Shakespeare once said ‘if music be the food of love play on’ and in Pakistan, Alamgir is the singer who has been gratifying the appetite of love from the first day he hold the mic. As his name connotes ‘Conqueror of the world’, he has conquered the world of music through his mellifluous voice and distinctive singing.
The great Bengali origin legend, Alamgir is the pioneer of Urdu pop music in Pakistan through his down-to-earth persona and symphonious voice he won million of hearts worldwide. He is known for his incredible singing and fancy performances. He made us to tap our feet on his mega hits. The Elvis of East, landed in Pakistan at the age of 15, he began his career by singing in a café that was visited by the top-notches where he was spotted by Shoail Rana, and hence he got first chance to show his passion and from there his journey of victories commenced. Soon his passion became his profession and he introduced pop music in Pakistan. The legend was inspired by Western and Spanish music. He has sung in more than 17 languages including: Spanish, Japanese, Bengali, Urdu and English. Later, he became the soul and demand of every concert that ultimately compel him to bid farewell to the music industry. Thus he went to USA, where he spent 20 years but the love of his fans forced him to come back and once again he is back to entertain us with his melodious hits. Shaam se pehly ana, Yeh sham aur tera naam, Albela Rahi, Mujhey dilsey na bhulana, Dekha na tha and recent song Keh Dena are among the hits that gained him fame and prestige worldwide. He has sung 400 songs for television and not much for movies even though he has received Nigar Award in 1978 for the best singer for the song ‘Mujhe Dilsay Na Bhulana’, film Aina.
Geo vision had a friendly conversation with Alamgir in which he talks about his musical journey.
Geo Vision: You are among the most popular pop-singers of Pakistan who have been singing since many years. How has the journey been?
Alamgir: Yeah, my career is quite long! Though, I started my career 40 years back but the seed of music was nourishing inside my soul since childhood. I love to play guitar and I bought up singing Beetles, Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley songs. I have spent one half of my life here, in Pakistan and other in America. My over all journey was ‘melodious’ what else I can say! (Laughing)
GV: In your singing career, which song were the most challenging one and which one you enjoyed the most?
Alamgir:As long as the most challenging song is concern, hmm…Nisar Bazmi sahib ki ghazalein have always been the most challenging lyrics for me to sing. Nisar Bazmi is well acknowledged with my singing skills and he has always made me to sing from my high point. You can say, he has groomed my singing talent. Ahh…it’s difficult for me to select any one song. You will be surprised to know, I consider music as my first wife. Music is running in my blood. I can hear every heart beat humming ‘dhak dhak…’ I have enjoyed singing all my songs.
GV: Why did you take a break from singing?
Alamgir: (Smiling) Well in early 90s, I was in full demand. Everyone wants me to sing in their up-coming projects, concerts and songs. There were hectic recordings, rehearsals and shows and at the end of the year everyone was waiting for my new album. I was feeling so much pressured that I took a break to rest therefore, I went to USA.
GV: You have sung numerous patriotic songs in your career. Which is your favorite one?
Alamgir: I have always tried to compose lyrics that can ignite and rekindle the spark of patriotism within the souls and among them my favorite song is ‘Kheyal Rakhna’.
GV: What’s you craziest fan story?
Alamgir: There’s a big hall in Rawalpindi with capacity of more than lakh audience at a time. Many prominent celebrities have performed there. Once I was performing there and a girl within the audience wanted to meet me. She got fainted thrice and when I met her she striked to my chest and again fainted. This incidence is something that I can’t forget.
GV: Who has been your singing inspiration?
Alamgir: (Thinking) There are many singers who have inspired me and I adore there singing style which include: Salamat Ali Khan, Roshan Ara Begum, Mehdi Hasan, and Noor Jahan. These are the singers, I love listen to!
GV: Your recent song, Keh Dena was a big hit. How was your experience working with an international singer Kristie Yang?
Alamgir: Zindagi mein kuch naya kertay rehna caheye… (One should keep trying new things in life) and the song ‘Keh Dena’ was a new experience for me. Its recording was challenging yet risk worthy. First of all, Kristie is an international icon who doesn’t know to speak Urdu so I worked on her language first then public’s reaction was another nail biting moment for me. But at the end, I received fabulous feedback from audience so I recommend everyone, keep doing experiments in life. Never fear the consequences! Remember, a person learns from his mistakes.
GV: Many new singers have taken an entry in music industry so who is your favorite singer nowadays?
Alamgir: (Thinking deeply) Rahat Fateh Ali Khan!
GV: Your future plans? Are you going to open musical academy?
Alamgir: Till now, I don’t have any such plans.
GV: Any message for young singers and youngsters?
Alamgir: Love music, don’t love money! Once you become a good singer, money and fame will run after you so be honest with your profession.