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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zafarnáma


Who hasn't heard of Ali Zafar?!!!

I am sure, everyone in the subcontinent, clued in on popular culture and music has heard of the Pakistani Prince of Pop - Ali Zafar.

He is equally revered for his talent, in singing and acting (he is a closet painter too!) as for his drop-dead-good-looks!

Born May 18, 1980, in Lahore, Pakistan, Ali Zafar groomed himself as a student of excellence, quite obviously, his parents being University Professors.
Before entering the Pakistani musical scene, Zafar worked as a model for several commercial advertisement besides acting in television. His first hit song was 'Jugnuon se bhar le aanchal...' which became popular with television audiences in Pakistan.

For me, Ali Zafar first registered his presence with the release of his music album Huqa Pani. He was already quite popular in Pakistan, but, here, in India, it was the airing of the music videos from the said album on the music channels that got him immense fame and recognition. Almost overnight, everyone woke up to this good looking young lad, who sings with a natural pop-singer-like charm.

His videos have a sure-fire appeal and the camera seems to love him.
There have been comparisons with Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican actor,
as Ali Zafar clearly resembles him from certain angles.

With his boyish looks, Ali Zafar has done all sorts of experimentations as a typical youth icon, and has always added an extra zing to his music videos, which often has a distinctive playful element.

Songs from all his albums, be it 'Huqa Pani' or 'Masty' or 'Aag', have all been lapped up by the yuppie listeners, in both India and Pakistan, and even by the diasporic musiclovers in America, Great Britain and Canada.

Ali Zafar is often unfairly pitted by the media against Atif Aslam, the other young Pakistani singer who has captured the imagination of millions with his soulful ballads, first being part of the band called Jal, and then establishing his solo repertoire, especially doing playback for Indian (Hindi) films. But I would say that instead of silly comparisons, we should be happy listening to both.

He has already bagged many an award, including the Best Male Artist at the MTV Awards in 2008.
Despite having his renown in pop and soft-rock numbers, he has been able to widen his popularity with his tonal variations on a number of folk and Sufi ballads.
His range and versatility became evident at the Coke Studio Sessions where he performed live.

After a prolonged courtship, Ali Zafar got married to his girlfriend Ayesha Fazli, and, very recently, he has become a proud father too.

Zafar's ride to stardom might have been smooth but the gossip-mills love to generate controversies about him, proving once again how popular he is! The worst piece of news that came to the fore was the purported abduction of Zafar and his girlfriend, albeit for just a few hours, as the abductor held them at gunpoint and demanded a large ransom. All was soon well for the couple but the harrowing experience is best forgotten.
Right now, all his fans are awaiting the release of the Bollywood flick "Tere Bin Laden" directed by Abhishek Sharma in which Ali Zafar has acted (he has sung two songs for the film too) - here's wishing him ALL THE BEST!

4 comments:

Satyaki said...

Ali Zafar has proven his worth as a versatile singer already.
Most of us haven't been able to see him act much till now... as the Pakistani television and commercials are mostly beyond our access.
But I'm happy that things are going to change with his upcoming film "Tere Bin Laden". I am already a fan of the Ullu da pattha track, from the film, that has started airing!;-)

Sunny said...

Ali Zafar rocks! He is one of the lucky few from Pakistan to make a huge debut in Bollywood!
It is good to have a Pakistani as the male lead in an Indian film!
Ali Zafar is not only blessed with good looks and a gifted voice, he has shown what a natural actor he is. "Tere Bin Laden" is a fine tongue-in-cheek comedy, I was absolutely thrilled to watch this delightful film in theater. May he keep delighting us with his songs and his film-roles.

Imran said...

A cool write-up on one of the biggest youth icons from Pakistan - who has successfully crossed over to the Indian musical shores - I believe music has no barriers, geographical, political whatsoever.....
No wonder Ali Zafar is making his presence felt on the Indian silver screen as his Bollywood debut TERE BIN LADEN has earned rave reviews already.... his acting talent can be witnessed in his best music videos: Rangeen, Sajania and Aag (I am glad that you have included the wonderful stills from the Aag video, which is one of my favorites!).... Ali Zafar needs to be seen and heard as much as, or - I dare say - even more than, Atif!
A trivia that I am reminded by the pic featuring Ali with Atif: they both did not initially aspire to be singers, neither even had anything to do with music in their boyhood. And, while Ali Zafar loved sketching & painting, both Atif & Ali were passionate about CRICKET, and wanted to play for Pakistan!

mehul said...

I wanna thank u immensely for this post on my favorite singer (and now actor).
I am just one krazy fan of Ali Zafar and am fidaa on his krazy charms, hahaha!!!!
He is truly one of the biggest pop-music icons of the subcontinent along with Sonu Nigaam and Sunidhi Chauhan.
He has self-admittedly stressed on having inculcated the indigenous melodies, instead of aping the West.
From the latest songs of Ali Zafar, that appear in the soundtrack of 'Tere Bin Laden', the Ali Zafar starrer, my personal favorite is 'Bas ek soch....' that has been composed by Ali himself (unlike the other two songs he has sung, namely 'Ullu da pattha' and 'Amreeka', that have been composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy).