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs, how many have actually ever complimented the originals?

    For people saying there was no ‘swar’ post a performance of yours with a demonstration of how to do it right, then may be I for one will actually take that comment seriously.

  4. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Everyone who is criticising,

    Please be a good listener and have some knowledge about something before commenting.
    You all listened to Sonuji as Rafi Sahab and that is why you all have complains, listen to him as a different singer ie listen to him as a new indivisual Sonu Niigaam who is resurrecting his Idol and not copying..

    You all may have forgotten the notes and are not able to recall them and hence you all are writing all rubbish and stupid things.
    First be perfect at you end and then point out someone, dont just be a psycho typo…

  5. sonu´s fans says:

    SORRY TO SAY ALL THIS TO U WHO DONT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING BUT SEEMS PEOPLE DONT KNOW wats music n especially whats singing. If people dont know wats singing then pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase keep quite. u r making a fool of urself. As if u r a fan of Rafi ji then u should know whats the meaning of Sonuji´s singing. but seems today all fans of golden singer´s like Mhd. Rafi sahaab r just coz they like to follow wat other people like..
    if u like just one singer´s singing then its fine but dont criticize other singers just to defend that singer without knowing what is singing.And if u really want to criticize then find first a reasonable reason then say whatever u want.
    AND if u all r really Rafiji´s fans then u all must know that if ur idol (Mhd Rafi)would be here in this world then more than i can sure u more than 200% that he would be sooooo proud of Sonu´ji n he will be disappointed by all his fans who think like that.HE WOULD come to know that all his fans are not fans coz of his talent… they r fans just like that..
    all the songs u all have heard of Mhd Rafi´s they have been recorded…
    Sonu Nigam was singing that in a live performance for soo loong time…If he really wants he can sing like him as he is gud in that also. HE has his own voice he has his own personality… n he is not comparing himself with Rafiji..
    He is just giving a tribute..

  6. Sahil Aggarwal says:

    Thank God Rafi Saab is not here with us physically because he would have been extremely disappointed seeing the disparagement here. For all people who call themselves Rafi Saab’s fans, I would like to ask them one question. Had Rafi Saab been there with us today would he have made such harsh comments? Never. A true artist respects and admires his fellow artist’s deeds.

    Its insensate to compare ‘Rafi Resurrected’ with the original numbers. No one can ever reach there and I am sure even Sonu Nigam would agree to that. Singing live in one take is not an easy task and that too with a 75 piece orchestra. Mistakes are bound to occur. This album was never meant to sound like the original.
    I read one comment above by Raju Korti questioning the name of the album. Who are they to resurrect Rafi, is what he asks. Well I would ask him what have you done to resurrect Rafi?? If you got guts, go and perform in front of the big audience in London. You say people can never forget Rafi Saab and he still lives in our hearts. Tell me how many times have you heard a Rafi Saab song on the plethora of musical reality shows today. You can count it with your fingers. There was a whole show dedicated after Kishore Kumar recently. Tell me when did this happen with Rafi Saab last and you are raising fingers on a person whose first stage performance was at a tender age of 3 when he sang ‘Kya Hua Tera Vaada’. People of today would prefer to watch a show of a nasal singer rather than ‘Rafi Ressurected’. On top of that, you are also challenging Sonu. Wow great. Well Sonu Nigam made his point through ‘Rafi Resurrected’. Common now its your turn. Lets see what mettle you are made up of. And yes even I too wonder what is happening with the great soul up there.
    People will pull people down who are at top and never those who are already biting the dust. That is what is happening with Sonu Nigam. The truth is that ‘Rafi Resurrected’ is a masterpiece and a soulful tribute by a student to his Guru.

  7. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Rashid
    Sir the show wasnt bad at any point..

  8. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Ponnaps
    He did not fail friend, listen to him as a different singer and not as Rafi Sahab, please, then you will feel the difference and you will appreciate it to the fulles on your own..

  9. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Anoop Rawal
    Sir he did the same magic, I think the memories of old songs have faded from your mind that is why you were not able to recall the notes and hence which resulted you to criticize..

  10. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Kj Ravi
    Sir even you need to be a good listner and have some knowledge about music before commenting..

  11. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Sagar
    Listen to the concert and don’t see it.. Please

  12. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Anmol Singh
    Sir I would recommend you to LISTEN to the concert again instead of seeing it, please sir, he did not miss any swar or sur or taal or layy, indeed he coped up with the speeding orchestra..

