'My mantra is my prayer': Atif Aslam reveals pre-performance mindset ahead of Dubai show

The Pakistani singing sensation returns to the city for a performance with the acclaimed Firdaus Orchestra this weekend


Husain Rizvi

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Atif Aslam. Photo by Shihab/KT
Atif Aslam. Photo by Shihab/KT

Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 4:28 PM

Last updated: Fri 1 Mar 2024, 1:03 PM

Come Saturday, March 2, Dubai's musical landscape is about to witness a harmonious fusion of genres as the illustrious Pakistani singer Atif Aslam, accompanied by the spellbinding Firdaus Orchestra, takes centre stage at a much-anticipated concert at Coca Cola Arena. With a promise to deliver an unforgettable experience, Atif shares his excitement and vision for the upcoming event in an exclusive conversation with City Times.

"I am very excited to be a part of this event again because there are some new numbers like Rabba Sacheya and Channa which we didn't cover before," Atif shares, his enthusiasm palpable. "And we're fusing our songs with a lot of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's renditions. Just to hear all those renditions with the orchestra, it is a treat for me to be able to work on them. Hoping the audience will be able to enjoy that as well."

Atif Aslam performs at a concert
Atif Aslam performs at a concert

The prospect of Atif's music melding with the grandeur of Firdaus Orchestra evokes a unique anticipation. "To be honest, I've never heard an orchestra in such a way where I've wanted to create something different," Atif reflects. "At a symphony show, people expect the music to be very melodic or dramatic, but my vision is to bring the rock element and to fuse it with the Eastern instruments as well. That's a different flavour for the audience as well."

Atif's selection process for the concert repertoire mirrors his eclectic musical journey. "It completely depends," he explains. "Before getting into Bollywood, I was already a rock and pop artist. When it comes to the selection process, I fuse some of the old folk melodies that are very close to my heart with my songs."

Amidst the excitement and anticipation, Atif remains grounded, emphasising the importance of authenticity before taking the stage. "Not to care about anything and just being myself," he says, offering a glimpse into his pre-performance mindset. "My mantra is my prayer. Before going up on stage, we pray, and we wish each other good luck. Not just that, the aura of every good musician is that they bring in a lot of good energy to the stage, and that's what matters the most."

The profound connection between Atif's music and his fans is a testament to the transcendent power of melody. "I feel I am blessed," Atif acknowledges humbly. "It is just the way people respond to my songs and respond to what I create. And I would never want to take the credit for it, especially with Kalams like Tajdar-e-Haram have just been given to me to sing, and feel like prayers to me."

Dubai holds a special place in Atif's heart, with its vibrant atmosphere and diverse audience. "I definitely have a great connection with the city," he affirms, jokingly adding, "Especially during the months of December, January, and February. In the other months, we definitely have a cold war between the summers and I. But I love the city, the vibe, the people, and the diverse audience here."

Beyond the stage, Atif finds solace in simple pleasures, cherishing moments with loved ones and savouring the culinary delights of Dubai. "Catch up with friends and family, and sometimes just being by myself, sitting somewhere and observing people," he shares warmly. "And food goes without saying; my wife is actually very fond of food here. She takes me to places I've never been to, so the credit goes to her."

As the date draws near, anticipation mounts for Atif Aslam's transcendent performance alongside Firdaus Orchestra, promising an evening of music that transcends boundaries and resonates with the soul.


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