And now here’s another treat for his fans — Atif will be seen mentoring contestants on Sur Kshetra, a music reality show on Colors. CS caught up with the Pakistani singing sensation to know more about him:
My parents didn’t let me play for the under-nineteen cricket team. They wanted me to become an engineer. But I decided to explore myself as a singer. I collected my pocket money to put up my first song on the Internet. The song was Aadat and it became an instant hit. So I went ahead with it. And now it’s been eight years in this profession.
The changing world
I haven’t been coming up with many albums lately because the trends of albums is going through a low phase. The media is changing, the infrastructure is changing and so is the medium of music. That is why I am focusing more on singles. But I have recorded a new album and will be releasing it sometime next year.
I like the fact that the legends and the purists have the time to think about me and my singing. They are appreciating my work. I am proud of the fact that I am not trained. If a trained singer makes a mistake on stage, it looks bad. But if an untrained singer does it, it’s still forgivable, right?
Love me or hate me
About the criticism that my songs sound similar, I would say that this industry (Bollywood) makes one kind of songs. So, that’s not my fault. If some people hate my songs, that’s completely fine. Because where people like someone, there are some who hate them too. Also, along with Bollywood, I have also done music reality shows. So that balances everything.
Down memory lane
In my college days, I used to travel by a van. Things were different then. I could roam about the streets in a carefree way. Just to save my pocket money, I would take lifts to college. I recorded my first song with the same saved money. I have lots of fond memories of singing competitions with friends. My first ever singing competition was in 2001. People appreciated me right there and that’s where I got my confidence from.
If not a singer...
I never thought that I would make a career in singing. I always wanted to become a cricketer, a fast paced bowler. According to me, no one can match Wasim Akram, Sachin Tendulkar and Imran Khan. They are my idols.