I plan to sing in different languages of the world: Ali Zafar

The ‘Larsha Pekhawar’ singer revealed that he recently recorded a song in Chinese


Entertainment Desk October 21, 2021

Singer Ali Zafar recently sat down for an interview with Khaleej Times to announce that he had been conferred with a golden United Arab Emirates visa. The golden visa ia long-term residence visa for the UAE that is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, as well as individuals who display exceptional talent in the fields of art, sciences and sports. The singer also shed light on his future plans and his thoughts on getting back to live performances. Ali is currently in the UAE to attend the Dubai Expo 2020. 

Speaking about his reason behind visiting the city, the Channo singer explained, “I’m here because I have been honoured by the UAE government with a Golden Visa, and I want to thank the UAE and its government for bestowing this honour on me. I’ve had a long association with Dubai, UAE, the MENA region, the entire media here as well as the people. It feels good.”

Shedding light on what he loves about Dubai, Ali added further, “The last time I was here was before Covid, which was in February for an awards show. Now that I have come back here, the place looks even more promising and absolutely delightful. And what I really admire about this place is that it sort of sets an example for the world as to how people from different cultures, ethnicities, and faiths can co-exist so harmoniously together and thrive in society and in life.” 

On what the Golden visa means to the singer, and how he feels it can benefit artists, Ali shared, “For me, the spirit of an artist is all about freedom, to express oneself through one’s art; the freedom to be able to move around in different countries and states and meet your fans freely whenever you wish to, without having to go through the process again and again.”

Explaining how it is all the more convenient for Indians and Pakistanis due to a large number of expats in the UAE, he said, “For me and my family, it will just be convenient to be able to travel a lot more, produce a lot more work, do a lot more collaborations in the field of arts, primarily music and movies, and now we have OTT platforms (also). Already very interesting things have been cooking since I have been here for the last four-five days, which you shall Inshallah see in the future.”

Reflecting on the artistic process behind his latest offering, the pashto folk song Larsha Pekhawar, as well as how well it has been received by fans across the border, Ali shared, “I started doing regional numbers (because) I felt that Pakistani culture was largely misrepresented globally. We have a beautiful culture; it’s diverse, but at the same time cohesive also."

“So, I felt that people from different provinces - like Baloch people, or sometimes Pashtuns, are misunderstood, the sort of perception that they have and the kind of people that they are. It’s the same with Sindhis and Punjabis. So I decided to sing in their language and project their culture through whatever humble means I could - my songs. I started with a Baloch song, and that got such huge appreciation; it was a song with a 12-year-old girl, Urooj Fatima. Then I did a Sindhi song. These are folk tunes, and people said 'you have to do one in Pashto', so I did Larsha Pekhawar.” 

The singer revealed that he plans to release more songs in various languages, saying, “I’m going to continue this series, and I plan to sing in different languages of the world - I’ve sung a song in Chinese - that was the most difficult language to sing in!”

On the uniting power of music, he commented, “If you look at history, do you think there is anything above and beyond music that really unites people? I don’t think so. Music is that one force where if a song or a piece or a symphony is playing, everybody is tuned into that same frequency with each other. That binds and brings people together in a way that no other force can.” 

Speaking about his contribution to the soundtrack of Pehli Si Muhabbat, Ali reflected on the importance of music in films and television. “They tell me it does - the producers and the director say that the soundtrack has really helped people connect with the emotion and the ethos of the series.”

“For this song in particular, the brief was that it had to be used in different situations, whether it was a sad situation or a happy one. So then I tried to render it in a way that it has happiness, sadness, longing and closeness. All those emotions in that one song - that’s what I tried to do with it.”

The singer recently performed Larsha Pekhawar live and also hosted a local awards show. On going back to live performances after the pandemic, Ali explained, “I thrive and feel live when I’m on stage. I’m a performer - that’s what I do! During Covid when we couldn’t perform in the open, that was a difficult time, but one gets to learn a lot.”

On his love for the stage, he added, “The stage is my thing; I love to be on stage, and I especially wanted to go and perform at the Rawalpindi Stadium after the New Zealand team left. Just to show that, here I am among thousands of people, performing, and I am absolutely safe.”

Sharing his feelings about the state of cricket in Pakistan, the singer said, “We would love for cricket to come back to Pakistan. It has gone through a lot. It deserves the glory, the recognition, the support of the international community. In my own way I keep contributing to my country’s image and its prosperity.”

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