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RS Essentials: Our 12 Favorite Lucky Ali Hits

The singer’s discography includes studio albums, singles, compilations, and movie soundtracks

Debashree Dutta Apr 22, 2022
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At a time when MTV‘s Indipop spots had become a crowd favorite, BMG Crescendo launched Lucky Ali in 1996 with his album, Sunoh. Listeners embraced the singer-songwriter’s tonal quality and distinct musical style, propelling him to prominence as an Indipop icon during that period. Years later, we still love his songs, a reflection of nostalgia and times gone by.

“O Sanam

“O Sanam” is remembered for its somber lyrics, soulful melody, and visuals featuring the singer himself. His portrayal of a man longing for his lover, with him wandering around in Egypt amid the pyramids, made the music video stand out. Ali is claimed to have funded the project himself after the music label declined due to concerns that the song would not be a hit. Indipop was a brand-new genre back then, and record labels were not ready to take chances. But the track went on to become a major success and is regarded as a timeless masterpiece.

“Dekha Hai Aise Bhi

Ali’s compositions have a boho air to them, like a traveler’s intuition mixed with music. As is evident in most of his videos, travel plays a big role. He’s a wanderer with a guitar who enjoys venturing out and singing songs on the road while discovering new places. His tracks are reflective of his chilled-out personality that always makes us feel good. That same mood is portrayed in “Dekha Hai Aisa Bhi,” in which Ali travels around places (picturized in Arizona) while meeting new people and soaking in new experiences.

“Anjaani Rahon Mein

“Anjaani Raahon Mein,” a beautiful composition from the album Meri Jaan Hindustan, was Ali’s ode to India’s 50th anniversary of independence. The song that encapsulates the sentiments of homecoming and returning to one’s roots featured the artist traveling across the country in search of a new direction in life.

“Tere Mere Saath

Cruising around Havana, Cuba, in a vintage red-and-white Pontiac, Ali joined locals in dancing and grooving to this classic song from his third album Aks. The fabulous video perfectly complements the invigorating melody and emotional lyrics. It’s a lovely throwback to the good old days, and the soulful music, thought-provoking lyrics, and visuals make you grin.

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“Kitni Haseen Zindagi

The philosophy of this song is rooted in the ephemeral moments of life, love, and relationships that bring joy and pain. That is what life is, and life is worth living, as evidenced in the lyrics, “Kitni haseen zindagi hai yeh/ Hoton pe jaise kahani hai/ Sadaa yahan kiska thikana hai/ Un ki rawani mein jaana hai/ Bahaaron ne har sou rang hai bikhairaa/ Rait ka sehra, ek pal ka ghera/ Ek din bikharnaa yahan.” Another interesting aspect of this composition is its folk flavor, conveyed through the fusion of a morchang (a Jewish harp) and guitar arrangement that strike the perfect chord with the heart and soul.

“Gori Teri Aankhen Kahe

The title track from Ali’s self-composed studio album of the same name is a duet with Kavita Krishnamurthy, a love ballad dedicated to the gorgeous eyes of a girl and the messages they convey. The single, released in 2001, received appreciation for its unique soundscape. It continued gaining a lot more traction and popularity over time and is widely recognized as one of Ali’s most soulful renditions.

“Aa Bhi Ja A Bhi Ja

Sur was good in terms of reality and heartfelt sentiments, and the singer (also the lead actor in the film) nailed the character of Vikramaditya, a weary music teacher. Throughout the story, the portrayal of fragile human emotions and vulnerabilities was well captured, coupled with heartfelt music that served as special effects. One can’t forget Ali and Sunidhi Chauhan’s timeless hit “Aa Bhi Ja Aa Bhi Ja” from the film, composed by none other than the phenomenal M.M. Kreem.

“Ek Pal Ka Jeena

This OST from Kaho Na Pyar Hai was an instant hit. Ali’s intriguing vocals and Hrithik Roshan’s immaculate dance moves remain imprinted in memory. The song, styled and choreographed as a flamboyant club number, was a contrast in terms of its intense lyrics, speaking of life’s fleeting nature and the importance of living in the moment. Kudos to Ibrahim Ashq for injecting introspective words into a dance track.

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“Na Tum Jano Na Hum

Another notable highlight from Kaho Na Pyar Hai’s playlist is “Na Tum Jana Na Hum.” It’s a sluggish, soft romantic score with breathtaking views, a lovely dreamy couple, and Ali’s enchanting voice — the perfect mix for a perfect love song. It’s an evergreen Bollywood favorite from the early 2000s.

“Aahista Aahista

Shreya Ghoshal and Ali’s mellifluous jamming in “Aahista Aahista” from Bachna Ae Haseeno is like music cascading like a stream, meandering through exotic locales and resonating with bliss. The composition, with breathy vocals, is sonically refreshing and effectively conveys the feeling of first love — innocent yet adventurous. The feel-good melody grows on one aahista aahista, just like the title of the song.

“Hairat

This is a one-of-a-kind track from the film Anjaana Anjaani. Ali sang it and Vishal-Shekhar composed it. Hats off to the incredible composition, the musicians, the impressive arrangement, and Ali’s voice. In my opinion, the film was super stylish, the leads looked extremely attractive, and this song, in particular, was killer.

“Safarnama”

O Safarnama/ Sawaalon ka safarnama/ Shuru tumse, khatam tumpe safarnama/ O jisey dhoonda/ Zamaane mein, mujh hi mein tha/ O mere saare jawaabon ka safarnama,” sings Ali in this track from the film Tamasha. The singer did an excellent job with his atypical style and distinctive vocals in this heartfelt composition by A.R. Rahman. A song about personal fulfillment while navigating the road of life, its verses strike a chord because they are so relatable.

I firmly believe Lucky Ali’s musical journey comes from providence, and his music went with the flow of time and life. The reclusive singer’s soul-searching finds an expression through his art form and I guess it is this that makes him stand out as an artist. We loved him then, love him now, and will continue to love him going forward.

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