  13. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To R.U. MAHALE
    Sir those were original tracks, the instrumentation is new now a days, the songs he sand were flawless, indeed he even coped up with the music when the orchestra was speeding up at places. Please see the concert again closely and be a good observant sir.

  14. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Jyoti mohanty
    My dear friend he was absolutely flawless with the expressions, its next to impossible to sing live with expressions. Tell me the name of any other singer in BOLLYWOOD who can emmote the songs amidst LIVE audience and make them quiete to listen to what he is singing??
    Listen to TERE AANE KI AAS HAI DOST which he sand at the very beginning, and you will see the expressions in his voice..

  15. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Dhani Ram
    Mr Dhani Ram you are very poor with music knowledge, have you ever tried to sing Jumping notes tracks? Try singing the song Satangi re, mera rang de basanti chola, des ki mitti, ekla chalo re.
    He was perfect with jumping notes, nowhere did I find him lacking to cope up with the notes because this is something next to impossible, he has been singing in the industry for past 20 years and you not even a singel day has sung even one song fully, please mind your bussiness. How much free time can you people spare I can see that, because fools are the ones who think that they have ample of time.

  16. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To Hussain Sheik
    Mr Hussein you have been shaked by your brain after listning to a perfectionist. If you are saying that Sonuji was not even one percent of Rafi Sahab then why don’t you go and conduct a show with the symphony orchestra?
    I will tell why you cannot do a show with them, because you are not known to anybody in this big world, and second because you don’t have music sense, The show was Rafi Ressurected and not Rafi Copied, every singer has his/her own voice and style and so does Sonuji, so better be in your limits.

  17. SonuNigamIsUnbeatable says:

    To A.S. Murthy
    Mr whatever you are saying is totally opposite to what had happened, he was not fast, the orchestra was speeding and that is why he too sped to match with the tune, if you cannot listen to everything properly, then who the hell has given you the damn right to brutally critize someone? Watch the show again and then utter a word, you are not a music fan, you are a rubbish music fan indeed, you don’t know what is TAAL in a song and LAYY, and the saving grace to the show were his efforts and his golden voice which is actually closest to Rafi Sahab.
    Listen to Tere aane ki aas hai dost in original and then listen to what Sonuji has sung and then say folly things further…

  18. Priya S says:

    Sonu did not butcher the songs, nor did he make a mockery of them. He was clearly paying tribute to his idol and guru and did not expect these cheap bashing comments from any of you. He never claimed he was better or even at par with Mohd Rafi, but you decide to insult him. Why don’t you all go sing then if you think Sonu is so bad. You can’t because you know you will never be anything like Sonu Nigam. This man is kind hearted amazingly talented and doesn’t need you insulting him everytime he tries to do a good deed.

  19. Vishal Gour says:

    Common…No one in this entire world can even touch 1% the Sonu Nigam’s rendition of Rafi Saab’s songs… Sonu didn’t copy..He proved that you don’t have to copy style…Yeah he did sing rafi numbers but the style was his without doing anything bad to the songs like the way these so called modern singers like Neeraj and Harry Anand do…HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT HE MAKE MOCKERY OF THE SONGS..HE POURED HIS HEART OUT..REMEMBER IT WAS A STAGE PERFORMANCE, NOT A STUDIO RECORDING..EVEN THEN HE SANG LIKE A MAGICIAN…HAD SONU BEEN IN RAFI’S ERA THE SAME PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING SUCH SILLY COMMENTS WOULD HAVE SAID JUST THE OPPOSITE..THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT TODAY’S INDIAN SINGING GOD IS SONU AND RAFI IS SONU’S GURU…BUT SONU IS GOD….

  20. musicfan says:

    I’m actually surprised why so many people are comparing Sonu’s voice to that of Rafi’s . It was only a tribute by Sonu , to show his respect. I can understand, no one can beat Rafi saab. but if there’s anyone among the current crop of singers who can even come close, its Sonu Nigam.

    I think, instead of bashing him up, people should start appreciating his guts to take up Rafi’s songs. And Sonu has nothing left to prove. His records and awards more than speak for themselves.

    Its pretty easy to sit in front of a PC and say “the speed wasn’t right… the pitch was high etc… But try thinking what you would’ve come up with if you were asked to sing a Rafi song.

