Rahat Fateh Ali Khan interview

Pakistani vocalist on bonding with uncle, legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and working with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder

In 2010, you won the Best International Act at the UK Asian Music Awards – considering you started your career back in 1985 and have won countless praise and accolades over the year, did this award really mean anything to you?
Every award has its own value; it’s the appreciation for the hard work we put in, so yes I treasure and appreciate each time I am honoured. Having said that my biggest award is the love and appreciation that I receive from my fans – it’s because of them whatever I am today.

What is your earliest memory of your uncle, Nusrat? Did you get at a young age that he was considered a ‘legend’?
I remember and cherish each and every moment spent with him. That’s where I learnt from.

What was it about his music that struck such a chord with so many people around the world?
His sincerity towards his music, he used to put his heart and soul into his singing and that’s what connected with the people.

How was it working with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder on the Dead Man Walking soundtrack?
It was a great experience to work with the artist. He is such a talented (musician) and a true human being.

You’re best known for your modern, contemporary and, dare I say it, more ‘mainstream’ numbers in Bollywood today – what would you like to be regarded and remembered as?
No matter what I sing I would like to be remembered as a good singer.

Do you think there’s a place for Sufi music today?

Sufi Music has always touched a chord. It connects you to spirituality, so Sufi Music will always remain popular.

Does spiritualism still play a factor in your music?

Spiritualism plays a strong factor in any music. You cannot connect with audience if there is no spirit in your music and singing.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performs live at Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday December 20, 8pm. Tickets are for sale here.

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