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Commercial, meet Sufi

He has an infectious smile, like that of a kid. But that only lasts till you hear him sing. Awe takes over thereafter. A former member of Pakistani alternative rock band, Fuzon, Shafqat Amanat Ali takes you on a musical ride as he performs at The Blue Blazer on Sunday night for MTV Unplugged (season 2).

brunch Updated: Apr 23, 2013 09:38 IST

He has an infectious smile, like that of a kid. But that only lasts till you hear him sing. Awe takes over thereafter.


A former member of Pakistani alternative rock band, Fuzon, Shafqat Amanat Ali takes you on a musical ride as he performs at The Blue Blazer on Sunday night for MTV Unplugged (season 2).

With loved songs such as Ankhon Ke Saagar, Mora Saiyaan, Bin Tere, Tu Hi Mera, Yeh Honsla and Mitwa to his credit, the importance of Bollywood becomes evident in his career graph.

“Bollywood has room for a variety of genres today. It is turning out to be a great platform for singer from all over the world. One needs Bollywood for commercial success; but then again, it’s entirely up to you. No one forces you into it. If you want to be a part of the industry, they’d welcome you; if not, Bollywood is still flourishing!” he says.

So, how does he shuffle between Bollywood and his albums? “Be it Bollywood or your private album, performing on stage is a mandate. If you don’t do live shows, you don’t get recognised.”

In Chandigarh on his second visit, the singer goes on to say, “The credit for the success of my Bollywood songs goes to the music producers as well as the directors. It’s a collective effort.”

Is he satisfied, being where he is? “As an artiste, your thirst and greed never dies. Every time I listen to a good song, I silently wish in my heart that I had sung it.”

Having performed all over the world, Ali says he finds listeners for his music everywhere, but it’s not the same. “The response is not the same everywhere as it is in India.

Sometimes, you have to wake them up. They are just there to listen to your music, not to be a part of it. They want to enjoy your music in their own way,” says he.

Being the ninth generation of Patiala gharana, Ali says belonging to a family of great names is not easy. “Just being from a famous family is not enough, you have to work all the more to prove your worth, to live up to people’s expectations. To make your own identity in such a situation becomes all the more difficult,” says the son of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan.

Currently, Ali is working on two albums and a couple of Bollywood projects, the names of which he refuses to disclose.