Singer Shafqat Amanat Ali on music, India and the love for idli and dosa

Shafqat Amanat Ali says he feels blessed when he sees the admiration and love of the people of India for the songs he sings. “It is nice to see the tracks which I have lent my voice go up the chart. While I enjoy the popularity of my voice, I have to thank music directors for finding me appropriate for the lovely songs they compose,” he says.

Born and brought up in Lahore, Shafqat spent his early childhood learning music from his “My main influences in music came from my father and my uncle Bade Fateh Ali Khan. “Be it my grandmother, father or uncle — they all encouraged me to listen to all genres of music and all musicians. So, as I grew up I listened to everyone possible but my regret is that I couldn’t meet Manna Dey. It was a dream and I will always regret it,” he adds.

This visit to Hyderabad for the Royal Stag mega music MTV unplugged makes it his second and Shafqat says he is enjoying the weather and was looking forward to the musical evening.

“India is close to my heart for many reasons. The first being the respect for good music, then its rich culture and people; then comes the food. Food in Pakistan is equally good but I don’t get to eat varities like idli, dosa, sambar etc. Every time I visit the country, I sample as much food as possible,” he laughs.

Talking of his upcoming tracks, Shafqat says he is waiting for the audio launch of two forthcoming movie releases. “One of them is scheduled for December and the other one should be coming out by January at most,” he says.

Shafqat shot to fame and became a recognisable voice in the Hindi music industry after he first sang ‘Mitwa’ in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. When asked what his favourite track is so far, Shafqat says, “it is a crime to ask that to singer. I cannot choose one song over the other, I love all of them.” And what does he wish for? “I am very greedy that way, I wish I had sung all the songs,” he laughs.