Alamgir: ‘I am thankful to Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam’

Published: May 25, 2012
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Singer Alamgir was flattered by the respect and appreciation he received from his many fans in Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

Singer Alamgir was flattered by the respect and appreciation he received from his many fans in Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: 

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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Reader Comments (24)

  • SHABBIR BHEDA
    May 25, 2012 - 8:52PM

    Wishing you all the best in your treatment. We are and will carry on praying for your full recovery.

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  • May 25, 2012 - 9:04PM

    I used to sing his songs as a child. There’s something about his music that holds sentimental value in my heart. He truly is a Pakistani Legend. God bless him.

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  • gp65
    May 25, 2012 - 9:43PM

    First of al wish him a speedy recovery. I disagree with the following statement he made “Indian music only revolves around Bollywood, which makes it very formula based”

    Indian music is not just in Hindi. You have Gujarati garba, sugam sangeet Marathi lavani and natya sangeet, punjabi bhagra/pop, bengali rabindra sangeet etc.

    Also there is wide listenership for Hindustani and Carnatic classical music exponents – both vocal and instrumetal. Then there are singers who specialize in bhajans, ghazals, folk music etc.

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  • Ahmad Jawad
    May 25, 2012 - 10:06PM

    Alamgir,
    you rock, and I hope all goes well with your kidney transplants.

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  • Pollack
    May 25, 2012 - 10:14PM

    “Indian music only revolves around Bollywood, which makes it very formula based”

    That sounds like an ignorant statement for anyone who has an iota of knowledge about Indian music. Maybe he confuses Bollywood music for Indian music. Indian music scene is the most diverse in the whole world. No other culture has the diversity in music that Indian culture has produced. Bollywood is basically one form of hindi music. That’s it. There is a big world out there outside Bollywood.

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  • AnisAqeel
    May 25, 2012 - 10:19PM

    Wishing you fast and full recovery.

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  • Pakistani
    May 25, 2012 - 10:31PM

    Grew up listening to ur songs… wish u a speedy recovery :)

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  • Pinto
    May 25, 2012 - 11:12PM

    Ali zafar-horrible actor Atif – rubbish singer

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  • alphamale
    May 25, 2012 - 11:18PM
  • Rahul
    May 25, 2012 - 11:55PM

    @alphamale Please come out of bollywood mind set . Till now 4 indians and 7 albums by indian artist have won GRAMMY awards .How many so called “pop” artist from pakistan have won ?? . Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and tabla player Zakir Hussain along with A.R.Rahman(two Grammy Awards ) have won grammy awards .These are real musians from India.

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  • Humble Pakistani
    May 26, 2012 - 12:35AM

    @ Rahul. I am soory to say that you seem to nevr have heard of Nusrat Fathe Ail Khan. He was called by thr “Rolling Stone” Magazine. The voice of the century. That too many years after his death. Not one musician has come even close to his greatness. Just ask one of your grammy award winners!

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  • alphamale
    May 26, 2012 - 1:37AM

    Bollywood mindset? Could not care less about bollywood. Get out of everyone-is-in-bollywood-mindset mindset.

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  • alphamale
    May 26, 2012 - 1:41AM

    I can’t help it if the white man (which you apparently hold in high super-caste regard) have not given nusrat fateh ali khan a “Grammy” award.

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  • Owais
    May 26, 2012 - 3:07AM

    @Rahul
    And still you need Pakistani singers to sing songs for your movies. If indian singers are that good then let them handle your music scene and stop running after Rahat Fateh, Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar and many other Pakistani singers. Please recognize true talent. Grow up!!

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  • just logic
    May 26, 2012 - 3:22AM

    alright – a little confused. why does he need a “double” renal transplant when most people can just do with a single kidney transplant?

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  • Syaad
    May 26, 2012 - 4:36AM

    @Rahul:
    Even the recent Dabang hit ” Munni badnaam huyee” was lifted from 1992 Omar sharif song ” Ladka badnaam hua hasina tere liiye”. You can search it on YouTube. If you are that good then why do you have tthe need to lift the Pakistani songs, I guess the Grammy Awards qualifies you to do so.

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  • Pollack
    May 26, 2012 - 10:41AM

    @alphamale:
    “Pollock, This is what he is talking about: http://reformistani.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/indias-blatant-plagiarism-of-pakistani-culture/

    Again you are going back to Bollywood and confusing Bollywood music for Indian music.

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  • Basit
    May 26, 2012 - 11:32AM

    @Pollack:
    Except for classical music, most other Indian music is based around Bollywood which formulaic and backwards. Rock, punk, metal, fusion, folk and pop is what Pakistan excels at. Some of it can be seen in cokestudio programs on youtube. Worlds apart from typical popular Indian music which is still heavily Bollywood.

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  • Indian
    May 26, 2012 - 12:11PM

    @Pakistani Friends

    It is not true that Indian music is only Bollywood music.
    There are many artists in India who are involved into folk,classical,ghazals,pop music,etc.

    It is just that Bollywood music completely overshadows other forms of music in India. Hence very few people actually know about musicians and singers who are not in Bollywood music.

    If you think Pakistani Singers are better than our Singers, then so be it.
    We just want to enjoy music, be it from Pakistan or India.Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    May 26, 2012 - 1:13PM

    @Indian:
    I wish the other Indian trolls also exhibit such unbiased / large hearted attitude instead of cynical / hateful / preconcieved remarks. Thanks and let there be peace. If we have to fight let it be with musical instruments instead of guns.

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  • galli ki larki
    May 26, 2012 - 1:33PM

    the news conference was on Monday and the story is covered on Saturday??

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  • Rahul
    May 26, 2012 - 3:29PM

    @owasis Dude we don’t want your singers . Please take them back . They come to india for monetary benfits . Infact sunidhi chauhan once openly said that Atif cannot sing .Inspite of this comment he wants to come and sing in india. He can reject the offers which we can get in bollywood . This itself gives you answer.
    @syaad Then they could have easily claimed for copyright violation .Why dint they do that ?
    @humble pakistan . Dude even I have listeined to Nusrat saab .He is a great singer .no doubts. I never took his name . I just wanted to give do a reality check and truth is Grammy awards are biggest awards in music industry. Even a nominaation is considered great.
    @alphamale. We dont consider white or black .You have to compete with best in the world.

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  • Syaad
    May 28, 2012 - 6:46AM

    @Rahul:
    What a novel idea ” Claim copy rights” for lifting Pakistani music, where? in India? In this part of the world, we are hundred miles away from the basic human rights and you are suggesting copy rights?

    Getting back to the topic of music, let me reiterate, if you are that good then stop stealing Pakistani music.

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  • Salman Sheikh
    Jun 8, 2012 - 11:58AM

    @just logic:
    He want one from you…

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