'India is my second home'

'India is my second home'

Beyond borders

'India is my second home'

Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali is known for his large legacy of music. The musician who has a strong base in the Patiala ‘Gharana’ have been enthralling audience across the country with Bollywood hits.

He shares a strong bond with his fans, quite evident from the fact that he is launching a solo album with his own compositions, next month, after a number of requests from his followers on Facebook and Twitter. So for the last four months, Amanat Ali has been busy putting together an album comprising nine songs, from ‘ghazals’, popular tunes to new waves and classic flavours which he has composed and written, each special in their own right.

“These were songs which I started to write and compose long back but left off midway because of other commitments. It was only when I went to the studio to finish these pieces, did I realise what I had been missing all these days,” he says.

He feels that the audience enjoys popular songs as well as classical tunes in both
Indian and Pakistan.

“Bollywood finds a great market in Pakistan. But Pakistan still has to strengthen its film industry.”

However, he is positive about the state of performing arts in Pakistan today and says that the film industry is slowly picking up and progressing with baby steps.

The singer has travelled widely in India, which he considers his second home, and since he loves the cold weather, Bengaluru and Pune are his favourite spots to reside in. His interactions with emerging artistes have been much more than fulfilling, as, in India, he finds  “promising and enthusiastic talent with a deep-rooted vision.” He says, “A strong, private and underground music scene is thriving in India and Pakistan.” When asked about his favourite Indian musicians, “Shankar Mahadevan and Arijit Singh,” comes the answer.

Amanat Ali’s music stems from what he believes in and what he wants out of life. He is quick to add, “I avoid offensive terminology and language which offends any community. There shouldn’t be misuse of freedom of expression.”

Though, in Pakistan, the problem of poor security and threats during open-air concerts persist, the singer is undeterred by the chaotic, cultural milieu and is not ready to quit anytime soon. He believes in the power of sound amidst noise, and finds music a binding force that bridges the gap between India and Pakistan. “This is because music is higher than all the turmoils that our countries face.”

Despite live performances being hit by the world of piracy and downloading, Amanat Ali’s concerts always have a packed turnout. Many fondly remember him for ‘Mitwaa’ from ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ or ‘Yeh Hosla’ from ‘Dor’. His music has tapped into the deepest emotions of classes and masses alike.  

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