    Also the article mentions that Sonu is always a “fast singer” . I’m wondering if the person who has written this, even listens to Bollywood songs.
    You have missed out on a lot of gems sung by Sonu Nigam.
    Please do some research before you write something.

  21. Shyama Govind says:

    This is really really really sad…What are u guys doing..U open a community to honour Rafi Saab and so brutally criticize the only person who has done so much to keep his name and fame alive..Sonuji never in his life claimed to be better or even at par with Rafi Saab..The concert was his humble attempt to pay a tribute to his musical father. Its very easy for u to sit at home and write nonsense on forums..Have any one of u done anything to make the younger generation realize the value of the musical magician?U all claim to be musical maestros who know music better than Sonuji..why then is he the most sought after and respected singer in the industry and u all stuck to posting comments on this forum..If Rafi Saab were alive today, he would be really really proud of Sonuji and ashamed of u guys, his so-called fans..who cant as much as appreciate a genuine effort to glorify their Idol..If u cant applaud him dont..atleast dont brutally bash him like this..It really hurts!!Sonuji put his heart and soul into this project..It wasnt just a project for was a tribute, an offering to his musical father, his Guru…His devotion could be felt when he was rendering those songs..and u guys are making such silly,nonsensical comparisons..Try singing 20 songs at a stretch in front of a huge audience with a 75 member orchestra u r meeting for the first time in ur life..with just one day of rehearsal..Rafians u call urselves..u shud be plain and simple ashamed of urselves for being so narrow-minded,critical and lacking in common sense..

  22. vineet says:

    Sonu need not to prove his talent as he has proved it long back…and the only guy who could have given a tribute to Rafi saab by singing his songs was Sonu…he has never claimed to be even at par with Rafi saab….and let me say to applaud an effort is tough and to criticize is much much easier. Think before you criticize the best singer of this age.

  23. Asif says:

    If anyone taped this program, will you be kind enough to put this on this website?

  24. mukesh vig says:

    Why is there so much of Hoopla over Sonu’s London concert? Those who find him fast or slow on that stage have to understand that it is not a tabla harmonium set up..both musicians and the artists are simply following their notes and complimenting each other. The symphony did a marvellous job re-creating the wonderful music that has enthralled us for years. This effort deserves a big applause for putting Indian music up there. I dont think Sonu has ever claimed he is like Mohd Rafi…if you are a Rafi fan, am sure you like to sing his music…some of us do good some not so good but we dont compare or compete with Mohd Rafi..or do we ? Some of these comments here seem so ridiculous. Most of us do not understand music but we still wanna put someone’s effort down.

    Singing on stage and recording in studio are day and sure we all know that. And if you are singing 20 plus songs non stop on stage, how can we expect a studio like perfection? I see this concert and its amazing grandeur as a celebration of Rafi Saheb where a city in England is also joining us in paying tribute to this great singer. Anything wrong there????

  25. rohit kumar says:

    readng to these cooments seems dat these honurable,highly potential rafi saabh lovers..were there to see raafi saabh singng and not sonu niggaam.seems so cheap to read dat these are critisicng a soul whom living Sarswati,Lata Mangeskar,has compared to rafi saabh.
    The show hold the true mixture of rafi saabh’s feelings and sonu ji voice.The show was a ressurction bt these person seems,wantd to attend a hip hop show…coz this was bore how ridiculous…
    better for them to listn to stupid song which come nowdaz and enjoy themselves.
    it was a best show and i thank sonu ji for takng such a job of bringng the golden era to life once again

  26. Md Sonu Khan says:

    The show was superb! all the songs was superb, as Sonu is Great bcoz his Guru is Mohammad Rafi… 🙂

    If some has any problem with this show…. so tell me what was the worng in that show??

    I will answer on the behalf of Sonu!

  27. Faysal says:

    salaam everyone
    I think sonu sung all the songs beautifully.
    I have seeen many singers who tributes rafi saab in last 20 years but sonu is fantastic among all.
    if you say who is the singer of the calliber of muhammad rafi and Kishore kumar among recent generation its obviously sonu nigam.
    He is Lata ji’s favourite, asha ji’s fav.
    every music director claimed that sonu is the best among all playback singers.
    Guys dont find exact copy of rafi in sonu.
    sonu is someone completely different.
    so i completely disagree with the article writer.
    I think you should learn music first, do a complete research, and then try to comment on someone who is far far greater then your desires.
    Dont mind.

