'Reality shows don't give you film offers'

'Reality shows don't give you film offers'


Phir mohabbat from Murder 2 gave him the break he was looking for since the time he switched from his engineering career to music industry.

 He rose to fame when the song turned out to be chartbuster and then there was no looking back. Banjaara from Ek Villain is the latest track that makes Mohammed Irfan Ali a player of long innings in the industry. 

His heavy and rustic voice hogged the limelight when he participated in the music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which had given singers like Shreya Ghoshal, Shekhar Ravjiani, to name a few. Now Irfan, the Hyderabad-based boy is also heading in a similar direction. “My first reality show gave me instant popularity,” says Irfan, who was later seen in Amul Star Voice of India. 

“Though I started doing shows, but my aim was playback singing. I started reaching out to music composers and used to send my CDs to them,” he says.It wasn’t an easy task for Irfan as there were many other singers like him who were making the rounds outside studios. 

“Reality shows don’t give you film offers. It helped me gain fame and money, which only helped me to survive in Mumbai. But getting into reality show and reaching the top position is not easy,” he says.  “I was among the top four contestants in Sa Re... and getting to that top slot was a tough task,” he adds.

He was first noticed by his school music teacher, who guided and made him participate in all the music competitions at the city and state level. His teacher instilled confidence in him urging him to take music seriously. Irfan, therefore, after completing his engineering in electronics and communications decided to shift to Mumbai. “It was in 2006 that I asked my parents to give me some time and allow me to follow my passion,” he reminisces.

Since that time Irfan wanted to work with music composer Mithoon who gave him Phir Mohabbat (Murder 2), Baarish (Yaariyan) and Banjaara (Ek Villain). But he made his debut with AR Rahman for Behne De (Raavan). “After my stint with reality shows, I performed at the annual day function of the academy where I learnt music. On the occasion SP Balasubrahmanyam was also present. He liked my singing and told me he would recommend my name to AR Rahman, which he did and I got my first break in Bollywood,” Irfan recalls excitedly. 

“I was nervous because I was beginning with the maestro. But he made me comfortable because he has worked with many upcoming singers and knew how to deal with them. Working with Rahman Sir was like a dream come true for me,” he says. 

But personally, this 30-year-old singer is fond of Mithoon. “Things have changed over the years. Mithoon had faith in me and he gave me Phir Mohabbat. The song was crucial for him as well too. One song changed our bonding and since then we have seen each other evolve. But today we are more like friends.” 

Irfan shares a similar bond with Himesh Reshammiya, Sajid-Wajid and Jeet Ganguly with whom he has worked till now.

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