Even though he's a relatively new entrant in the music industry, Atif Aslam needs no introduction. Going from Jal to 'Jal
Pari' since 'Aadat' hit the airwaves, it has been quite a ride for the
vocalist. So we caught up with Atif to talk about his music, fame, and
his plans of venturing into the acting arena! By popular demand, here's
Us: Your debut
album 'Jal Pari' has done extremely well since it was released last
year. Were you expecting it to be as successful as it was?
Aslam: First of all, thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity to
speak to the readers of Us. I was also a very regular reader of Us in
my school days. This is a wonderful platform for the young and talented
people of Pakistan to express (themselves). The majority of my fans are teenagers and this interview will provide me a nice bridge to approach those fans.
Coming to my album, I
wasn't expecting it to be this big a hit. Although I worked hard to
record it and was considering it to be a good album according to my
input, but God has been extremely kind to me by giving me this much
success, which is far beyond my expectations. He has showered His
enormous blessings on me, and I'm always thankful to Him for this.
Us: Any personal favourites out of the tracks on the album?
Atif: All of them are my heart's favourites, but I personally like 'Aadat' and 'Bheegi Yaadain'.
Us: In your opinion, how much of the success does the album owe to 'Aadat'?
Well, you always need to have a strong kind of song for entering into
the music market, and 'Aadat' did really well. I owe a lot to it, but
the biggest thing that came with it was the confidence boost I got, and
I really felt that I should do more and better songs
Us: So, how has fame been treating you since that song became a hit?
Everything is nice, but it is not an easy profession, even though it
seems to be. It demands more attention and input than any other
profession. Sometimes it literally burns you out because of the hectic
schedules. It really feels great to give autographs and to receive
special treatment, but at the same time, I feel that its a great
responsibility on me not to disappoint my fans, and I also feel that
when people love you more than anybody else, then they honour your
words and they can be motivated to do good deeds because of this bond
of likeness. I wish I could really do something for the youth of this
Us: How has your experience of performing live been so far?
I think the real spirit of any concert is that it should be live, from
the vocals to the instruments - everything. This shows the real
capability of the singer, whether he can rock the audience or not. By
the grace of Allah, most of my concerts went very well. The livelier
the audience, the better the performance.
Us: Any performance that stands out from all the rest?
One of my best concerts was the one that took place on the 29th of
December last year at Alhamra Open-Air Theatre. Fun, screams, clapping,
dance, autographs, photographs...there was everything. It was one of
the highest-pitched crowds I had ever heard in my life, due to the
screams of the 3000 girls in the audience. Second good one was at the
National Park Islamabad with Noori where 32,000 people were present to
attend the concert, and it really boosted our confidence manifold.
Us: Of the videos that you've done so far, which one is your favourite? And
Which one did u have the most fun making?
My personal favourite is 'Aadat'. Being my debut video, it was really
full of excitement and fun. I performed 18 times on the whole song. It
was shot at a warehouse in Karachi and we did continuous shooting for 15 hours. It was really tiring, but in the end I was really satisfied.
Us: Which video are you planning to release next? And when will it be out?
We are working on some other projects right now, and as soon as we get
some time, we will be launching our next video. It will most probably
be of one of the best hits of my album. I think there should be a
balanced number of TV appearances. Otherwise, if you overdo it and
release a lot of videos, then people get fed up of you.
Your entire album is available for download very easily on various
websites, including your own website (h3o.info). Don't you think this
hurts album sales?
Well, this is a small world nowadays and the Internet is one of the
best sources to send your message to a maximum number of people around
the globe. So we've put the album there for our projection. Talking
about the cassette sales, there are so many people who are producing
pirated mp3 CDs underground and selling them in the market. So we
thought that it's better that they should download our music from our
website rather than downloading it from other websites and buying
Us: What kind of music do you like to listen to? Any favourite artists? Influences?
Atif: We have a collection of more than 8,000 songs
At home, n I have a very divesed kind of
absorption for music of almost every nature. But my personal favourite
is Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab. He has been a great source of
inspiration to me. He is a heart mender; the healing capability of his
songs and voice is matchless. The conditions of isolation, betrayal and
being down to earth are so very well depicted in his songs that he is
one of my all time favourites. His voice and music is so powerful that
it literally shifted our youth towards our basics and core values.
Along with Khan Sahab, Kishore Kumar is my inspiration; a very natural
singer who never learned singing from anybody. The way he sang tragedy
songs in India, no one else did.
Us: You've been juggling studies and music for quite some time now. Doesn't it all get too hard to handle?
It was really tough when I was in the last semester of BCS but again
God was very kind to me and I cleared my graduation with a respectable
GPA. I immediately joined MBA after graduation, but right now I am
unable to give proper time to studies so I thought I'd better take a
Us: According to your website, cricket has been one of your biggest passions in life and you wanted to join the Pakistan cricket team as a fast bowler. Any regrets on going for a music career and not taking up cricket professionally?
Well, I think whatever God does, holds some good in it. I don't have
any regrets for not taking cricket as my career but I would love to
play a one-day international for the national team.
Us: When are you planning to release your second album?
Atif: I think it will take another year to release it, and I will try my best to give quality music to my fans.
Us: What's planned for the coming months?
Atif: Nothing special - doing music, concerts, and probably some TV serials as well to test my acting skills.
Us: Any message for your fans
I would like to say that I would always need your support and prayers.
I would also like to advise them not to waste their time and spend
their free time in some kind of creative work, whether it is music,
sports or something which makes their senses more sharp and active,
rather than chasing girls in shopping malls.
the end I would love to thank all of my fans, friends and family,
particularly my parents and my brothers Shahzad, Shahbaz and Sheraz,
for their unremitting support. God has bestowed me with a very
supportive and talented family. My eldest brother Shahzad is an
engineer as well as a photographer. He has always been a sincere guide
for me on all the aspects of my career. Shahbaz is an MBA and a great
dress designer. Also, he is managing my concerts and TV appearances.
Lastly, Sheraz is a computer graduate like myself, a very creative
graphic designer, and above all, my very good friend. God Bless you
all. Love you all!