It doesn’t bother me”, that’s Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali’s reaction to all the controversies and disputes that have plagued the relations between India and Pakistan.
The founder of Sufi Rock band Fuzon and the voice behind numerable hit Bollywood numbers, Ali is happy to be back in the country, which he feels welcomes artistes from across the globe.
“India has room for artistes from all over the world since Bollywood has become a very big industry. But I feel it’s even easier for us to get opportunities here because we are from just across the border. There are no language barriers and we are not very different from people in India,” says the singer, who has crooned songs such as Mitwa, Ye Honsla, Tum Mile, Bin Tere and many more.
The 47 year-old singer, who is the son of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan will be seen belting out songs on an upcoming musical show, MTV Unplugged and Ali is elated to be part of it.
He says that the concept is interesting, as the true ability of a singer can be tested on the show, owing to its format. “It’s a great concept where the concentration is on the ability of an artiste.
It brings out real talent as they remove all the digital equipment that can make any person sound good,” adds Ali. However, the process is not a cakewalk asserts the singer.
“It’s a challenging format. But since I’m a trained vocalist, it’s a bit different for me. Since I’ve done my homework, it becomes a very beautiful and positive challenge that enriches me as a musician,” reveals Ali.
Although Pakistani singers and musicians have been part of Indian films, projects and concerts even in the past, controversies regarding their invitation to India and their participation in shows have often created a furor among sections in society. However, Ali is unperturbed by this vibe. He feels it is important to focus on the positivity that others in the country offer musicians like him.
“Controversies don’t bother me. You can’t blame one person for things. It’s a free country and everyone is entitled to their opinion. On the other hand, we meet a lot of positive people as well — people who believe and want to bring the two countries closer. People who support peace will continue to do their job,” says the singer.
After splitting from his band Fuzon, Ali released two albums Tabeer and Kyun Dooriyan. A third solo album is slated to launch in the next six months.
“I haven’t shifted all my energy to the next album yet. I plan to release it in six months. The music will depend on my mood. The kind of emotions I’m going through at that time will determine the content of the album,” says Ali, who is currently occupied with his shows as well as a few other Bollywood projects.
But does he plan to ever go back to Fuzon, the band which catapulted him to success?
“I am still friends with the other band members, but I don’t think I will ever make music with them again. I was the one who founded the band and I’m the one who walked out. We’ll just leave it at that,” concludes the singer.