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Sangeet Samman

91.9 Friends FM Sangeet Samman 2013 was a trip down memory lane at Swabhumi on Saturday

hear it from javed ali

Do you follow Bengali music?

These days I am listening to contemporary Bengali music. I have been working on songs in regional languages, including Bengali. I like Jeet Gannguli’s music.

So we will be hearing you sing in Bengali soon?

Yes yes, very much. I love the way you people speak. The language is very sweet. There is a song Kotodin pore (starts humming)…. Another one... I can’t remember the mukhra... something like Mor sajani… (starts humming) tarara...

Javed Ali performs at Rang Manch, Swabhumi, on Saturday. Pictures: Bhubaneswarananda Halder

What else are you busy with?

Thank God people are liking my songs and I am getting opportunities to work with composers such as A.R. Rahman, directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and banners like Yash Raj Films. I can’t disclose the names of the films though.... I am being offered songs of different genres, ranging from classy to melodious, romantic to perky.... I love music. I don’t choose in music. I keep listening to different genres from across the world — classical rock, Sufi, Indian and Western classical, ghazals, Western romantics....

Your earliest musical memory...

I was four or five years old. I remember my father, Ustad Hamid Hussain, teaching me a Gurbani — Mittar pyare nu, haal mureedan da kehna. This song was sung by Md. Rafi in the Punjabi film Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai (1969). I remember everyone praising me after the Gurbani.

You trained under Ghulam Ali...

Yes, Ghulam Ali sahab played a key role in my learning music. It was with him that I made my first stage performance in Calcutta in 1990. That was also the first time I got on a flight — from Delhi to Calcutta! I had missed a train to Calcutta and was very upset. Then the organisers sent me a Delhi-Calcutta flight ticket that gave me my first moment of performing with Guruji on the same stage. I don’t remember the name of the auditorium now.

Besides Ghulam Ali, who are your favourite singers?

I know it would sound cliched, but it is really difficult to choose among so many stalwarts in the music industry. I love listening to Md. Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan… the list goes on.

Who are your favourites among contemporary singers?

I like Mohit Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, KK and sometimes Lucky Ali too! Some say Luckyji is not a trained singer. But I like his voice and style of singing.

The most challenging song you have recorded so far...

Zohra jabeen from Ek Deewana Tha. The tempo of the song was such that it took me eight hours to record it!

One actor you would love to playback for?

Shah Rukh Khan.

Is SRK your favourite film star?

I like SRK, but for me Aamir Khan is the best.

What else do you enjoy doing?

I love playing cricket and carom. Another favourite pastime is watching black-and-white films such as Mughal-E-Azam. I watch a lot of cartoons and Discovery Channel programmes too.

Your thoughts about IPL-6...

The 20-20 format is very entertaining. I am from Delhi so I support Delhi Daredevils. But these days I am staying in Mumbai so when there is a Mumbai Indians match I support them. If I ever watch an IPL match in Calcutta, I promise to support KKR (laughs out loud).

Javed Ali Playlist

Jashn-e-bahaaraa (Jodhaa Akbar)

Deewana kar raha hai (Raaz 3)

Guzarish (Ghajini)

Kun faya kun (Rockstar)

Arziyan (Delhi-6)

Ishaqzaade (Ishaqzaade)

Ek din teri raahon mein (Naqaab)

Tu hi haqeeqat (Tum Mile)

Nagada nagada (Jab We Met)

Sibendu Das