  28. vikram says:

    I humbly diagree with some of the comments that were made about Sonu nigam in this thread. He has never claimed to be better than Rafi. In fact, he considers Rafi sahab the doyen of playback singing, and worships him like a God. He always makes it a point to mention Rafi sahab in whatever he does. It is no secret that a lot of folks in the film and music industry are promoting Kishore Kumar from among the old generation. On the contrary, we should all be proud of Sonu for spreading Rafi sahab’s style of singing far and wide- and in the process keeping younger generations aware of the phenomenon that was Rafi sahab. Why are we quetioning Sonu nigam’s motives? He has nothing to gain from it. He has achieved whatever he set out to achieve. As a Rafi fan I feel proud and honoured to have a singer of Sonu Nigam’s calibure vouching for Rafi sahab.

    I agree he did not do that great a job of rendering those Rafi masterpieces in London. But, then who has? May be, in the heat of the moment he strerched his limits. Well, it’s next to impossible to bring the same emotions and modulations that Rafi sahab brought to his renditions. That’s why we all are of firm belief that there will never be another Rafi. I thought Sonu did pretty good with ‘Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki’ and ‘Teri Galiyoan Mein Na’. Anyway, he had nothing to prove to anybody. It was his tribute to his Hero and God. And its hard to sing like a God. He is a tried and tested singer, and has proven his versatility time and again. It just doesn’t seem right to question his singing credentials. He is by far the best mainstream singer of the modern times.

  29. vijay Kumar says:

    You guys should be ashamed of yourself, i am an ardent fan of rafi sahab
    But i go out & do tributes to the maestro, what are you guys doing here critising a artist like mr Sonu Niigam who has taken rafi sahabs name Internationaly, i agree no one sing like rafi sahab but sonu is the only one at This time of age who has done justice to ressurect rafi sahabs name
    People are forgetting rafi sahab nowadays, especially the younger Generation …
    Sonu nigam all his life has sang rafi songs in all his concerts, is This
    The credit he deserves ??
    Ramzan ke mahine mein tum logon ne ek sache artist ka dil dukaya hai, jis
    Artist ne dil se uk jaakar rafi sahab ke tribute concert kiye, gore ne music phir apne log kahan the, kaun tributes karta hai is level tak ???
    Rafi sahab ka dil zaroor dukha hoga…
    Roze rakkar, aur dil mein burayi rakte ho, islam ye nahi sikata
    Sonu niigaam should not sing for people with no ears & no clue of indian music – Long live rafi sahabs memory’s & Sonu Niigaam

  30. Uday Singh Tundele says:

    Sonu Nigam dwara Mohd.Rafi Sahab ke gane pesh karne ki koshish behuda majak saabit hui. Es performance se bahut nirasha hui. Sonu Nigam bhi es me jyada serious najar nahi aaye aisa lagata hai poora programme sirf paise kamane ke liye tha. Orgonisers should be ashamed.

  31. raunak says:

    Well its right that in some of the songs sonu nigam saheb was going faster than the orchestra but i really enjoyed that 3 hrs. and i nearly recorded all the songs holding my mobile in front of T.V. and i listen to those songs nearly everyday and try to compare Rafi saheb’s org. no. with these songs. BUT Rafi saheb ka toh koi jawab hi nahin hain. Just try n compare his song “TUM JO MIL GAYE HO” and u can easily make out the diff.. Well I cant say anything about Sonu Nigam saheb kyunki meri itni aukaat kabhi nahin ho sakti as he is my IDOL and i really try my best to follow him and in this way I m following both the legend Mohd. Rafi Saheb and Sonu Nigam Saheb.

  32. Rashid Diwan says:

    I couldnt agree with you more. Like many hundreds of people I went to see the show in London but was disappointed. However I was extremely happy to see that so many people attended the show in the name of Rafi Saheb. I am sure if it was just a Sonu Nigam show many would not have gone to see the show. I dont think anyone can be as near Rafi Saheb but we are all looking to remember him through anyone who respects the great singer. I once walked out of Sonu’s show held in Wembley as it was terrible.

