PMR Interview : Tausif Ali Khan
PMR: First of all thank you so much Tausif for giving us your valuable time 🙂
Tausif: My pleasure!!! And thanks to you for calling me for this interview.
PMR: When did you first discover your love for Music?
Tausif: From the time immorial. I basically belong to a school of music known as Gwalior Gharana and this school of music remained open 24/7. I used to listen to my maternal grand father Ustad Wazir Ali khan, my uncle Waheed Ali khan, my illustrious uncles Ustad Hameed Ali khan and Ustad Fateh Ali khan and their pupils. It was the time when I even couldnt speak properly but I used to sit with them and used to listen to their riyaz. I used to try to follow them in that riyaz (practice). And you will be surprised to know that the word which I learnt after learning the common words like mama and baba was malkaunse, I used to say that I will sing malkaunse (a raga). From this my love for music can be ascertained.
PMR: Who are your biggest Musical influences?
Tausif: My first influence was my maternal grandfather, Ustad manzoor Ali khan, I used to listen to his recordings whole day out and used to copy his vocals which still is in my practice but is a herculean task as well. After that Ustad Wazir Ali khan,my younger maternal grandfather and my uncles namely, Waheed Ali khan. Ustad Hameed Ali khan and Ustad Fateh Ali khan kept on jogging my soul for good music.
PMR: What is the name of your first album and who has produced it?
Tausif: The name of my debut album is “The Legacy” and it is produced by Adnan Dawood khan (RADK) the former member of the famous “Saraab band.”
PMR: What is the theme of “The Legacy”?
Tausif: As the name shows. The theme of my album is our own heritage. I have fused our own soil-made art with the contemporary art so that it should be enjoyed by listener with a modern ear. A few bands have already done that, but my work is different from them. As my work is digestable for the common audience as well. I have not made it for a handful of audience but for the masses who can understand and relish pure and melodious music.
PMR: What is your favourite track in your album?
Tausif: In fact all of them are my favourite. I remember a wise artist once said that the products of an artists are like his babies. How come a father can love a kid more than others? But to say I like “Dil lag gai” more than any other track because it was firstly rendered by my maternal grandfather and it is a remarkable tune so much that It seems that baba Buley Shah might have written that peom with this tune in his mind. This tune and peotry are made for each other. Thats what I feel and it certainly will take it’s listeneres to ecstacy because while rendering it I myself felt that I have transcended my physical limits. And I believe that audience does will the same way as the singer does while rendering the piece of music and one shouldnt sing what doesnt touch one’s soul.
PMR: Have you ever been signed up by Record Label?
Tausif: No not yet. I have some offers in my bag and I will select the one that suits me the best.
PMR: What are your views on royalties of songs that are your origional compositions?
Tausif: They are must as we are the artists who dont take this job for granted or we put our heart and soul into it and for that it is more than necessarey that it should be taken as a full time job. It has been seen that the second album of any renowned artist fails to fulfill the expectations of the listenere it is also because of the not so handsome royalities which they get for their hard-done works. They get dis-illusioned hence they hardly give their best again.
In today’s era when the artists donot have enough shows due to the security concerns. These roylaities are the only source of bread and butter for the artist. Hence they should hold the hands of the artists who in these rainy days are seeking their support. I am talking about the artists who take their job as full time job and an artist who takes it as a full time job will not be able to work elsewhere his art will be his only bread basket. So for him royalities are must. And am such kinda artist. And in modern era we do not have any patrons like those kings and dukes etc who used to patronize artists like Mian Tan sen, so we need royalites now to fill that void/gap. And If observed closely the rules of any record label, are nearly the same as of the kings or dukes of the past.
PMR: As we know the title track “Dil lag gai” is very close to your heart and also sounds pretty personal, what is the story behind it?
Tausif: This song actualy is a kafi rendered by Ustad Manzoor Ali khan and while I was recording this track his style was in my mind and it was creating a kind of pressure on me because it was very difficult for me to do justice with the said melody, His picture was revolving around my mind and I could sense a kind of support from him as if He was telling me how to sing it properly. And when I started rendering it. It took me to ecstacy which helped me complete the task. And now my audience will decide whether I have done justice with it?
PMR: What are the different types of genres that you sing in?
Tausif: I sing Kafi, thumri, khayal etc and in my album I have sung in rock, jazz, pop etc.
PMR: You’ve also performed alongside some great Orchestras. Does any one concert stand out in your memory?
Tausif: Yes. There is one which I gave with my uncle Ustad Fateh Ali khan (gwalior gharana) at Shah abdul Latif Bhittai’s urs.
PMR: What is the most important quality for any singer to present in concert or on a recording?
Tausif: The first and the last quality which attracts me is that he should be melodious and Whatever he does should come right from his heart.
PMR: Are you open to travelling to any location where ever there is a concert?
Tausif: Yes, ofcourse. I am open to travelling to any location where ever there is a concert.
PMR: Is there anybody in the industry who could testify to your abilities?
Tausif: Yes, there is. And that’s Shafqat Amanat Ali. He can testify my abilities.
PMR: Who tought you classical music?
Tausif: My uncle and the Tansen of the 21st century, Ustad Fateh Ali khan (Gwalior Gharana).
PMR: Do you consider yourself to be a natural vocalist or a good student?
Tausif: I think I am a natural vocalist and a hardworking student.
PMR: Most of your work is a creation of your own. Do you have any formula for this creativity of yours?
Tausif: Creativity is an innate quality. It can not be learnt. But one can achieve it through sheer hardwork and devotion.
PMR: Which singer or band do like the most?
Tausif: Rahat Fateh Ali khan and Shafqat Amanat Ali khan are doing a wonderful job. Among bands it is strings. They are good.
PMR: Your song “Maini” has been highly apriciated by peoples, how do you feel after the release?
Tausif: I feel great!!!! I have done a good deal of hardwork and have passed a few sleepless nights to make it different from the rest of the pre-recorded versions of this song.
PMR: How can fans-to-be gain access to ur music?
Tausif: Via internet ofcourse. I have an account on facebook and orkut with my name. And in no-distant future I will be lanuching a website as well for the convenience of my fans.
PMR: Can you tell us the unusual thing about ur self?
Tausif: Yes, Its my music.
PMR: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Tausif: Do whatever you want to do it with you heart so much so that nobody should be able to reach your par in it.
PMR: What are your current projects?
Tausif: My album “The Legacy” is the only project am dealing with. I hope the audience will like it as much as I do.
PMR: What are your plans for now and for the future? Which direction do you foresee your career going?
Tausif: For now I m looking forward to the release of my debut album. And for future I think I wanna do something which should make others remember my name forever.
PMR: Lets wrap this thing up, any last words for your fans?
Tausif: Fisrt of all I m thankful to you. I hope you liked my answers. And last but not the least I would say to my fans ”respect your elders and whatever you do, do it with heart and soul”.
Interview by: ALEENA SHEIKH