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Music for peace

Javed Ali reflects on his favourite numbers and the value of Sufi music

June 01, 2016 10:28 pm | Updated September 16, 2016 09:44 am IST

Javed Ali Photo R. Ravindran.

Javed Ali Photo R. Ravindran.

When a Bollywood song tries to convey a deeper thought, composers rush to Javed Ali. The 34-year-old singer is known for hits like “Jashn-e-bahara”, “Kun-Faya-Kun” and “Arziyaan”. In Delhi to perform for a Radio Mirchi concert, Javed talks about his favourite song, value of Sufi music and inspiration but refuses to comment on Arijit Singh-Salman Khan fracas. “I don’t know the details of the issues.”

On his favourite songs and the experience of recording them

I have many memorable songs. One of them is “Arziyaan” (Maula) from Delhi 6 . It is an eight-and-half minute long song and we had to record it in three parts, one in Mumbai, one in Chennai and then one again in Mumbai. The song is important also because a lot of musical experiments were done in the song. I used a texture, a style that I had never used before. And that style stuck with me after that song.

When I was recording “Kun-Faaya-Kun”, I did it like I was offering Namaaz. The atmosphere of the recording room was completely spiritual and it took us 12 hours from 8:30 in the night to 8:30 in the morning, to record the song.

On how Sufi music can help overcome frictions in the society

Sufi music talks about connecting people. It talks about connecting hearts and connecting man with God. Everything that talks about connection is Sufi. Sufi also talks about peace and love, and I think it is a kind of music that one can lose himself into. It has the power to connect people and overcome social tension.

On his inspirations in music

I am huge fan of Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Hassan. Listening to these people inspired me to become a singer. I have learnt basic classical music but everything other than that I have learnt listening to these people. Whatever I am today, I am because of my musical inspirations.

On the rivalries and competitions in music industry

No, not exactly rivalries, but there is a healthy competition. These are different times and a lot of good artistes are there in the industry, so it is obvious to have a healthy competition. It is also necessary as it helps you grow as an artiste. I also feel fortunate to be a part of an industry where the atmosphere is so good and it has helped me in my growth.

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