  33. ponnaps says:

    i think sonu tried too hard to match Rafi sahab emotion for emotion,effect for effect,note for note…these qualities are impossible for anybody to emulate succesfully…infact most singers dont even risk trying it…Sonu atleast tried to put these across in the rendition…arent these the qualities that distinguishes Rafi sahab from others(besides the voice)…Sonu failed trying but IMO its better than not trying at all…

  34. Anoop Rawal says:

    I agree that Sonu nigam was dissappointing in that show. In fact I was expecting he will create the same magic or do better as he did in the show 15 years ago in Delhis Talkatora Stadium on the death aniversary of Rafi Sahib. He was not even a shadow of himself. I still remember he sang two songs “Meri Awaaz Suno” and “Chal Ud Ja Re Panchi”. He took those songs to great height that it started touching the soul.

  35. Raju Korti says:

    i knew this disaster was waiting to happen. A kal ka chhokra these days proudly and loudly proclaims to be the inheritor of the rafi legacy. that i have been privileged enough not to watch sonu nigam’s idiotic and utterly pedestrian performance on sony tv is just a small mercy. i have a larger issue here and the saddest part of this unmitigated nonsense is no rafisaab admirer has raised objections on it.
    my first question to sonu and the organisers of this supreme fiasco is who are they to resurrect rafi? do they know the meaning of the word?
    implicit in that highly defamatory title is that rafisaab has been long forgotten. and we are supposed to have been so amnesiac blessed with such poor memory that we have forgotten music’s God! whoever has thought of this title should not be encouraged anywhere near any recording room.
    the fact is all that new-found success – if you can call it that — has gone to sonu’s head. these days he thinks he is as good or even better than rafi while paying mere lip service to the one-and-only-rafisaab. if i can recall correctly, sonu has gone on record saying that the word rafi is a taboo in recording rooms these days. if he is so devoted to rafisaab, why does he have to spout such uncharitable remarks? and what does he know about rafisaab? i openly challenge him to come and face me and let’s see what he knows about the rafi school of music. just because he can sing a few songs from the incredible rafi repertoire doesn’t mean he can claim to be another rafi. in fact i will dare say he has no voice culture at all. all he does is to exhbit some boisterous flamboyance and cheap gimmicks which most singers of these days do on stage to win some easy fans. what is even more disturbing is some of our own rafi fans are tom tomming about sonu being the closest to rafisaab. i hope for God’s sake they understand what they are talking about. if sonu nigam is our idea of rafi’s successor, then god save us.
    this man, who masquerades a new and a stupid avtaar every time with his now-here-now-gone beard and mane, is not sure what he wants to become in life. a singer or an actor or a compere. and he has the audacity and the cheek to shout from the rooftops he can sing just as well as rafisaab. i wonder what is happening to that great soul up there to listen to this unabashed display of loud pride.
    the least sonu can do, presuming of course, he has the wisdom to do so, is to earn his living by being one of those many clones. he should actually go to a temple everyday and thank the almighty that he is making all those bucks because of rafisaab. but given his demeanour, i doubt he will. the fellow hasn’t learnt the basic virtue of rafisaab — of humility. and he wants us to believe this crap that he is resurrecting rafisaab. there won’t be another rafisaab till the end of this universe and sonu can take crores of births in an attempt to become another rafi. he won’t. that’s for sure.
    now, it’s time he stops all his funny antics and making the mockery of a legend who time has the courtesy to produce only once.
    long live rafi, god save sonu nigam

  36. ponnaps says:

    i think we are getting too critical of Sonus performance..its wasnt too bad..lets not forget he is no Mohd Rafi and you are not going to get the same effects,modulations,layers etc like the great one gave us..also this was a one-take performance and with 20 odd songs back-to-back so some slippages are expected..the orchestration missed including percussions without which i cant imagine how one can sing ‘Jat yamlaa pagalaa’ and ‘Tareef Karun Kya uski’like songs..however he did murder ‘Aaj mausam bada’ but then the song is what I would call a singers song where the whole song is carried on the singers the music and tune is of little support ..i havent seen any singer who has pulled off this song anywhere close to the originial…IMO only a rafi could pull-off such a song and no one else…

    what I didnt appreciate was the presentation of the show itself…id have expected large photos of Rafi sahab in the background..perhaps a small shraddhanjali at the start..i felt the focus was tilted a bit towards Sonu but Sonu did try to change that by talking about Rafi…perhaps a knowledgeable compere would have helped here…

    other plus points…thanks to Sonu’s star-power Sony TV found it ‘profitable’ to telecast this concert..this has certainly bought Rafi sahab back into the limelight…CBSO orcestration was just amazing but percussions were sorely missed…

    one could say a singer who is more into the Rafi style(like the the earlier Sonu) would have been better but then Sony wouldnt be telecasting such a show…if im not wrong CBSO did a similar show with Mehboob Chohan earlier which was also houseful but not telecast-worthy…

