Lucky Ali is back with his fifth album, but music
isn’t all he’s busy with
X Suie is an odd sort of name for an album. Stranger still for the world of Indian pop music, but singer-actor-agriculturist Lucky Ali is in no hurry and is eager to try out a novel approach to reach out to his listeners. “We’ve recorded 16 songs for the album but we’re only releasing the tracks online. Every two weeks, we’ll release a single that will be available for download and once all the tracks are done, we’ll come out with a hard copy of the album,” says Ali. Clearly Ali’s had enough of music companies and has followed the lead of international rock group Radiohead who started the trend of releasing music online with their album In Rainbows and accepting whatever listeners wanted to pay for it.
Ali has tied up with an online music portal from America, www.nimbitmusic.com, a distributor to all other international music
portals. In India, Blue Frog Records is releasing the singles on their online store, available for download at Rs 45 per track. “The online music revolution has empowered the artiste, and we get to keep the essence of our music without being suppressed by the boss of a music company who is only concerned about the business part of it,” says Ali, with unusual candour. As for the album name, X Suie means “at your own pace”. “I was returning to making music after a long hiatus, I just wanted to do my own thing in my way. I had so many songs in the backburner and I just took them out one by one,” says Ali, who has also included an unfinished song by his late father, comedian Mehmood in this album. The music is classic Ali stuff – about nostalgic personal journeys, love and longing and the state of the world around him.
“I run a farm, I’m deeply concerned with how our land is being usurped by corporate bigwigs for other projects. In a few years when most of the land is gone, how are we going to feed ourselves?” asks Ali, who along with a few Jewish friends, is planning on launching “Sky farms” in Mumbai, where vegetable gardens are created on the roofs of the housing skyscrapers that will reduce transportation hassles as well as the cost of the vegetables. Ali is certain that such a venture is possible and is hoping to take it forward. But in the meantime, cinema beckons yet again.
This November, Ali is starring in Rock Shocks with Sonali Kulkarni. “It’s the kind of movie that my father would have done. It’s about a man and his Boxer who gets him into trouble all the time,” says Ali, who feels relieved that he doesn’t have to look menacing in a suit anymore. “After Kaante, people came up to me with scripts where all I was supposed to do was walk in slow motion and look slick in sunglasses,” chuckles Ali. With some embarrassment, he admits that his hang-dog expression and his reluctance to say “No” trapped him in disasters like Runway. However, he’s nabbed an exciting project, a film where Ali plays an Indian who marries a New Zealander to immigrate there. “The film is about how we Indians are perceived in New Zealand, from a Kiwi perspective,” says Ali.