Looking for Attention
Shafqat Amanat Ali hopes audiences take better notice of his second solo album
It’s been just over a year since his solo debut album, Tabeer (2008), and Shafqat Amanat Ali is back with his second solo album, Kyun Dooriyan. Tabeer didn’t quite manage to be as much of a commercial success as was Saagar (2002) ”“ his debut album as frontman of Sufi rock outfit Fuzon. “When we launched Tabeer, we backed it with only one music video. Generally the album was selling but it lacked the sufficient promotion which could have made it a bigger success. Also, since the release of Saagar, there has been this very long gap, and I have been trying to make up for that gap which is part reason why I came out with this album [Kyun Dooriyan] so quickly,” says Ali. He also believes Tabeer was a niche album and a very personal piece of work which might have kept it from being an out and out market success.
With songs like ”˜Kartaar,’ ”˜Naal Naal’ and ”˜Paharhi,’ Kyun Dooriyan routes back to the attitude Ali embraced with Fuzon reinstating the heady spin of raga-rock in his melodic pop compositions. Many of the tracks on the album are songs which have remained embedded in Ali’s consciousness for a very long time but were not brought to life until recently. In fact the album features the very first song Ali ever wrote, ”˜Tu Hi Sanam’. While Kyun Dooriyan seems to refer back to Ali’s beginnings heard on Saagar, it is also in some way a follow up to Tabeer.Â ”˜Kartaar (Darbari)’ – which was originally featured on Tabeer – finds its way on Kyun Dooriyan as well. And just as on Tabeer where Ali saluted his idols and contemporarised traditional folk songs, he does so again on his new record with his rehashing of an old folk ditty ”˜Nukar Tere’ and a tribute to Zahida Parveen on ”˜Kya Haal Sunawan.’ “I have borrowed this one line from Zahida Parveen’s song from her original ”˜Kya Haal Sunawan.’ I am fascinated by that song and in some way wished to pay tribute to her forgotten legend,” says Ali. The beat that drives Queen’s popular anthem ”˜We Will Rock You’ – another one of those sonic delights that Ali always wished to reprise on one of his originals – is what inspired ”˜Saada Dil’ on this album. “I have always loved the beat to that song. Once while it was playing in the car, I started humming some of my own words to it which eventually became ”˜Saada Dil,’ but later major changes had to be made to the arrangement because of the melody, so it didn’t really end up fitting the mould it initially took birth in.” In the midst of all of his musical inspirations and aspirations, Ali also halts to play the conscientious artist as he strikes a sombre note with ”˜Wo Jaanta Hai,’ written in light of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.