Atif Aslam – The Wonder Boy!

August 11, 2012

By Ahmad Uzair

Atif Aslam! Whether you love him or hate him, you adore his nasal vocals or you abhor his drunk-looking eyes, but one thing is for sure that you just can’t deny the status attained by him as one of the major pop icons of sub-continent from our generation. And he keeps on proving this point time and again. Just when you think that he is gone with the wind, he hits back with yet another track and every time a bigger hit than before. There is that particular aura of his personality that either you love him too much or just hate him to death. There is simply no middle way to it.

It’s been almost a decade now since he became quite a phenomenon and that too with just his very first single, Aadat. Seeing the enormous chart busting success which Aadat got, one could have easily imagined that this guy is going to rest upon this single for the rest of his life. But it didn’t really happen. And over the time he proved that he was not just a one-hit-wonder. Till date he has given plenty of huge hits, each surpassing the previous ones in popularity.

When Atif appeared on the music scene, that was a high time for a prospering music industry of ours and there were some tough competitions going on. Most importantly it was Ali Zafar who with his “Channo” was reigning the air ways and it seemed that it would be too difficult for some one to come up to his stature. Still, the comparisons were being drawn between the two super stars and claims were being made about who is the king. But in my humble opinion and with no offence to Ali’s fans, there is just no comparison between the two and Atif aslam is the un-doubted  winner of the show when it comes to the musical arena, to be precise. Atif has really gone miles ahead when it comes to music making, be it his solo ventures or Bollywood playbacks, in respect of the popularity and fame he has garnered over the period of time. Obviously many of you would not agree with me but this is quite a fact now.

Controversies have been an essential part of his decade long struggle specially in his earlier days, every time he came up with something new, there were people who were always criticizing him for his rather unusual nasal vocals. Some even claiming that his earlier famous ‘alaaps’ were all software fixed and how he stole other people’s tunes. His fellow musicians were also not much behind in this criticism. But Atif rarely cared about it and went on the deliver ‘Doorie’ which was once again a massive commercial hit. This time he was labeled being too commercial but this was just the beginning of his show as even now he keeps on changing his screen roles, surprising us at many times.

One would not deny that the initial tracks produced by Atif were not musically very rich and at times his voice sounded too rough and out of tune. But one has to give full credit to him the way he improved his vocal tone and has evolved over the time. When you compare today’s Atif with the one who was 10 years ago, you see a marked difference.

But what is that element which makes him so appealing to listen? For me, one of the biggest reasons why he is regarded as the master of his art is the versatile nature of his personality which he brings in his singing too. These are his improvisational skills which make him stand apart from the rest of the lot, which even makes his year old songs a treat to listen. If any one of you have been to his live concerts, you can really relate to the energy and soul which he brings to his live acts and mostly this creativity and revamping of songs is done then and there on the stage.

Whether it is reciting a Naat during hajj, or dancing around girls in his commercially hit, hip hop music videos. Doing social awakening songs, acting in movies, collaborating with international artist, and belting out soothing yet spiritually inspired singles or making appearances in advertisements selling out the product. He can do it all, trust me he can! And that’s where his power lies. The power to do any thing. The element of flexibility!

In one’s life, it’s always important that how you avail the provided opportunity. There have been occasions when he was very lucky to avail the openings and at other instances he turned out to be really clever and smart to cling on to projects which were never meant for him. But he eventually made them their own. There has been a mixture of smart work and luck behind the dream run of this biggest pop star of our age, not to forget his gifted vocal range too.

Some years back I was watching an interview of one of the pioneer VJ of Pakistani music channels and there was a rapid fire round going on. When the interviewer asked her to comment on Atif aslam, she was quick to reply “Jise Allah Rakhe Use Kon Chakhhay”.  (If God Loves You, You’ll be there)

And this one liner from such a seasoned media personality describes the whole journey into the making of biggest singing sensation we have seen in our life time whose popularity is not only restricted to Pakistan, but has also crossed the borders conquering India and virtually the whole global market where ever our music is listened.