  37. Gagan says:

    Dear Rafians,

    Nobody is even remotely close to Rafi Sahab as all could see by the disappointing performance of Sonu Nigam (and he is a much much better singer than that no two ways about it than what was evident) in the show “An Evening in London.” The biggest fatal mistake by him was that he was rushing through the songs, instead of taking it slow and steady. This first time this was pointed to me by my sister who also was watching it with me and I totally agreed with her, as it was quite evident. Sonu Nigam should stick to his original songs, which he is superb at and really spellbounds the audience with them. I am a huge fan of his for his original songs, but when he tries to copy Rafi Sahab he has always fallen flat on his face as was the case here. This is also evident in his album Kal Aaj aur Rafi, though he has tried his best, the feel of the songs is just not there, what with modern arrangements and recording, that was the essence of the maestro the legend the feel which he created in his songs is unparalleled in the history of Indian Film Music and that’s why he will be remembered for time immemorial.

    But frankly overall the show was disappointing as I had been waiting for it for over a month, but then I didn’t even watch it till the end.

    Anyways the orchestra was brilliant, the saving grace of the show, what with Britishers playing to the songs. It was quite amazing to see them playing through immortal songs of Rafi Sahab with such grace and dexterity. Anyways such initiatives should be lauded for they keep alive the legend of Rafi Sahab amongst the new generations and especially abroad keeping his melodies alive.

    Long live Rafi Sahab.


  38. K.J.Ravi says:

    Admidettly, Sonu Nigam does have a great stage presence and charisma as well. But he should sing something original on his own and leave Rafi Sahab’s immortal songs alone.

  39. kprem says:

    Rafi was a genuine singer, in my opinion has was grate than tan sain, Sonu negam also a good singer but time take place to sing songs in voice of Rafi Sahah.

  40. sagar pattnaik says:

    sonu was extremly confidence within him when the show was started.but in the due course of time when he started to sing it was rediculos.because it is very very difficult to sing rafi sahab’s song and the energy which required to sing his song was not with doubt he is a great fan of rafi sahab but he was good when rafi ki yaadein cassetees were simple words it is insult to the versetile genius rafi sahab.he should not do the same mistake again.

  41. zzzzz says:

    to all, who are criticizing Sonu Niigaam – give a proof, that you can do better…

    It’s easy to criticize someone from afar. How would the outcome be, if you would have the chance to enter stage in direct comparison to Sonu Niigaam and/or “Mohammad Rafi” (guys, I know that this would not be possible at all), a kind of contest ?
    My guess : Mohammad Rafi would be the winner, Sonu Niigaam second – and then – nobody for a long, long time….

    What Sonu Niigaam’s done should be honored – ’cause he not only tries to keep up memory to the legendary Mohammad Rafi, but also spreads Rafi’s legend allover the world, even to those, who didn’t know about Rafi until now.

    You should know, that he’s a Rafi devotee himself, and he knows himself best, that he cannot be like Rafi – he even does not want to. So why do you expect him to be a clone or a 1:1 copy of Rafi ?

    And btw. I don’t think, that Mohammad Rafi would agree to you bashing and criticizing another singers and musicians – what I got to know about Rafi, he’s respected other singers and their work, too – so why can’t you do this ?

  42. Anmol Singh says:

    I think we should not have very high expectations from any singer who tries to sing a Rafi number. Sonu’s voice is very soft for singing any Rafi number. It is a natural phenomena. That is perhaps one of the reason on higher notes he is not effortness like Rafi.

    Perhaps he is a classically trained singer, hence he could attempt most the Rafi numbers. The only drawback I could observe was the need for more accuracy in control of swar. I could observe in many small areas, where Sonu was slipping swars many occasions. Especially the song “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho”, there is a line “Ye Jahaan Mil Gayaa” needs a lot of accuracy. I think only Lata matches Rafi here.

