Atif ready for debut stint in Northeast India

Published: May 2, 2015
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Atif will visit Guwahati for the Royal Stag MTV Bollyland, a series of multi-city music concerts featuring fusion of Bollywood songs with electronic beats. PHOTO: FILE

Atif will visit Guwahati for the Royal Stag MTV Bollyland, a series of multi-city music concerts featuring fusion of Bollywood songs with electronic beats. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DELHI: In his over a decade-long journey, musician Atif Aslam has made his ‘Aadeez’ sway to his chart-topping songs. The ‘Aadat’ hitmaker will finally stage his debut performance in Guwahati, where his fans are eagerly awaiting his gig.

Known for his ability to hit high notes effortlessly, and strum stringed instruments without a formal training, the 32-year-old is looking forward to his maiden performance in Northeast India this month.

“Indeed, it’s my first time in the region. I’m looking forward to performing in Guwahati. I’m very excited about it, but I don’t know how they are going to react to electronic dance music,” said Atif.

After having performed in Chennai, Udaipur, Delhi and Ahmedabad, Atif, who proves there are no boundaries when it comes to music, will visit the Assamese city for Royal Stag MTV Bollyland. The project is a series of multi-city music concerts that see the fusion of Bollywood songs with electronic beats.

Recently, Atif’s concert in Pune got cancelled due to opposition from Shiv Sena, but Assamese musician-actor-filmmaker Musician Zubeen Garg, who enjoys a cult status in the north-eastern state, is certain that there won’t be any resistance to Atif’s show in Guwahati. “I’m sure he will get a warm welcome.

The north-east crowd is very nice… There is nothing like ‘Pakistani’ or ‘Hindustani’ here. No racial thing in Guwahati,” said Zubeen. “The music scene is good here. People listen to Bollywood music, but folk music is also widely popular,” he added.

Fellow Assamese musician Joi Barua, who has also sung for Bollywood movies, such as Udaan and Dev D, feels this is ‘a super occasion’. “An actual east-meets-west moment for our subcontinent… I really wish him the very best,” said Joi, who considers Atif’s Bollywood debut track ‘Woh Lamhe’ from the 2005 film Zeher special.

Atif, who likes being in India, will not be entertaining music lovers with his bandmates this time. Instead, he will match up to the beats played by DJ Chetas at the upcoming musical event. His fans in Guwahati, where Pakistani bands, such as Jal and Strings have rocked before, still look forward to his performance.

Kaushik Ram Phookun, 30, said “he is one singer who kills it when he is live.” He stated, “I’ve been following his music for quite some time now. I love his voice and the way he fuses rock with Sufi.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2015.

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