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Atif's interview in Smash!

An Exclusive Interview with Atif Aslam

Atif candidly speaks to Smash! about himself, his music and JAL!

Birthday: 12th March 1983

Star Sign: Pisces

Life Motto: To make people happy

Favourite Food: Chinese Food

Favourite Dishes: Bhel Puri, Pani Puri

Favourite Movies: Castaway, Legends of the fall, Fight Club, Parinda, Jal Pari, Yugpurush

Favourite Songs:"My Confession" by Richard Marx, "Where were you" by Pink Floyd,                       "Tere bin nahin lagta dil mere" by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Favourite Singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Influences on his music: All types of music but mostly Eastern Classical Music

School you attended: Divisional Public School

Best Subject: Maths

Worst Subject: Social Studies, Pak Studies

University: Punjab College of B.A.

Other interests, pastimes: Sketching cartoons, meeting prople

Favourite television programs: Popeye, Sur


1.Let's start with your musical background.

Well, I don't have any professional training in singing. It's a gift from God that I discovered only 3 years ago.

2.So, how did you become interested in music?

Well, I was always a huge music fan and I listened to all types of music as a teenager. Then one day when my parents were out, I sang a Kishore Kumar song 'Zindagi ki safar' out load in the empty house and I loved the sound of that song. Since then I felt that I could sing. That was 3 and a half years back.


3.How did your music career begin?

Well, my music career began with me singing the songs I loved. In university, I played the guitar and sang in public functions and I always received incredible feedback from the audience and fellow musicians. They urged me to start as a singer. A few weeks later I was at a friend's birthday party and that's when I met Goher. We started talking about music and about the guitar and that's how "Jal" was formed.


4.Was there any friction between you and your parents when it came to music?

Yes there was. My parents wanted me to continue with my studies, they wanted me to study further. But music was the only thing on my mind. In fact, I made my first real song without my parents knowing about it.


5.Where was your first concert?

 Well, I did a lot of free concerts. As I said before I performed a lot of public events and college functions. But my first real concert was at McDonalds. I was paid 500 rupees for that performance.


6.Tell us about how the process of creating your album "Jalpari" began?

 I got the number for Mekaal Hassan's studio from Faakhir's guitarist. I went to his studio and that was where I recorded my first song. Another person I met doing gigs was Salman Albert who played the drums on "Aadat".


7.How do you come up with ideas?

They just pop into my head, it's very hard to sit down and think of an idea. It comes to me naturally.


8.Do you create the music for your songs first or the lyrics?

It depends on how I get the idea. Often it takes me an hour to pen down the lyrics to a tune that I thought of at the spur of the moment. Sometimes I just get the line of the song in my head while I'm doing nothing. It's an instinctive process.


9.How did you create the song Aadat?

 Well, the first line of the song "Ab to Aadat se hai mujh ko" just popped into my head when I as singing the Kishore Kumar song at home. I then worked on the song in the studio for a year to add lyrics and to polish the tune.


10.How did you create the song Bheeghi Yaadein?

The song is about friendship. And the idea of the song came at a huge gathering of friends when we were about to go our separate ways. We were discussing old times and that's when the idea for Bheeghi Yaadein came to me.


11.What is the most difficult part of creating a song?

 The arrangement of the song is very difficult. Usually music and lyrics come instinctively to artists. But the components of the song like the beats and the tempo require a lot of effort. The kind of groove to add to a song to make it catchy, the speed of the beats and the tempo, the combination of instruments needs a lot of hard work. But the most important thing to manage after all the combination and planning is to ensure that the song had an impact on the listener.


12.Which songs are you the most proud of on the album?

 Well, I love all the songs on the album. But I am very happy with the rhythms of Ehsaas and Gul Sun Ja. I think the most heartfelt song on the album was Yaqeen and the song I am most proud of from a creative point of view is Bheeghi Yaadein.


13.Which was the most difficult song to create on the album?

 Well, every song required a lot of effort, but the music for the song zindagi took a very long time.


14.What difficulties did you face in establishing yourself as an artist?

