Thursday, April 17, 2014

“I wouldn’t be in show business if I cared what people think” – Komal Rizvi

interview: music mix

Since achieving fame in the ‘90s, Komal Rizvi has gained recognition as an actress, singer and host. And even though she has courted controversies along the way, the multihyphenate entertainer has remained undaunted in the face of criticism. She has now unveiled her new single ‘Kalli Kalli’ and is also working on her next studio album. In a chat with Instep, Komal talks about her new song and video, performing on Coke Studio, and hosting a new youth talent show.

Instep: You are releasing your new single ‘Kalli Kalli’. Tell us about the track.
Komal Rizvi: ‘Kalli Kalli’ is inspired by Akhtar Hussain’s soundtrack for the Pakistani movie Patey Khan (1955). It’s a soulful melody fused with a modern musical score. This song represents both east and west, folk and contemporary in its best form.

Instep: You have recorded the song in collaboration with your brother, Hasan Rizvi. How did this collaboration shape up?
Komal: When I was working on the reshaping of this melody to suit my style, I realized that if anyone can choreograph this song it would be my brother Hasan. This collaboration highlights what both of us do best.

Instep: A video for ‘Kalli Kalli’ is also being released this month. Who has directed it and how was the experience of working on the video?
Komal: The video and teaser has been directed by Sohail Javed, who has lent us his creative genius by executing daring shots in a very limited budget. We all decided that if we were to depict this message - “that the ever-progressing humanity should never forget their basic elements and come back to their roots every once in a while” - we would have to shoot the four universal elements in this way only (the way it’s been done in the video).
Fire and Air have been represented by Hasan. Passion, strength, flexibility, compromise, silence and stillness, controlled growth – these are all qualities that we as a race should hold on to dearly, especially with the digitalization and aloofness of the world. Water and Earth have been represented by me. There’s a sense of motion, progress, generosity and productivity represented by Mother Nature.

Instep: You have also recorded a song (a duet with Javed Ali) for the upcoming movie The System? How did this project come about?
Komal: I have sung the title for The System, a European-Pakistani movie. I knew the film’s music director in India and I did it on his request. Javed Ali is a friend and I hope to sing with him on several projects in the future.

Instep: You performed on Coke Studio a few years ago. How was the experience of being part of the show? And how do you feel about Rohail Hyatt’s departure from the program?
Komal: I still salute Rohail Hyatt for being a true pioneer and taking our Pakistani music where no man has ever taken it! He is worth a million accolades. The Coke Studio experience is like none other and I am proud that two songs of mine are in the top ten all time Coke Studio hits. I couldn’t have done it without his support.

Instep: How do you feel about the Pakistani entertainment industry at the moment? What are your thoughts on the film, television, and music scene in Pakistan?
Komal: Everything is becoming bigger and better! I pray with all my heart that it continues to thrive! Yes there are people out there doing all kinds of mediocre or even dare I say, nasty work. But those kinds of people are present in every industry on every level! I’m just very happy to see that overall we are growing in the industry and there are many people doing some truly commendable work!

Instep: Do you have any live performances lined up for the coming months?
Komal: This past year has been crazy for me. I have performed in places like Singapore, Bali, Thailand, Dubai, London, all the way to places like Sibbi, Quetta, Faisalabad and Sargodha!! Hence I simply didn’t have time to work on new music!
I am trying to rectify that now by releasing some good pieces despite still having many tours and shows coming ahead!

Instep: What about acting or hosting? What are your current projects?
Komal: I am judging a youth talent show these days. There is nothing more rewarding and satisfying than to encourage and advise young kids who are immensely talented and from very humble backgrounds. I sincerely hope I have changed their view on singing and dancing positively in some small way!

Instep: You have generated some controversy during your career, but seem resilient in the face of criticism. How do you cope with negative feedback?
Komal: To be honest, if I cared what people think, I wouldn’t be in show business in the first place. I love music. I’m doing what I love. It’s just that simple. I ignore haters and jealous people. They will always have something to say. I don’t need anyone to tell me how good a vocalist I am. I know exactly where I stand and luckily my family has raised me to be a very secure person. Alhamdulillah.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 17th April, 2014 *

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