I’m back: Mohammed Ali Shyhaki

The singer who made pop music look good makes a comeback.

Rafay Mahmood October 12, 2011


Mohammed Ali Shyhaki, the pop star with chocolate hero looks, gained popularity soon after his entry into the Pakistani music industry in the late 1970s. He is credited with evergreen songs like “Meray Bachpan Kae Din”, “Mae Bhi Pakistan Hoon” and the pop-folk fusion with Allan Faqir  “Teray Ishq Mae”. The revamped version of “Teray Ishq Mae”, which has gone viral over the social media right after its release, marks Shyhaki’s comeback into the mainstream music scene. Currently performing a number of concerts as part of his US tour, the singer speaks to The Express Tribune about his return.

How long has it been since you released a song?

I have released a song after 10 years, and at present I’m completing the second part of my US tour. Since I had time in between the shows, my team and I thought of shooting a music video just to capitalise on the scenic beauty in America.

Will this comeback track lead to an album?

We are almost done with the remix of “Ye Mausam Aj Zara Dekhle” from the film Shore. Almost all the favourites will be revamped according to the current trends in music and film. Besides that, a great remixed version of “Teray Ishq Mein”, which is originally a beautiful hamd by poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, is almost ready for a re-edit and release. I aim to remake a number of songs with music videos, and once I have eight songs, they will be released as an album along with eight respective videos.

Whose idea was it to revamp ‘Teray Ishq Mein’ and can you formally introduce the lady in the video?

Initially, it was my idea to do the song and then make its music video. I used to chat with composer/musician/recordist Rizwan Zaidi of Igra Studio on Skype and he came up with the idea of doing a different version of “Tere Ishq Mein”. The girl in the video is Rasika, a US-based Indian singer

Do you consider your Elvis-inspired dance moves and signature hat a style statement?

I have always loved Elvis and his moves, and it reflects in my performances. I do wear hats when I’m travelling and the director thought it suited me well, so I wore it in the video. So yes, you can call it my style.

You are the same youthful and graceful person you were 10 years ago. What’s your secret?

The secret is God’s blessings, fresh fruits and no smoking (laughs).

Is there a particular message in the music video?

The aim is to send out the message that we the people, regardless of governments, politics, cast, creed, colour, race and other boundaries are one and we all believe in the divine existence of one God.

As a pioneer of pop music in Pakistan, what do you think of the present Pakistani music industry?

Some musicians are doing creative work, while others are doing routine commercial jobs. However, I have noticed that some contemporary singers expect a storm in a teacup by doing meaningless cover songs of ongoing bhangra or other hit songs. They are creating self-imagined trance, rock and pop versions, and ignoring the outburst of protests from listeners.

Do you have a message for your fans?

I’m overwhelmed by the compliments I have received through the internet, on the telephone and even verbally. I don’t have words to express my gratitude.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2011.


Raja Islam | 10 years ago | Reply

@JJ: Alamgir lives in Atlanta in the US. He is not well as his kidneys have failed and he has to undergo dialysis several times a week. He is now waiting for a kidney transplant and is also trying to raise funds through donations to pay for his treatment.

Amir | 10 years ago | Reply

welcome back sir. your featured artist is amazing as well. great alaaps by the girl.

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