I sing during my spare time as well, says Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

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I sing during my spare time as well, says Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Published: Mon 12 Sep 2016, 6:03 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Sep 2016, 5:49 PM

What better way for music lovers to celebrate Eid al-Adha than to enjoy the live performance of the legendary Qawwali singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who will perform at Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday, September 16. When we caught up with Rahat, he seemed extremely excited about the new unplugged segment, which will see him perform a stripped back acoustic set of hits like never before. The show will also have him sing classic Qawwali songs, including memorable numbers from his uncle, the late, great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The musical night will also feature many of his new songs including his recent smash hit Jag Ghoomeya from Salman Khan's Eid blockbuster Sultan.
Can you tell us more about your concert in the UAE?
This concert in Dubai can be labelled "As Never Seen Before". People have always seen me sit and perform and this time in the first half I'm in a different look and feel. It is more about being unplugged and with soulful melodies. We started this with our UK tour last month and the feedback has been overwhelming. Now, it is for Dubai to see and give their feedback.
How does it feel to perform in the UAE?
It is always wonderful to perform in the UAE as I have a special attachment to my listeners who have been giving us so much love from the days of my mentor Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan .
Throughout your career do you feel that your musical style has had to change with the changing times?
I don't think it's changed as such. I'm from a family of Qawwals and till date, the element of soulful and classical music is heard in my modern songs as well. For instance, my song Zaroori Tha from the Back 2 Love album is approaching official YouTube views of about 115,000,000... yes 115 million! Such numbers for a non-film song is not heard of. The USP of this song is the soulfulness it has along with heart-melting lyrics and may be the voice is good, I hope so!!! :)
What is it that you enjoy about performing live?
Everything... I love being on stage, it's like a child in a candy store. Every time I go on stage is like my first show. I love seeing my audience, their applause and the fact that they can listen to me for hours is an amazing feeling.
Do you have any routines that you perform before going on stage?
I get into my "stage mode" may I say before a performance and it is also a prayer I do within myself and then it's the audience and me and my magical group.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
You will surely laugh now, it's singing. I don't know any better. I love spending time with my wife, children and close friends and family.
Who are your favourite musicians in Bollywood and why?
I admire quite a few, namely, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Sajid-Wajid, Vishal Bhardwaj, Salim-Sulaiman and Himesh Reshammiya. Recently I have developed a liking to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's sense and style of music.
Who are your favourite singers in Bollywood and why?
All of them are great and wonderful singers. Lata ji and Asha ji are an institution, I'm very small as a singer to say anything about them. Then you have Sonu Nigam, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Atif Aslam and recently I have been really impressed with Arijit Singh and Palak. It will be unfair if I don't name stalwarts like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. They will always remain as the golden voice of our era.
Is it more fun to sing songs when you know it will be picturised on actors like Salman and Shah Rukh Khan?
You will be surprised; many times I never get to know who I'm singing for and yes it comes as a nice surprise if it is filmed on a prominent actor.
Do actors ever call to thank you for singing their songs so soulfully? If yes, which ones have thanked you?
They don't call me as such but yes, if and when we ever meet at a social event or a gathering they are very kind with their words and appreciation.
Who are your favourite lyricists in Bollywood?
Gulzar, Vishal Bharadwaj Irshad Kamil, Samir and several others.
How do you generally record for Bollywood songs? Do you travel to Mumbai or is it done digitally?
I have my own studio and when I'm in India it's done there too. Today the technology is so swift that one does not need to be at a certain place to record a song

By Arti Dani

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What has been a major highlight for you looking back at your career?
Being the nephew and adopted successor of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It is his teaching and my father's devotion which makes me perform the way I do. It's their magic I'm trying to continue with and take forward our family legacy of over 600 years.

Tickets are on sale now on Platinumlist.net or http://bit.ly/RahatDubaiTickets.

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