The asli rockstar
It was Salim Merchant who coined the term 'Rockstar Ustad' for Shafqat Amanat Ali and the latter admits that the phrase has stuck. "Most of what I've done this far is fusion and for that you need to have knowledge of both genres - classical and western.
In that sense I think the phrase fits,” says the talented singer from Pakistan, who’s enthralled us with beautiful songs like Mitwa, Bin Tere and Dildara. Shafqat’s next album will be released on the digital platform, as he feels that the web is clearly the future for music. Shafqat, who was in the city recently, speaks to CS about his upcoming projects and his love for Indian audience:
Singing for films and singing for private albums — both have their own charm. With private albums my creativity comes out in various areas including composing, lyrics, and it’s left to the discretion of the listener to form a picture in his head. In films it is someone else’s thought you are interpreting and someone else’s composition, so it is always a challenge to do justice to it. It is also picturised onto a situation which you need to convey in your rendition.
Physical CDs are now facing a lot of issues due to piracy and illegal downloading. Moreover web is what makes one’s music available globally on various platforms and is clearly the future for music. It has a lot of potential so I feel it would be good to make the album for a platform which is futuristic.
Music transcends borders
Music has always been the bridge between our countries and as far as our two countries go, it has always helped to further the cause of peace and bring people together. Music is the one thing that transcends borders, politics and any other differences to bring people together on a common ground of human emotions. I feel very proud and happy that I have been appreciated and it feels great to know that music is beyond politics… I have always felt at home here and people have always given me a lot of love and warmth.
Concerts to remember
Performing for colleges is a lot of fun as it’s a different audience and the energy is just amazing. My most memorable performances here were in Presidency College Kolkata some years ago and IIFT Delhi in 2011. Brilliant turnout and it just kept increasing till the end rather than being the other way round.