Alam­gir Khan 22, Nabha (Pa­tiala), Singer

Singer who grabbed his ‘mauka’

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HT TOP THIRTY UNDER THIRTY - BY JATIN­DER MA­HAL

Alam­gir Khan has sung 20 Bol­ly­wood hits in two years but his claim to fame was the “Mauka Mauka” cricket World Cup jin­gle. At present, he is in Mum­bai, work­ing with mu­sic direc­tors Himesh Re­sham­miya and AR Rah­man on film songs. Be­cause of his name, he is of­ten mis­taken for be­ing a Pak­istani Sufi singer; but his mu­sic flows from the Pa­tiala Gha­rana. At 14, he started clas­si­cal singing train­ing un­der the guidance of his fa­ther (Us­tad Murli Khan), grand­fa­ther (Us­tad Idu Sharif Khan), and great grand­fa­ther (Us­tad Karamdeen Khan), all known singers. For some­one who got his first break in Sal­man Khan-star­rer ‘Body­guard’, sur­pris­ingly it wasn’t the love of In­dia’s favourite game that made him take up the ‘Mauka’ project. The fact is he has never been a cricket buff.

What did it take to be an achiever?

I am here be­cause of my clas­si­cal mu­sic and Sufi singing tal­ent. Due to my solid ground­ing in mu­sic, I was se­lected to sing for Bol­ly­wood movies such as ‘Body­guard’ (‘Desi beat’), ‘Khi­ladi 786’ (‘Ti­tle song’), ‘Shaadi Ke Side Ef­fects (‘Tauba main vyah karke pach­h­taya’) and ‘Wel­come 2 Karachi’ (‘Mera yaar fan­tas­tic’); and be­cause of that I have sur­vived in tin­sel town for two years.

Who is your in­spi­ra­tion, and why?

I be­long to a fam­ily of Sufi singers who taught and in­spired me with their tal­ent. My grand­fa­ther, Us­tad Idu Sharif Khan, pro­moted Sufi singing to save the tra­di­tional cul­ture of Pun­jab. His re­cent hit is ‘Das kitey gaya ve tera pyaar dholla’, sung in Pun­jabi Sufi style.

What’s your next goal?

I look for­ward to the re­leas­ing of the film song I am work­ing on with Himesh Re­sham­miya. Be­sides, I have nearly 30 Bol­ly­wood as­sign­ments with mu­sic direc­tors, in­clud­ing Pri­tam Chakraborty, ShankarEh­saan-Loy and AR Rah­man. I am also go­ing to release my first Pun­jabi song, ‘Saadi pagg nu slama hun­dia, te tere suit nu sa­lut va­jde’, di­rected by Davvy Singh, in Pun­jab this month.

Why is it the best time to be young in In­dia?

The so­cial me­dia and in­ter­net along with so­ci­ety are sup­port­ive for bud­ding singers. To­day, one can launch a ca­reer sim­ply by post­ing record­ings on Face­book, YouTube or What­sApp, and get no­ticed. Peo­ple sup­port and re­spect tal­ent.

How can the youth be a change-maker?

The youth can be­come a change-maker only if they know their po­ten­tial. Rather than swoon­ing over lewd rap songs and aping singers blindly, the youth should understand and re­spect their own cul­ture first. Pun­jab has a rich singing tra­di­tion and the youth should use their tal­ent to pro­mote it world­wide.

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