Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: I give importance to the lyrics

Feb 13, 2018, 11:51 IST | Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari

Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who is back with a song in Welcome to New York, says he is grateful to Bollywood for offering him global reach

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan continues to be a favourite among Bollywood filmmakers. After recording for seven Hindi films last year, he is back with a new song, Ishtehaar, from the upcoming film, Welcome To New York. In an exclusive interview with mid-day from Pakistan, Khan says he was content with the way the song from the Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha-starrer took the screenplay forward.

"Ishtehaar is a soulful track. The fact that it takes the story forward and is well-entrenched within the film's storyline appealed to me. The song was composed in India and I recorded my vocals at my Lahore studio," says Khan, heaping praise on composer Shamir Tandon and lyricist Charanjeet Charan. "When Shamirji offered the song to me, I instantly fell in love with its soul-stirring composition. The lyrics are beautiful, different from a majority of the tracks churned out for films these days," says the nephew of late Pakistani legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York still

Talking about the pre-requisites a song must have in order to get his nod, Khan says, "The composition is the first thing that appeals to me. I should be able to connect to a song. It should suit my voice and range. I also give importance to the lyrics. If a track has vulgar or slang words, it's an absolute no for me."

While he has hits like Mere Rashke Qamar (Baashaho, 2017), Ajj Din Chadheya (Love Aaj Kal, 2009), Jag Ghoomeya (Sultan, 2016) and Tere Mast Mast Do Nain (Dabangg, 2010), among others, to his credit, he regrets not singing Agneepath's (2011) Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin, which was eventually recorded by Sonu Nigam. "Since I was strapped for time, I couldn't take it up. That's a regret," says Khan.

However, he thanks B-Town for embracing him over the years. "Bollywood is a huge platform that has the ability to attract a global audience. It gives a fair chance to talented artistes. I respect the Hindi film industry for offering me great opportunities." Besides recording other film songs, Khan is also looking forward to his independent projects. "I am set to release a qawwali album, titled Just Qawwali, later this year. I am also looking forward to travelling the world for qawwali shows in the upcoming months. Besides being a musician, I also take classes at the department of musicology at Oxford. The sessions are conducted in a rehearsal room that has been named after me."

Vidyut Jamwal, Huma Qureshi, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at Radio City