Bollywood music is no longer vibrant now: Atif Aslam
TOI caught up with singer-actor Atif Aslam for a chat on his debut film and why he does not care about critics ripping his songs apart
You were supposed to come for a concert to Ahmedabad some months back but we heard you had visa problems. After
26/11 yes, we all face visa problems. I was also busy with my concerts
in the US and so the Ahmedabad trip did not happen.
In your earlier interviews, you maintained that you'd never act despite receiving offers. What made you change your mind. I
got a little bored of doing the same thing. I wanted to do something
different and be a part of a film that had a strong social message.
Plus, I felt that given the current situation in Pakistan, everything,a
film like this needed to be made. After Khuda Kay Liye, no films
released in Pakistan. I want to act and sing and bring love and peace
through my music and movies.
Critics sometimes accuse your music of being off key and that you would not be a great singer without the music directors? To
be very honest, when the music directors ask me to sing a particular
song it is not only their song, I have given my version and my melody as
well. I have performed all over the world to packed audiences. I don't
have to be a trained musician to prove my singing abilities to my
critics. I am playing the guitar for the last five years and know how to
break into a rock song or a sad song or sing a complete commercial Bollywood
song. My songs are regularly played at discs in India. I don't consider
myself to be a great musician but my first album was a record hit in
Pakistan. And in an industry where there was no future for pop singers, I
survived, which is an example in itself.
Is crooning for Bollywood films necessary for Pakistani singers to survive? I
think Bollywood music market is going though a stagnant phase.The music
is not as vibrant as it used to be earlier. It has become formula music
for film directors. That's the reason why composers are looking for new
sounds and voices. That's why Pakistani singers are now singing a lot
of Bollywood songs. The era of RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Mohammed
Rafi is over. If you compare their music with the Himesh Reshammiya kind
of music, you know what it is all about. Personally if you ask me, the
only guy who is doing well today is Pritam (Chakraborty).
What is your take on the licensing of music content on channels as well as other mediums? Bollywood
films are very big now. The reality television shows are a big hit with
the masses with their Bollywood songs. Even if these TV shows are
scripted people are watching them. So even if we make efforts nothing
can be done to make the artists popular. Artists are doing a lot of
concerts all over the world now. Even the pop music scene in Pakistan
is picking up. It is difficult to categorize my music. I believe in
quality of music and I would like to sing songs like Le ja tu mujhe
(F.A.L.T.U)... than maybe a Tere liye (Prince) if I were to be given a
Would you consider forming a band again? Only
if it is with new members! I will work on an international project with
one of the ex-members of Guns 'n' Roses. I am thankful to all the
people I worked with in India who have made me what I am today. The
credit definitely goes to all Indians. Hopefully, I'll act in a
Bollywood film also.