Sonu Nigam has been doing playback for over 25 years and the singer believes the trick not to burn out is to keep learning. The singer, who has lent voice to tracks as diverse as "Sandese Aate Hain", "Akhiyon Se Goli Mare", "Saathiya" to "Abhi Mujhmein Kahin", said it is not necessary to find a mentor in someone who is senior in age.
"If you have the humility, heart and soul, you can find that in youngsters too. One must keep their mind open and imbibe new things. People who say 'in our times it used to be so great' are the ones who don't lead a happy life.
"I don't dwell in that. I feel I sing better and different than what I did 25 years ago. I am not sounding the same so maybe I've learnt from Arijit Singh, Armaan Malik or all these younger people," Nigam told PTI.
The singer said in his stage career of over 40 years, he has not let his ego get the better of him. "There shouldn't be any ego. You're not senior by age, you are senior by your soul. If their art reflects in their soul, I take it and learn from them. I saved money and invested properly. I didn't waste money, I didn't go crazy.
"One has to be financially secure first and then take a step back and look at life in totality," he added. Nigam is currently a part of Royal Stag Barrel Select MTV Unplugged season 8.
The platform, he said, has given artistes complete freedom to play with songs and recreate them. The 45-year-old singer said he does not believe in the term "legacy".
"I believe in my today. If I am happy today, I don't care whether my songs come or not, people listen to my song after me or not. If I lived a sh***y life, that's my problem. "People keep saying 'my legacy, my legacy' but what will you do for that? Fight or be aggressive about work? I don't believe in that."
Nigam has been in news the last few years over his comments, be it the Azaan controversy or the latest row on his reported comments on Pakistani singers and the #MeToo movement. Asked whether the controversies affect his art, the singer said he has never given any scuffle enough importance to interfere with his singing.
"My life is like a selfie, I look at myself and don't look what other people talk about me. I'm constantly working on myself. "I give myself a quiet time, I read. I don't really care (about controversy). These things never affect me," he said. - PTI