Mumbai got Lucky

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published Mar 3, 2020, 12:03 am IST
Updated Mar 3, 2020, 12:03 am IST
Singer-songwriter Lucky Ali, who performed in the city, talked about his EliAli project and his various passions.
Lucky Ali
 Lucky Ali

It is not every day that ’90s pop sensation Lucky Ali takes centre stage in Mumbai and transports you back to the good old days. Though he lives far away from the limelight in Bengaluru, he lets the light shine on him once in a while when he has something to express, especially through his music.

The son of legendary late comedian Mehmood Ali, the musician has given his husky melodious voice to songs like Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Gori Teri Aankhein and Jaane Kya Dhoondhta Hai, to name a few.

 

With songs that speak of freedom, loneliness, purposelessness, wandering, and creation, the noted singer-songwriter delivered fresh tunes on stage yesterday in the city.  “Most of the sets we did are songs that we have not attempted before, and apart from that, the sound is different. There are two new guitarists in the band,” said the 61-year-old.

Cross-cultural melodies

Talking about his ongoing EliAli project with Jewish-Israeli rock musician Eliezer Botzer, Ali shared that it is about discussion, dialogue, and understanding. The duo recently released their first song On My Way from the album Lemalla, which has crossed over 1.2 million hits and is hailed as a traveller’s anthem across the world.

 

“Botzer and I met around 2017, where we initiated the music on the album. It keeps happening as we go along. That is how the music finally has to settle into. It is a docudrama, but more realistic, to the point and factual. That is what EliAli project and Lemalla is all about,” Ali said.

A meeting of two worlds, the music in the album comes from a deeply intimate place of silence, understanding, and listening. The album is a reflection of a dialogue between two spiritual people striving to create a reality. But as far as the jam sessions are concerned, Ali states that it is a mix of hard work and joy, as long as they do not deviate from the goal.

 

“It is serious if we do not get out the work right. But it is fun once we have cracked the song,” he chuckled.

Man of variety

An artist donning multiple hats, it would be unjust to just call Ali a singer and songwriter. The musician’s journey has led him to many places and vocations, including carpet cleaning, horse breeding, oil rigging, organic farming, ballad singing, travelling, and even environmental conservation.

When asked how he divides his time between all his passions, Ali said with a laugh, “I don’t (divide it), it divides me,” adding, “When the music is in front then that has got my attention, when farming is in front then it has got my attention, and when children are in front of me, they have got my attention.”

 

Homecoming

The artist has a deep connection with Mumbai, where he was born as Maqsood Mehmood Ali, but now that he has built a life in Bengaluru, the visits back have been rare.  

“It is familiar as it’s my home, but I do very rare visits because I do not have a home here. Lots of people live there right now, so we don’t get to live in Mumbai. But Bengaluru isn’t that far, just a flight away. It is nice to come home and met your mother sometimes,” he said.

In the moment

When it comes to live performances, the multi-layered artist believes in inclusion and innovation. So after the concert, he doesn’t aim to rough out another song but to absorb and learn what is around to make great music.  

 

“I am not doing anything really important at the moment, but I am ideating and putting in the discovery of new technology in music and playing around with musical instruments. It is all an ongoing process and not something that happens in a day. That is how my work is always like,” he said in conclusion.

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