Sonu Nigam's comment at the Aajtak Summit earlier this week landed the Indian singer in controversy.
He had said, "Sometimes, I feel like it would be better [off] if I was from Pakistan. At least I would get offers from India. Nowadays, singers have to pay music companies for shows. If we don’t shell the money, they will play songs sung by other singers and highlight them. Then, they will take money from them.”
However, Nigam says that his statement has been misconstrued and clarified on Facebook that he meant, "My point about being better off being born in Pakistan was about the music companies in India asking Indian singers to pay 40-50% of their concerts remunerations to them, and only then they'll work with those artistes.. but they don't ask the same from the singers from abroad, namely Pakistan..!"
The singer added that he is on cordial terms with Pakistani singers and only asks for equal treatment in his country.
"I have always been of the opinion that everyone should be welcomed in India. I’m very friendly with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam. Shafqat Amanat Ali has a lovely voice and I’m of this belief that everyone must get equal respect in our country, but in the same breath, I’d like to add that Indian artistes should be given the same facilities as their foreign counterparts. If that doesn’t happen, then it’s unfair," he said.
The 45-year-old singer continued, "In recent years, the music business has evolved and most artistes belong to a certain music company. The company earns by charging a percentage from its artistes’ remuneration which is a great business strategy and is working well for all concerned. My only point was that this same percentage rule should apply to foreign artistes as well, only for the sake of equality and transparency of all artistes from all over the world in our country."