Rahat Fateh Ali Khan“>
He is the first talent from across the border to win a STAR-Screen award for his song Aaj din chddeya from Love Aaj Kal. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, is on a hurried stopover in Mumbai when we catch up with the man who is increasingly becoming hit-machine in Hindi films
You are the first artiste from your country to win the STAR-Screen award among so many singers who have sung here. What does this mean to you?
It’s an honor for which I have to thank Screen and its jury as well as Pritam and Imtiaz Ali who gave me the song and Irshad Kamlibhai who wrote it so well. But I must say that I must be even more careful now. I have to do even better work and aim for even more awards! I am thankful to the people of this country and all the wonderful music directors because of whom I have come this far from the time when my song were incorporated by Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt in Paap and Kalyug.
What is your approach to the way things are between India and Pakistan?
My answer is my participation in a recent peace initiative through music. Gulzarsaab has written a truly beautiful song on peace that is being recorded by Shankar Mahadevanji and sung by me. I also participated in a concert and sang with him and Kailash Kherjji. My stance is very simple: let governments go about their businesses, but let the people of the two nations, who share the same culture, express their own mutual affection and love to each other without political interference. It does not matter if we are two nations.
How does it feel to record minus the music composer’s presence from Lahore? Wouldn’t you prefer to sing at a studio under the supervision of and in the presence of music directors?
But that’s how I usually record all songs. There are however some exceptions that happen. I may have some engagements back home or some other reason might be there. After the Mumbai attacks in 2008, there was this phase when there was a disturbed scenario. At such times, I did record via e-mail.
For which films are you now singing?
The music of Ishqiya and My Name is Khan are out and my songs are really being appreciated. I love singing for Vishal Bharadwaj and Shankar-Eshaan-Loy. I enjoyed the steep melody of the songs I have recorded for Himesh Reshammiya in Milenge Milenge. I have recorded for Dabanng under Sajid-Wajid and have done some songs for Pritam and Vishal-Shekhar too.
Is there any composer on your wish-list because it’s not happened as yet?
I would definitely love to sing for A R Rahmansaab.
Have you followed Hindi Film music from yester-year?
Are there any senior composers for whom you wish you had been able to record?
R.D.Burman and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
That was very spontaneous. Why do you specially mention them among all the giants?
Unnka sochne ka andaz kitna alag tha. I love their music
You are essentially a qawaali. So does it upsets you that no Hindi film composer has made you sing in that genre?
I do want to sing a qawaali here. But because all my songs have become popular and are different ones from romantic to Sufi and Punjabi – I suppose a branding has been created. The nearest I have come to qawaali is in my song from My Name is Khan. But yes, I cannot forget my heritage and my responsibility. My uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan took the qawaali to America and Europe. The mission cannot slow down. Not after my uncle took on the orthodox government back home to make music grow.
Have you recorded any songs on this trip?
I have recently dubbed from Lahore on some tracks. On this trip, I have not recorded any song. I have come down to Mumbai only for a few hours for a sitting with Javed Akhtarsaab as we are doing an album with big music.
What kind of album is it?
We are working on the structure and the tracks. I will be composing the music as well as singing the songs. We are planning to use a few poems from Javedsaab‘s audio book Tarkash too.
Let governments go about their businesses, but let the people of the two nations, who share the same culture express their own mutual affection and love to each other without political interference
– Rajiv Vijayakar