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Upclose: Purani jeans, naya avatar!
Purani Jeans made Ali Haider a household name. What made you want to remix your own song almost a decade later?
The new Purani Jeans is a hard-rock version of the hit song. It’s way more energetic than the original. I like to keep changing my songs according to the present generation’s tastes. In other words, I update my songs every eight to 10 years. What makes the new Purani Jeans more interesting is the fact that I’ve also shot the video in the same place where the original song was shot.
So you are obviously pro-remixes?
If the melody of the song remains intact, I don’t see anything wrong with remixes. Gaane ka alam, sur aur taal rehna
chahiye. Remixes, in fact, often revive classics, gaana phir zinda ho jata hai.
=Music in Pakistan versus music in India?
In Pakistan, pop music is more popular, whereas in India, film music still rules the charts. But now, audiences in India are opening up to the changing scene of pop music, and Pakistani pop is increasingly becoming popular, primarily because of its distinctive sound. Each artiste has an alag style within the pop genre. Right from Junoon to Strings, Pakistani musicians have a huge fan following in India. But Bollywood songs are a hit in Pakistan, too.
“In Pakistan, pop music is more popular, whereas in India, film music still rules the charts. But now, audiences in India are opening up to the changing scene of pop music, and Pakistani pop is increasingly becoming popular, primarily because of its distinctive sound.”
Was acting in films a deliberate move? What is your debut film Osama about?
It wasn’t a planned move at all, and it’s not a change of career either. I was offered the role and only took it up because it’s a great script and a unique role. And most importantly, it’s a film with a nice message. The film is about the different perceptions people have when they hear the name Osama. I feel I can contribute something to society through this film, hence I agreed to play the main lead.
If Bollywood beckons again, will you listen?
Only if it’s an unusual script, like Osama.
You’re also a TV star in Pakistan. Any plans to join the buzzing TV industry in Mumbai?
I am a TV actor, but I don’t do soap operas. I act in tele-films. TV is extremely time-consuming, and my priority is making music, both for my albums as well as for tele-films, so I never thought of taking up small-screen acting in a more serious manner.
You recently released your 15th album. Over the years, how have you evolved as a musician?
When I started my music career at the age of 18, I was a teeny-bopper musician. My melodies and lyrics were youthful. With time, and maturity, I have changed my sound. My music has definitely evolved, after all, I’ve been here almost 18 years now! But my thoughts and music style was always ahead of its time. — Dawn/Times of India news service