Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has been mesmerising audiences around the globe for over three decades.
As one of the most popular Bollywood playback singers, he’s released over 50 title tracks for TV serials, over 100 film songs and has released dozens of original chart-topping hits.
This weekend the legendary Bollywood singer and Ustad will perform at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
The Saturday Star (SS) caught up with the singing sensation from Pakistan ahead of his performances in Joburg.
SS: How much are you looking forward to performing in South Africa?
I’m really looking forward to my performances across South Africa as it’s been some time since I came here.
SS:You have a very big fan base in South Africa. Are you at all surprised by the large number of fans you have in South Africa?
I’m not as I have an idea about how passionate people are in SA about music.
SS: What are some of the popular songs that you will perform during your tour of South Africa?
Let that be a surprise. Allah has been kind I have had continuation of hit songs in Bollywood throughout and I will be singing my latest hits and the classic Qawalis.
SS: You are the nephew of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Can you tell me a little bit about the relationship you shared with your uncle and what is your fondest memory of him? Did your uncle inspire you in some way to become a singer?
If I am a singer today is only because of him and my dear father. He believed in me more then I believed in myself.
SS:What are your three favourite songs that you have released so far?
All my songs are favourite of mine and I can’t pinpoint just 3. Answer is all of them.
SS: You were born in Faisalabad , Pakistan. What was it like growing up in Faisalabad and was it always your dream to become a singer?
We are a very close family. With a legacy of 600 years plus in the classical and Qawali music I was destined I believe.
SS: You are one of the most popular Bollywood playback singers, having released over 50 title tracks for TV serials, and over 100 film songs and dozens of original chart-topping hits. What is it like working in the Bollywood industry?
I have a special bond with Bollywood and I enjoy working in an amazing industry which has created it’s own niche globally.
SS: You’ve performed around the globe. Which country would you say you most enjoyed performing in and why?
Again each country and the audiences are special as they take out their valuable time and come and listen to me.
SS: Do you find yourself being compared to your uncle Nusrat? And do you think that’s unfair? How do you work against that weight of expectation?
I can never be compared to my uncle as there is only one Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I will always remain to be his student.
SS:What was it like touring with your uncle Nusrat?
Sheer magic. Even today when I think about it.
SS: How tough has it been making a name for yourself in the music industry? Can you tell me a bit about some of the lows you experienced along the way to your stardom?
Every journey has its challenges. Initially in 1997 it was very very difficult as to stand to the expectations of the audiences was just not easy or simple but I was determined to make it happen and Allah has been beyond merciful.
SS: You have collaborated with some wonderful artists in the past. Who would you say you most enjoyed collaborating with and who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
They have all been special and I would not just name a few.