After spending a couple of months raising funds for his double kidney transplant in Pakistan, legendary singer Alamgir finally left for his home in Atlanta, US on Monday.
During his visit he performed live at a number of occasions and one could see that he hasn’t stopped practising, as his vocal talent has evolved him into a melodious powerhouse.
In his last press conference before flying to America, Alamgir, one of the pioneers of pop music, shared his views on the present scenario pop music in the country and thanked pop singers Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar for keeping the genre alive in Pakistan.
“I’m thankful to Atif and Ali for keeping pop alive. It’s because of them that I feel my music still has a place in today’s music scene,” said Alamgir at the Karachi Arts Council. Elaborating on this statement, he added that the two singers brought back melody and star appeal in Pakistan, which was missing for a long time. “It is because of them that my comeback after 18 years has been a smooth one and even the generations who are listening to me for the first time accepted my style of music immediately, which is amazing,” stated Alamgir.
Alamgir, however, wasn’t impressed by the quality of music being produced in Pakistan these days. “Even in our times there was a big chunk of quality music being made for mature listeners and a small chunk for kids but sadly, the ratio has been reversed now,” he explained. “The more you cater to a specific audience the more time bound your music becomes. Artists should stop focusing on specific groups of listeners and just make music for everyone,” he told The Express Tribune.
While commenting on the recent influx of Pakistani musicians in the Indian market, Alamgir remains convinced that the Indian pop genre has always been inspired by Pakistani pop music. “Indians have always followed the footsteps of our pop musicians because they have never had a pop industry of their own and this will continue to happen. Indian music only revolves around Bollywood, which makes it very formula based.”
However, the singer stated that he is worried about the present state of Pakistani music industry and fears it may collapse if seasoned artists don’t help budding musicians. “I’m worried about what’s going to happen to the industry. Singers like Shafqat Amanat Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are our real assets and I hope contemporary musicians learn something from them.”
Decades of sheer hard work and passion for music paid off for Alamgir. The government finally awarded him the Pride of Performance for his contribution to Pakistani music and Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad also gave him a donation of $50,000 for his treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2012.
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