I’ve learnt a lot from my India trips: Pakistani singer Najam SherazNovember 29th, 2008 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) He has played first class cricket with the likes of Inzamam-ul Haq and Waqar Younis and is well-versed in various religious texts. Pakistan’s famed singer Najam Sheraz is versatile not only in his range of music, but also in his persona.”Due to the wars, India and Pakistan have had a bitter relationship. But both the cultures have a lot to learn from the other,” Sheraz, who was in town to perform at a concert, told reporters.
He had cut his tenth album recently and released it in India in April this year and has been coming to India since 1999. Sheraz says he has learnt “a lot from his trips to this country”.
Besides revering Pakistani singing legends Mehdi Hassan and late singer Noor Jehan, Sheraz finds inspiration in the renditions of Indian singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle as well as Kishore Kumar and Kundan Lal Saigal.
On a high after “Najam” became his first album to be officially released in India, the singer finds the Indian circuit more challenging than Pakistan because of the greater diversity of culture in India.
“There are so many different cities, variety of cultures, multiplicity of languages. Performing in every city presents a new challenge. In Pakistan, the scene is not that challenging. We have only four cities, and they all are too familiar with me,” he said.
The pop sensation, who grew up listening to and loving the music of the eastern classical legends from the sub-continent, 1970s classic rock and jazz, believes in the oneness of all religions.
“I began studying comparative religion six years ago. I still read the ‘Gita’, the ‘Bible’ and the ‘Quran’. I have found all my answers from the various religions. I feel the ‘creator’ is the same”.
Asked him about the music scenario in Pakistan, Sheraz said: “It was all booming till recently when the political instability started. And now we have the economic crisis.”
Pop music is doing better in Pakistan than in India, as the neighbouring nation does not have a strong film industry that can overshadow the pop culture. “With films not doing well, the pop musicians have become stars.”
Purists may say video albums are corroding the eternal appeal of music, but Sheraz thinks videos are the need of the times.
“Video is very important. These days people don’t like listen to music only. That’s why there are very few albums. What we mainly have are singles,” he said.
Commenting upon his career as cricket player, he said: “I left it early as I couldn’t take the politics and pressure of cricket.”
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