Monday, November 17, 2008

Shafqat Amanat Ali

This ''Rock star Ustad'' from Pakistan captured millions of Indian hearts when he sang Mitwa for Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. He then won acclaim for Yeh hausla from Dor. He has also sung for films like Hello, Mumbai Cuttings and Aashayen. Now, Shafqat Amanat Ali, the seventh generation of the Patiala Gharana, has released his album Tabeer.

The singer flew down from Pakistan to meet with the Indian Idol contestants on Rubaroo. Not only did he listen to them perform, but he also gave them tips on how to better their singing. We met up with the singer on the sets.

Have you been following Indian Idol on television?

Not one hundred percent—but yes I have been following it. I think it''s amazing the kind of talent the show has found.

How would you say the talent this time is?

It''s too early to say. The last time I listened to the contestants, they had already finished their training and they were very confident when they sang. The present set of contestants is getting there.

You got a chance to interact with the contestants. Did you give them any advice?

I did give them a few tip. Like they have to learn how to handle the mike. I told them that their voice needs to remain kulla. Because if you go on the higher notes aur aap awaaz ko thoda daba le, that''s not correct—that way you lose your points, you lose the beauty of your voice. So I advised them that when you hit the high notes, just move the mike away.

Three boys performed for you. How did you find the performances and who did you think was the best?

Kuldeep’s Piya nahi bole was very passionate and Mohit''s Lal meri had soul in it. But I think Roshan’s Mitwa was the best. He was very innovative. There were choti choti murkhiyaan here and there that are not in the original song. That shows that he can be a good playback singer.

Any comments about the judges>

Javed sir has seen and heard so much, he has the right to give any judgement he wants. Annu Malek is a little strong in his comments. I think he should tone it down a little. Kailash is a singer and he give his comments from that point of view, whcih is great.

Could you tell us something about your new album? It''s called Tabeer and it is already out in the market. We started the album off as a Sufi album. But soon it changed into something else because we included lots of fusion. There is mankabat, durbari fusion, semi pop—in fact it''s a mixture of everything.