    But over all I will still support Sonu for his great performence. Plus the British Orchestra were just too good. It was so accurate that it over shadowed most of Sonu’s drawbacks.

  43. R U Mahale says:

    This is not to under estimate the talent and effort of Mr. Sonu Nigam, but reality is that the songs rendered are not a match to the original rendition by great maestro Mohammed Rafi. It was evident at the level of ordinary viewers- my wife simply passed remark that the originals were par excellent.

  44. jyoti mohanty says:

    Truely sonu made a mess of those beutiful gems of rafi saab;today’s top singer of bollywood not only failed to catch the momentum of the songs but also looked vulnerable in expressions( the pathos & joival both).Even i feel the lady singer rendetion was far superior instead .The orchestra is simply FABULOUS.Anyway,kudos to sonu for his endeavour for a greater cause & his love & affection for the singing god.

  45. Dhani Ram says:

    Leaving aside suhani raat dhal chuki,all other songs were fast paced.such songs highlight only one dimension of rafi sahib.the concert sent out a wrong message to those who were not familiar with rafi sahib’s repertoire.rafi’s best was not touched.a very very poor show indeed!

    and sonu’s voice.the less said about it,the better.his voice got muffled the moment he changed scales.besides a mellifluous voice,rafi sahib’s greatest quality,that no other singer had or has,is effortless transition in scales without missing a note on the way.other singers spasmodically hop from one scale to another,bumbling through notes.rafi never does that.

    overall,a disappointing show with one saving grace.sonu has never pitted himself against rafi sahib.he acknowledges rafi sahib’s superiority to all other singers and makes no exception of himself.he was decent enough tio pay a very rich tribute to rafi sahib in the course of the concert.

  46. Of course, I also felt, in front of such a big sympony orchestra, sonu”s performance was not upto the mark. In fact, he left the rhythm in Tarif karoo from Kashmir ki kali.

    I am also a stage singer from last 15 years and a great fan of Rafi and Shankar Jaikishan. To some extent I left, I am better then sonu. It is very easy to make comments about the participants in reality shows.

    Stage Singer

  47. kaleem sheikh says:

    Sonu also performed the songs without dholak or tabla-the songs therefore were dull. Very sad. This was a fatal error.

  48. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Those who say Sonu Nigam’s voice is close to Rafi Saheb will now learn their mistakes after watching Sonu’s show in London. After watching this show on Sony TV, I feel he’s not capable to sing Rafi Saheb’s songs! He’s not even 1% close to Rafi Saheb. The show was a disaster as the title indicate of this article.

  49. ztas77 says:

    I agree there were moments when I felt Sonu was speeding here and there, however rendering 20 of Rafi saab’s super hit numbers in that atmosphere & enviroment must take some extra effort. Neverthless Sonu did an overall good job.

  50. A S MURTY says:

    For many days prior to the actual telecast of this show by sony tv, we had been waiting for 21st sept 2008 8.00 p.m. to watch this so called ‘great show’. we had just concluded our regular musical session that day and i was receiving calls from all and sundry if i was in front of the tv. i knew i would miss a good 45 minutes into the telecast and was feeling very sad. just as i reached home, i checked up with my nephew how many songs i really did miss. after discounting all the time taken for the usual advertisements, i was sure it would not be more than 5 to 6 songs and i was right. i watched the entire show hoping that atleast the next song would be to near perfection. alas it was not to be so. sonu nigam made a mockery of the songs and not just the pace of the songs, his pitch too seemed to be far higher at places than at which the original songs were rendered. there was hardly any deftness in modulation and however much that sonu nigam may have tried he was found to be wanting in almost all the songs. the audience would give standing ovations to the songs for different reasons – first they are all rafi numbers, second they are being rendered by another celebrity called sonu nigam and third they happen to be all the common most favoured songs. sonu nigam also could have done without changing the ‘an evening in paris’ to ‘an evening in london’ type of gimmicks.

    the orchestra was very good indeed, and it was amazing british musicians playing such complicated indian tunes. however, lack of tabla, dholak and other indian instruments was visibly throwing up the lack of originality in the songs. the orchestra did their best given the situation, but when a programme of such a magnitude is being organized, they could have done a much better job with the orchestra too.

    the only saving grace for us all that the name of rafi sahab was once again the focal point due to the staging of this programme and towards this extent, the organizers deserve a pat.

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