Fortunately or not, Komal Rizvi is evidently one of the chosen few in the entertainment industry about whom almost everyone has an opinion. The VJ, who shot to fame as a television show host when we were still watching films on our worn-out VCRs, returned to the screens with a stint in Coke Studio, arguably Asia’s biggest music show. She was taunted, she was mocked, she was hated, she was loved, but she was never ignored.
Little attention was paid to how the actor-singer-model felt about her bittersweet career that is punctuated with controversy, with the most recent being her infamous selfie with an ailing Abdul Sattar Edhi. “I feel there are only a handful of people for whom my selfie is more important than my portfolio as an artist, which includes international tours and albums, thousands of gigs and high-profile talk shows, both local and international. Not to mention, my super hit drama serials.”
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Having recovered from the controversy that went way overboard, Komal has already embarked on an international singing tour that began with her performance at Dubai Global Village alongside Strings on November 13. “I have performed at several concerts in the presence of thousands of people in Oslo, London, Mumbai and Bangalore, but the Dubai crowd was super electric.” A vocalist always feeds off the audience’s positivity and responds like a soaked ‘sponge’, so for her, it was exhilarating to get such a fantastic response. She shares that she will perform in Dubai again come February. “The sponge inside me is truly looking forward to that,” she quips.
After Dubai, her next stops are San Francisco, Seattle and Vegas in the United States, and then finally the United Kingdom for a smaller show. “I am working on a new international collaborative song that will be out soon. Also, a huge college tour in Pakistan in January is in the pipeline, details of which I am not yet at liberty to reveal,” shares Komal.
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Of the selfie controversy, she says it all started when she received a request to sing for orphans at Edhi Centre. “Edhi sahib was in good spirits that day. I never thought the selfie would create such uproar,” she adds. There were many who have done so in the past and even after this, attacks that were largely personal were targeted towards Komal alone. The hullabaloo has, however, had little impact on her. “I will take more selfies and keep posting them. I did nothing wrong.”
Komal says the Indian entertainment industry has been more welcoming than, sadly, her own people. “Bollywood, like any other flourishing industry anywhere in the world, receives you warmly if your work is of a certain calibre. It makes no difference to them where you come from. Our industry still has a lot of growing up to do,” she states, adding it is unfortunate that artists gain respect here only if they make it big in India.
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Komal has steadily built a career in acting as well. At the age of 16, she acted in Hawaain, and by the time she was 18, she had released her first single titled Bauji. As for whether or not she plans on acting again, she says, “I keep getting acting offers but I strongly feel that if I’m going to tie myself down to a drama serial for the next three or four months, the script and role must be good. I love acting, though.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2015.
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