I had complete creative feeling when I was making the album, and I am very grateful for that. That's why I feel as though a piece of my soul is in the album. Thankfully, everything went smoothly during the creation of the album. But while I was establishing myself I met a lot of leg pullers and so called organizers who made empty promises.


15.Were you ever betrayed?

 Not exactly betrayed but misled. But actually I feel that the struggle and the opposition help you grow as an artist. In fact the hurt I felt at being misled by these leg pullers gave me inspiration for many of my songs.


16.Is that why the album has such a melancholic tone to it?

I guess so. The important thing is to never be discouraged and to keep on persevering and making sure that your songs are heartfelt. And in that sense meeting people, experiencing new things good or bad help you because your music becomes more personal and meaningful.


17.Tell us about your childhood, how did you do at school?

Well, in my early years I was a very good student. In fact I received a double promotion. But as I got older and made new friends my interests started to change towards music and cricket. I bunked a lot of classes later on in school. I was selected to play for the Pakistan Under 19 cricket team. I used to lie to my parents about having to go to a friend's house when I was actually going to the nets to practice. But the cricket career didn't work out, as my parents didn't allow me to go to the training camp in Lahore. Otherwise I might have been a right arm fast bowler for Pakistan.


18.Is that a regret?

 No not at all. Music is very important for me. I am involved in my music, it's a career for me.


19.Would you continue making music of you weren't successful?

 Yes I would. Music satisfies me and satisfaction is more important than money.


20.How do you feel about performing live?

I love it. The reaction you get from a crowd is wonderful. Performing live is definitely better than singing in a studio.


21.Many artists say that the equipment in Pakistan isn't suitable for performing live. Is that true?

No I don't agree with that. The only problem is that the event organizers prefer solo artists in live performances, as bands have to be paid more since they have more performers.


22.How is the life of a music star?

 You live in two worlds. You live as yourself and your image in the media. It's a different world on television. You are a different person from yourself on the screen. But I must admit it is very hard work, but at the same time there is nothing better doing than what you love doing.


23.Do you like making videos?

 No I don't like appearing in videos. But it must be done you need to get exposure on television if you want to be successful.


24.What do you think of the Aadat video?

I thought it was alright. If I made the video I would have had an Angel in it but since we live in a conservative society we couldn't follow that idea through. I think if I had a greater say in the creative process it could have been a better video but still I think the directors did a very good job and the reaction to the video was great.


25.What are your future plans?

Well, my next album will be out in two years time.


26.What is your ultimate ambition?

Well I would like to be an international superstar like the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. His pitch was superb and the emotion he conveyed through his voice was awesome.


27.Do you plan to move into acting?

 Maybe, only if I feel I have the potential.


28.What do you think about Jal?

 I can only pray for Jal.


29.Have you tried getting back together?

Yes I have tried but it never seems to work out.


30.What was the reason for the split?

 Well it was mostly financial reasons. There were differences in the pay and they objected to that. But that wasn't the biggest problem. There was a TV show that I wasn't informed about. The organizers were told that there had been a death in my family and that I couldn't perform. It was a lie of course and I didn't feel I could continue working without the trust of my band members.


31.What would be your advice to up and coming artists?

Try to come out with something new, make your music unique so that people recognize you. Keep interacting with people, talk to everyone about music and try new things. There will be problems on the way up but that is the part of the learning process. Persevere and you will be successful. The Pakistani music scene has a lot of potential and with the new television channels coming up things have never been better

Category: Atif aslam interview | Added by: Danoo (2009-07-25) W
Views: 18552 | Comments: 5 | Tags: atif aslam in smash | Rating: 1.1/222
Total comments: 5
0 Spam
5 aneeta nazeer  
i like u atif your songs is best and u are so cute and handsome i love your style and your all songs is best your smile is cute

0 Spam
4 Sanam  
smile love kiss kiss kiss kiss smile I love atif aslam he is sooo good but,some of these things are wrong

0 Spam
3 irfan  
happy hay'

0 Spam
2 irfan  

0 Spam
1 sikandar  
cry biggrin

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