For all those who have been wondering why the super-talented Adnan Sami has not been doing new songs lately, Adnan has the perfect answer.
“I’ve been very taken up with live concerts across the world for the past five years. It is something I needed to do. That immediate and direct connect with my audience, that experience can’t be described in words. It is a spiritual connection. It is very energising,” says Adnan who is ready to return to recording at the soonest.
A hint at what he plans? “All I can tell you at the moment is that it would be something entirely original and a territory I haven’t visited in any of my music so far.”
Recently fellow-musician Vishal Dadlani called out the re-mix culture referring to its practitioners as “vultures”
Says Adnan, “Imagination is an incredible and divine gift that can be used in any creative activity, be it in the realm of positivity, negativity or stupidity. Have I made my point clear?”
Speaking of originality, how does he react to the current debate on mindless re-mixes?
“To me unoriginality is death. I’d rather do my own thing, create my own songs and music than lean on anyone for inspiration, no matter how extraordinarily talented,” asserts Adnan whose recent years in India have been bogged down by attack from across the border.
“I never understood their bitterness and hatred. It isn’t as if I took Indian citizenship to spite any country. I am what I am because of India. All my name, fame and earnings have come from this country. I think it would have been unfair for me to give credit for what I do to any other country, be it Pakistan or elsewhere.”
The trolling has stopped now. “I think the bitter elements in Pakistan have come to terms with my Indianness. They have given up trying to provoke me,” chuckles Adnan.
Adnan’s proudest moment as an Indian and a musician was when the one and only Lata Mangeshkar praised him.
Recalls Adnan, “It was after the devotional Qawwalli Bhar Do Jholi Meri recorded for the film Bajrangi Bhaijaan. She rang me up to say she liked it. Coming from the Queen Of Melody, Mata Saraswati reincarnated whom I idolise and love like millions across the world, it was a pat on the back that I will cherish forever.”
Adnan and the Nightingale go back a long way. Recounts Adnan warmly, “She has always been very warm and encouraging. I grew up hearing and seeing her idolised by my father. He couldn’t sleep until he heard Lataji’s lullaby Dheere Se Aja Ri Ankhiyan Mein. When I came to India, my one wish was to meet her. And when Lataji sang for me in the film Lucky, I felt I has achieved the acme of my career.”
Adnan points out a ‘Salman’ connect with Lataji. “Lucky in which I had the privilege of composing and singing a duet with Lataji, starred Salman. And Lataji has praised me for a song in a Salman movie.”
Recently Adnan performed in Kashmir to a rapturous audience.
“By now I’ve done hundreds of concerts worldwide. Of course each one is special. And of course I get butterflies in my tummy even now before every live performance. But this was in a different league altogether,” says Adnan as he relives every moment of what he describes as ‘magic in paradise.’ I said yes without a second thought, and no money was discussed, none taken. Come on yaar, this is Kashmir. Jannat mein gaane ke liye paise nahin lete (you don’t take money to sing in paradise).”
Nor did Adnan think twice about taking his wife and newly-born daughter Medina to the troubled valley. “It wasn’t as if the tension in the valley vanished for me.
It is there. But we need to go beyond despair and head towards repair. This healing can only happen when more artistes worldwide perform. And what better healer than music? I am proud to say I am the first major artiste from Mumbai’s entertainment world to perform in Srinagar, and I’ve come back supremely blissed by the welcome that I got from music lovers there.”
Any regrets? “Yes, I wish I had been to Srinagar earlier. I had been to Kashmir to shoot for my song in Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015. But that was just in-and-out. This time I got a chance to meet people, mingle with the people, sing for and with them. Kashmir has such wonderful people and is so beautiful. I performed right at the foot of the Dal Lake, so we can safely say there was never Dal moment during my concert, ha ha. My wife daughter and I got a chance to see some of the gardens before we returned. Now I can’t wait to go back for a longer visit and for another concert.”...