Interview featuring Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan!

Posted by: Adhika | Posted on: March 26th, 2013 | No Comments




He is one of the most versatile and popular singers on the Bollywood circuit. However, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s repertoire is far deeper than his film hits. A child prodigy, he gave his first public performance at the age of 10 or 11 when he toured the UK with his famous uncle, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1985. He has come a long way since then, touring the world, collaborating with international artistes, giving music to acclaimed Hollywood hits and mentoring talent from India and Pakistan. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that with his language of qawwali and classical music, he has changed the language of films music as well. The good news for Rahat fans is that the maestro is coming back to the Middle East with a concert on April 4 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. We caught up with the man himself on his music, love for movies and the Salman Khan connection!

You have come to the Middle East often for concerts. What makes this region so special for you as a performer?
It is home away from home for me. This region has a lot of diversity; so many Indians and Pakistanis have been settled here for decades. Even the locals are extremely fond of our music.

You have a large repertoire of hits. How do you select songs for a concert?
I am often asked this question. I usually know the first and the last song, the rest depends on the reaction, demand and the mood of my audience. I interact with my audience a lot. Nothing is pre-planned but I do ensure that I sing all my latest songs. So at my concert in Abu Dhabi I will be singing some of my latest hits like Dagaabaz Re from Dabangg 2 and also Yeh Hulki Hulik Khumariaa from Son of Sardaar apart from immortal qawwalis.

Which composer in Bollywood today, do you think, brings out the best in you as a singer?
It will be hard to name one person. It is also a decade since I have been singing in the Bollywood and I believe that every composer has given great music. To name one will be unfair. Sajid-Wajid, Pritam, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Vishal Bharadwaj, Himesh Reshammiya have all come out with fantastic scores.

Some of your biggest hits have been with Salman Khan. What is he like to work with?
I share a very close bond with the Khan family, especially with Arbaaz bhai and Salman bhai. It is natural and thankfully my songs for Salman bhai have been huge hits. I feel the name Salman is lucky for me! My current international promoter who is doing this mammoth world tour is also named Salman!

How essential is it for an actor to have an ear for music?

It’s very important as in many instances it is the music and the songs which make the movie famous along with the story and the dialogues.

You have a huge fan following. Have you ever considered getting in front of the camera and giving acting a shot?
Now you have made me laugh! I am happy being a singer and not an actor. I do not have a desire to act as I am very content with my singing.

Which are the other singers – past and present – whose voice you admire?
Every singer in his or her way is admirable. For me of course Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will come first followed by greats like Rafisaab, Lataji, Mukeshsaab, Kishore Kumarji among others. Of the current generation, I like Sonu Nigam, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan and even Shreya Ghoshal.

Special thanks to for this interview with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Please join us on our facebook group at ‘Prem United’ to join our conversation and to post your thoughts about this interview!!


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