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Lady Gaga’s Indian sitarist

music Updated: Nov 08, 2011 16:27 IST
Zofeen Maqsood
Zofeen Maqsood
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Pon icon Lady Gaga may have enthralled everyone on her maiden visit to India last week, but it was the sound of the Indian sitar that impressed her the most.

For her performance at the Formula 1 after party, the singer categorically asked for an Indian sitarist to play with her on-stage, and Delhi musician Fateh Ali was chosen. “My name was suggested by Shubha Mudgal ji to the organisers of the event. I was informed about it just two days before the final performance and everything was planned with great precision,” says Ali.

GagaThe 35-year-old is the sixth generation of a family of famous sarangi players and has performed with several international music groups. So, how did it feel to perform with a star of Gaga’s fame?

“She took a keen interest in Indian classical music. She called me for rehearsals a day before the performance and we had a great practice session. She even ensured that only we were in the rehearsal room so that we could concentrate better,” he says.

Ali adds that Gaga was so intrigued by the sitar that she said she would love to play it herself one day. “She is a genuinely humble person. It was flattering that she announced my name on stage just before our performance. She even noticed the crystals I have got pasted on my sitar and she said she’d do the same to her instruments,” he says.

For now, Ali is looking forward to collaborating with Gaga again. “I gifted her my music CD and she’s promised that whenever she is back she’ll play with me again.”