In an Exclusive interview with Iqra Sarfaraz (Hip in Pakistan), the Pakistani singer and actor Atif Aslam talks about Actor In Law’s music and much more.
It won’t be wrong if we say Atif Aslam is nothing short of King Midas for our music industry because whichever song he lends his vocals to, turns into gold. Case in point are Mere Paas Paas, Hona Tha Pyaar, Woh Lamhe, Tajdar-e-Haram, and a gazillion more songs. Apart from being an instant hit on this side of the border with Aadat, Aslam has scored much more success in Bollywood than we could ever imagine with songs like Tu Jane Na and Mein Rang Sharbaton Ka. But now the time is ripe for him to serve his own film industry and the good news is, that he is very much part of the ‘revival’ of our film industry.
After spreading the magic of his voice in Bol and Ho Mann Jahan, Aslam has recently sung a song for Nabeel Qureshi’s most awaited flick, Actor in Law, which stars Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat and Om Puri. The movie will release on Eid-ul-Azha and it was recently revealed that it has a special track, Dil Yeh Dancer Hogaya, featuring our very own Atif Aslam, not only behind the camera but in front of it too.
What is Dil Yeh Dancer Hogaya all about?
It’s all about fun! It’s about bringing out the fun and cheapness inside you (laughs).
What did Nabeel Qureshi ask for when he approached you for Actor in Law. What kind of a song did he want?
He gave me a reference of a certain song. The basic reason behind doing the song is that I wanted to support our cinema and the song was good enough to convince me to become part of Actor in Law.
What’s your thought process behind selecting a song?
Okay so… there is no such thing like that. If I select a song, it means that I like the song. Its been 12 years since I have started singing and I have come to a point where anything that intrigues me, is good enough.
What are your expectations from Dil Yeh Dancer Hogaya?
Well, I like this song! I really enjoyed singing it (laughs). I created a lot of drama on stage while I was singing it since it’s a fun track and gives me room for a little performance as well (Smiles). So I hope people would love it too.
When we talk about music, what are the major differences between Pakistani music industry and Indian music industry?
Actually, the major difference is that they have a royalty and copyright system which they strictly implement. Sadly, in Pakistan, we don’t have any copyright act. We don’t implement anything. This is the reason why artists and singers don’t get any thing in return of their singing except for publicity.
Also, when you go and sing in India, you’re marketing yourself and you get a chance of gaining more publicity. This is also possible because their industry is huge.
How can we overcome these differences?
First and foremost, we need to implement a copyright act. We are growing as a industry though, which is why I lent my voice to this movie; in order to support and take part in the empowerment of our industry.
Do people in India and Pakistan have same mindset for music?
Music is music; it has no boundaries or nationality. They listen to Jal Pari more than my filmi music. So yeah…
What about movies? We haven’t seen you much in movies after Bol, Why is that?
Umm… you never know! You might see me soon in the movies (Chuckles).
On that hopeful note, our conversation with one of the most celebrated singers of Pakistan came to an end.
The lighter side of Atif Aslam
We all know that Atif Aslam is a great singer. He is an equally good human being. And he makes us proud across the border on a regular basis. But do you know what he likes to do in his free time, or which one of his song is based on his ex?
Well, we know all that and more, and we’re here to share it with you guys. Here are HIP’s 60 seconds with Atif Aslam.
If Atif Aslam was not a singer, what would he be?
Cricketer! (Smiles). I love cricket… I am a fast bowler.
Ideal day! Umm, an ideal day would be me with my wife and son chilling around on a sunny day in Europe.
If you have to go back in time and sing one of your favorite songs sung by any other singer, which song would it be?
There are quite a few songs actually. But of course it might be Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab’s Tu Mera Dil Tu Meri Jaan?
Among all your songs that you have sung so far, which one is your personal favorite and why?
I can’t name any one song though. I love Kuch Is Tarha, because it has that soul and meaning to it and Sara really likes that song. Another one is Yaqeen because it’s about my ex (laughs). I also enjoy singing Meri Kahani on stage as I can connect with the audience through that song.
You love Micheal Jackson and?
Umm, Chris Cornell, John Mayer, and Hootie in the Blowfish!
Lastly, if you would change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I believe there is not [just] ‘one’ thing that I would want to change about myself (laughs). But if I have to mention one, I would say that I should learn to praise people more. I think I don’t praise anyone or anything until and unless it is very good or simply exceptional. I am not someone who is completely pure, so yes, I would like to change that (smiles).