A brief encounter with Javed Ali, the new hit singer on the block
How did A R Rahman give you a break?
I had sung a few 'scratches' for Rahman saab. I used to dream about singing for him. I used to wonder when I would be called to Chennai for a recording. And when I actually got a call to record Jashn-e-b ahara for Jodhaa Akbar, I was dumbstruck. Now I wonder when he'll call me next.
How do you improvise your songs, do you give any suggestions or inputs?
Rahman sir has his ownset of variations. But when a singer comes up with an idea, he is very encouraging.
By contrast, Nagada from Jab We Met is a very peppy number..are you aiming for versatility?
I had sung Tara ru ru for Goal which was not promoted well. All I can say is that I've been fortunate to get a variety of songs.
Earlier, you've recorded some 100 odd remix tracks. Will you still go on with that?
Yes, of course. DJ Suketu and DJAmit call me most of the time.
Did you have to face an initial struggle.. like everyone does?
I came to Mumbai from Delhi in 1993 but not to become a playback singer. I met Kalyanji Anandji by chance,they wanted to train me. Kalyanji encouraged me to try different genres instead of restricting myself to ghazals.
My voice was going through a transition then, I stopped singing completely.. for a few years.
So, who doesn't struggle? I returned to Delhi and came back only when I was sure my voice was in shape.
What was the turning point of your career?
Shreya Ghoshal and I represented India at the St Denis festival in Paris. That's unforgettable.