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    Javed Ali on working with A R Rahman, his performance with the KM Sufi Qawwali Ensemble and his wish list

    This weekend promises to be a treat for lovers of classical music, with the KM Sufi Qawwali Ensemble presenting a concert. The highlight promises to be singer Javed Ali who, along with Bangalore-based singer Mohammed Aslam, has been invited as a soloist. “I will be singing the songs I sang for A R Rahman like Kun Faya Kun, Arziyaan and Khwaja Mere Khwaja,” says the Mumbai-based playback singer.

    Ali is of the opinion that the popularity of Sufi qawwali is on the rise today, with music directors composing more of them. “Songs like Arziyaan blends today’s style with the Sufi tradition,” says the 35-year-old, who remembers how while singing Kun Faya Kun Rahman used to correct his voice accent. “He’d ask me to say the Wazu (prayer) and he’d create such an ambience that the song would just pour out of my soul,” adds the singer who is finishing a new album, his first production, for a charitable project. Currently working on songs for composers Amit Trivedi, Nadeem Saifi and Sajid Wajid, he says he’d love to work with Ilayaraja and Vishal Bharadwaj. “I love it when people appreciate a song I’ve sung in a language not my own. After ok Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi, I want to sing in Malayalam,” says Ali, who personally loves romantic songs.

    Music notes
    The Ensemble, formed in 2010, has been performing in India and abroad since 2011. “The concert will have three pieces: traditional Sufi qawwali, songs composed by our director, Munna Shaokath Ali, and finally, maestro Rahman’s qawwalis,” says Jyoti Nair, manager preparatory programmes at KM College of Music and Technology.
    On Sunday, The Hilton Hotel, from 7 pm. Tickets from Rs.2,000. Details: indianstage.in

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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