Lucky Ali recently performed at Windsong — the country’s first-ever Indian bands-only fest — in Goa. Though currently stationed in London, he likes to travel and perform. The light-eyed crooner does what he wants to and doesn’t conform to norms, be it in his career or life.
Beginning his ballad-based musical journey with the album Sunoh, Lucky is keen on completing the cycle with his next, tentatively titled Phir Sunoh. We caught up with him in a jovial mood where he shared his thoughts, likes and dislikes…
How do you describe your journey so far?
Truthful. I’ve been very honest with my art and vice versa. There was no time for pretense so I don’t have any regrets.
Would you call yourself a gypsy?
(Laughs) No, not at all. I’d say I act according to the state of my mind at a given moment. I try to keep myself free from labels put on artistes by our adorable media. If you really want to name me, call me a free spirit.
Does that explain why you have shied away from Bollywood?
It’s not like that. If I like a track offered to me, I go ahead and do it. Didn’t I sing Hairat in Anjaana Anjaani? I liked that song. Talking about the Hindi film industry in general, I don’t have to run around for work. I’m happy in my own space creating the kind of music I love.
What are your thoughts about the current music scenario?
I don’t have an opinion on it. Some are indeed good while others aren’t. In the end, people are the ones who decide what they want to listen to. They could choose anything from a soulful song to a lively one to a rather senseless item number.
So you’re happy with the quality of music?
I’ve worked with some of the finest and I’m currently working with talented folks like Vishal-Shekhar and Vikas Bhalla. Anybody with a soulful song is my hero. I don’t have favourites. But then, there are people I can’t stand because they steal music. I don’t want to take names but you know who they are. They have this false sense of achievement and I wonder how they live with themselves.
Anything happening on the acting front?
I’m an actor too but the type of films I want to be part of happen far and between. And the offers I generally receive are clichéd. Having said that, it doesn’t bother me when there is nothing to look forward to in terms of acting. If not films, then music hi sahi.
You’ve been doing so many things at once—being a singer, actor, lyricist—how do you manage?
I don’t try to do everything simultaneously. There’s always space allotted to each one of them. When a certain impulse has to happen, it happens. I don’t believe in priorities when it comes to art. Nothing supersedes anything in my book.
And you’ve been an organic farmer too?
I was, yes, but I’m not actively involved anymore. It was in Bangalore where I got drawn to the idea of farming. I believe I promoted it for the value it creates for people. I’m still vocal about it. In fact, I represent the farmers in association with Oxfam as an ambassador. That’s quite an honour as well a responsibility towards the farming community. After all, they are the hands that feed us. We need to be understanding and respectful and support our local farmers, not the local supermarket.
Does that mean you’re against FDI?
Not exactly. What I’m saying is let’s not denigrate the value of our farmers. Given the agrarian nature of our economy, they work really hard and are usually a thankless lot. (Pauses) It’s a personal view and I feel something more concrete has to be done for the farmers. Wal-Marts will come and go. Farmers shall remain.
What has been the high point and the low point of your career?
I haven’t reached the high point yet and the low point has to be the stress that comes with constant travelling.