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‘I’m not like Rahat’

... says Pakistani popstar Atif Aslam, adding he can’t accept offers of performing at “every other place”.

entertainment Updated: Feb 14, 2010 01:33 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

Dyed in streaks of offhand cockiness, pop singer Atif Aslam is your average lad-next-door. Just that he’s equipped with the right degree of cautious conduct. That’s what separates him from men his age. In the Capital recently to perform at a gig organised by Buzzintown, Aslam tells us he’s getting mature… and socially responsible.

“I don’t like singing commercial songs. I feel musicians should voice social concerns and contribute in cause-driven movements in a positive manner. Ab Toh Kuch Karna Padega, my forthcoming single with pop duo Strings, talks about the current situation in Pakistan. It hopes to change the popular perception towards our country,” he says.

The singer of hits such as Woh Lamhe, Pehli Nazar Mein and Bakhuda Tumhi Ho, Aslam talked to HT City about his acting debut, a Pakistani film named Bol.

“It’s the story of a doctor who aspires to become a musician. Contrary to reports, I haven’t decided to act in a film to fetch more fame or money. I just want to change my public image. I want to explore myself,” he asserts. So, has he? “The first schedule’s over and I’ve realised that I’m not an actor,” he says with a laugh. “But I am enjoying the process. Hope the director makes money, because I certainly am.”

Besides the three songs Aslam has composed for the film, he’s lent voice to another two. After a performance in Bangalore, the singer will embark a US tour soon. Also in the offing is another soft rock album, he reveals.

With money and praise pouring in, especially after the success of Tu Jaane Na and Tera Hone Laga Hoon from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, there’s still one thing that rubs Aslam the wrong way — comparison. Of his contemporary, Sufi singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan climbing music charts in India, he says, “He’s not my contemporary. I’m not like Rahat and can’t accept offers of performing at every other place. However, I admire his work.” Of course.