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Saturday Mar 31 2018

Shafqat Amanat Ali serenades crowds in UK after nearly five years

LONDON: Music maestro Shafqat Amanat Ali has been serenading crowds in the United Kingdom as he tours the country after nearly five years.

The singer who was invited to the country to perform two live gigs by Rock On Music left fans gasping for more at Indigo at the O2 in London and De Montfort Hall in Leicester.

Shafqat sang his hit songs for over two hours and was supported by a brilliant performance by his band members.

The scion of the famous Patiala gharana left the audience spellbound with his soulful variations, touching emotions and display of total command on vocals. His fans sang along with him and Shafqat provided them the opportunity to sing solo with his band – a gesture that won plaudits from his fans, some of whom were invited on stage to sing while others sang as Shafqat reached out to them on their seats.

Shafqat told Geo.TV that his energy level always rises when he see his fans responding to his songs and interacting musically. “That kind of response is loved by any singer and naturally my energy level goes to another level and that helps me perform powerfully,” he said.

“The crowds in London and Leicester were amazing. I toured UK after a break of nearly five years and I loved it. Live music is everything and I love it when the feedback is live too,” the singer added.

Besides the gigs, the singer will be performing at private events and will be filming at iconic locations in London for his upcoming music projects.

Along with filming in London, he is also taking time out to meet industry people for future collaborations. Shafqat also visited the British Parliament and met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In the first week of April, the singer will perform live at an exclusive private event at the prestigious Natural History Museum. He will become the second Pakistani artist after Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to perform at the venue.

Shafqat is in the league of the best Pakistani and Indian singers and has a global following because of his sheer mastery and command over singing.

Coming from a renowned family of classical musicians, the singing sensation broke barriers when he released his first album ‘Saagar’ with famous rock band Fuzon in 2002.

Shafqat’s Aakhon Ke Saagar, Akhiyan, Tere Bina and Khamaaj (Mora Saiyan) remain favourites.

Since the release of the album, Shafqat has given songs to hit Bollywood films and has developed a huge following in India and the rest of the world.

Further speaking to, Shafqat said that the live music scene in Pakistan has made its comeback with a big turnaround in the security situation of the country.

“Live concerts have picked up again with packed venues hosting bands,” he said.

The popular singer said there was a lull for some time in concerts because of the uncertain security situation but that has changed and Pakistani cities are hosting live bands once again and breaking new boundaries.

The talented son of legendary Ustad Amanat Ali Khan said, “My experience during the last one year tells me that the live music scene has made a comeback. There was a lull when live activities slowed down but now it’s back and youth and families are attending concerts and enjoying themselves.”

Speaking about his first album, Shafqat explained, “In the first album, we did a fusion of classical and rock. It was a mix of contemporary with classical and the new sound went almost global. It succeeded like we never anticipated as that’s the kind of music that’s liked by all ages and groups. That album opened new avenues for us and marked new grounds for the music scene.”

The world-class live performer said the development of technology has helped genuine musicians who had felt threatened after cassettes went out of sale, CDs arrived and people thought musicians will not record albums anymore.

The gifted singer said Pakistani channels now buy songs of musicians to use in films and soap dramas and that has helped flourish the music scene.

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