The first genre of music that struck his ears were his father, Ustad Hamid Hussain’s ghazals. Inspired by him, singer Javed Ali grew up wanting to be like him. Apart from his father, his guru, Ghulam Ali had a strong positive influence on him all his life. The singer’s defining characteristic is his unending desire for challenges. And challenges he is faced – his experimentation with music and languages, and his stint with television shows as a host and a judge.
Right now, the song ‘Tum Tak’, from the movie Raanjhanaa is creating all the buzz for him. Basking in it’s glory, Javed Ali is definitely a happy man.
Ali’s latest song, also the first to be released from the movie Raanjhanaa, captures the flavour of Banaras, the city in which the song is set. “The song is a very special number. The rythmic and musical quality of the word ‘Tum Tak’, has been woven into the music beautifully by A R Rahman and Irshad Kamil. I hope this reaches out to the audience,” he says. Starring Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor, the film is in the limelight even before its release.
Within a week of its release, ‘Tum Tak’ has 534,886 views on YouTube (as on May 12) and was also trending on Twitter over the weekend. Happy about this great response, the singer says, “Rahman Saab has given us a different type of music this time. And since, Rahman’s music spreads like slow poison, I am sure that as more people will listen to this song, they will like it even more”, says Javed Ali.
To the beat of Bollywood
So, how did this aspiring Ghazal singer find himself singing for the Bollywood biggies? “I felt the need to be versatile, which is why I chose playback singing as my career,” he replies. In addition to making a name for himself in Bollywood, he also got the chance that many singers only dream about – the chance to work with India’s only Oscar winning musician. And not just once. The music composer of Ranjhanaa has chosen Javed Ali to add voice to many of his compositions including the famous ‘Guzarish’ from Ghajini and ‘Kun Faya Kun’ from Rockstar. Yet, Javed feels that the experience of working with Rahman has an unmatched uniqueness to it. “I am surprised to discover that I have sung so many songs for him. It doesn’t feel that way because everytime I am working with Rahman saab, it always feels like my first time. You get to learn and experiment a lot with him,” he mentions.
His next target is to work with Vishal Bharadwaj and Ilayaraja. “Everyone has a style of their own. I like Amit Trivedi’s and Pritam Da’s style a lot too. But, I have never worked with Vishal Bharadwaj and Ilayaraja.”
Music has no language
This popular Bollywood singer has quite a few songs to his credit in the South too. He has sung many popular numbers in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada, with ‘Raccha Rambola’ from Saroccharu in Telugu being his latest. The singer describes South as ‘a completely different world’. “The style of arrangement and composing is very different here. It’s fun to experiment with new genres, as it gives you an opportunity to improve,” Javed says.
Though initially he did face the jitters because of the language barrier, Javed seems much more at ease now. “When I got my first chance to sing in the South, it was a huge challenge for me. It still continues to be one as pronouncing the language is very difficult for me. I took it up as a challenge and now the audience has also received it well.”
Exploring new horizons
Going by his constant quest for challenges, Javed Ali says he is not someone who would back off from opportunities that may come along hsi way. He was a judge and also a host on different seasons of the music reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee Tv. Sharing his experiences, he says, “I learnt a lot and I also got great reviews from the audience. Everyone felt that my judgements were honest, which always made me happy.” Though judging was not a tough task, fitting into the shoes of a host was definitely an extra mile of hard work that Javed had to tread. “You not only have to keep the script in mind, but also improvise on the spot,” he shares of his experience.
Though he was encouraged by the audience in all his attempts, the singer wishes to focus primarily on his profession for now. “I am only looking forward to making some great music in the coming years,” he signs off.