Shafqat Amanat Ali: Sky’s the limit

Classically-trained singer Shafqat Amanat Ali chats about his upcoming ventures.

Our Correspondent March 09, 2012
Shafqat Amanat Ali: Sky’s the limit


Some voices are truly timeless; their resonance penetrates borders and crosses language barriers, tugging at our heartstrings every time we listen to them. Ex-Fuzon member Shafqat Amanat Ali, who rose to great heights of fame with numbers like “Akhiyan” and “Mitwa”, is one such voice. The classically-trained singer, who recently returned from a tour to Canada, India and Dubai, shares the latest on his side with The Express Tribune.

“By the grace of God, life has been amazing,” says Shafqat, while adding that singing Pakistani songs all around the world is an overwhelming experience due to the diverse tastes of music lovers. “People in Dubai, India and Pakistan have similar concert favourites, but in places like Canada, tastes are quite diverse — some people crave for Fuzon tracks while others for Bollywood numbers.”

Stint in B-town

Ever since leaving Fuzon in 2006, Shafqat has concentrated on his solo career, keeping himself busy with recordings in the studio, working on different drama Original Sound Tracks (OST), promotional songs (for brands and corporations) and some Bollywood numbers.

The singer, who was recently shooting a video in Karachi, claims that no matter how much music he produces in Pakistan, his songs get more airtime in India than here. “Many of my new songs are simultaneously released in Pakistan and India. However, they are hardly aired on Pakistani channels and the impact is felt in concerts when the local audience can’t sing along because they don’t know the lyrics,” he says.

Hence, as the local industry faces a slump, Shafqat claims he generates a larger chunk of income from across the border and testimony to his popularity in India lies in the fact that his latest songs for Bollywood films Jodi Breakers and Love Breakup Zindagi have gathered immense following. Currently, the singer is producing a song for an Indian 3D film which is in the making.

When asked which Indian music director he prefers to work with, Shafqat replies, “It’s very difficult to give one name because all of them have a distinct style. But I would really like to work with people I haven’t worked with, someone like Vishal Bhardwaj or maybe AR Rahman.”

Inside the Patiala Gharana

Reminiscing about the stalwarts of the famous Patiala Gharana (the musical family that Shafqat hails from), we ask Shafqat about the future torchbearers of the family name. According to Shafqat, Amjad Amanat Ali’s sons Salman Amjad and Ali Amjad are ready to enter the industry whereas Sikander Asad (Asad Amanat Ali’s son) is also waiting for the right time to surprise everyone.

“Even my own 15-year-old son Saadat Ali Bakhs is getting formally trained from the gharana but before getting into music he has to complete his proper schooling and education,” says Shafqat proudly.

Bollywood awards and nominations

2012 — Nominated for Best Male Playback Singer at the Filmfare Awards — “Dildaara” from Ra.One

2012 — Nominated for Best Playback Singer Male at the Zee Cine Awards — “Dildaara” from Ra.One

2011 — Nominated for Best Male Playback Singer at the Filmfare Awards — “Bin Tere” from I Hate Luv Storys.

2011 — Nominated for the Global Indian Film Awards Best Playback Singer Male Awards — “Mitwa” from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna


Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.


Junaid | 12 years ago | Reply Good going, shafqat bhai.,, U r also a gud composer, And 'm waiting for ustad asad's son sikandar...
Dr Omar | 12 years ago | Reply

@ ALI & SPY MASTER: I agree we have a very talented music industry/artists! But in-order for them to have financial security they need to find work (playback singing and live concerts etc) This is how artists from all over the world earn!

But unfortunately our industry (for numerous reasons) is not churning out enough music or film opportunities and thus it should be no surprise that artists are looking to other places for work! Sadly quite a few of our now famous artists initially came to prominence in India (Rahat Fateh Ali singing "Man Ki Lagan")

Thus it would be wise to encourage such collaborations; for they not only provide work but also learning opportunities for our people and secondly more local opportunities need to be provided to the artists along with royalties for their albums (stronger implementation of copyright laws) if we want them to produce more work for us!

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