How has the ‘Rockstar Ustad’ changed between Tabeer and Kyun Dooriyan? Did the second album help you evolve?
I always try to improve on my work with every new project. I try to do something new every time and in the process end up learning and evolving. I hope that shows in my work and am leaving it to my listeners to decide.
Singers often get typecast in Bollywood. Were you apprehensive about this while working on the new album?
I know a private album in India can’t match the scale of a film song. But that didn’t stop me from creating something new for the listeners.
Record labels, trends and reality shows often become outlines of how an album should sound. Do you agree? If yes, what will your ideal album sound like?
They do. Everyone feels whatever’s happening in films is the best. But I feel that one needs to keep one’s creativity intact to bring out fresh sounds. My saying this does not mean that films don’t have great sound. My ideal sound is what the listener believes in and it keeps changing. Sometimes I feel not adhering to a typical sound type is the ideal sound.
Post 26/11, concerts of many artists, including you, were stalled. Things have got better but what were your thoughts when you had to keep away from the Indian audience?
It was rather depressing and it did hurt at that time as it didn’t only mean staying away from great listeners but the sheer cruelty of the incident was horrifying. So many innocent lives were lost because of mindless fanaticism and it hurt that the heinous acts jeopardised relations between the two nations when they were at an all-time high.
How do you strike a balance between keeping up the legacy of your generation and an era of experimentation?
Experimenting has also been in my family tradition. My father experimented with ghazal as he knew how to choose the qalam and shayar and compose and sing it in a certain way. So it runs in my blood. One has to know how to fuse two genres or sounds to be able to experiment. You need to know what you want and balance it with what people would like to hear and create something new. Being from a family of musicians does have its drawbacks.
Is another avatar of Fuzon in the offing?
I won’t work with Fuzon, or any other band, ever again. But I promise a lot of good music and live performances.