At Day 1 of the TimeOut72 music festival in Goa, Lucky Ali was one of the most interesting names on the roster. The musician played to a crowd of youngsters, effectively creating an ambiance of nostalgia as he crooned some of his biggest hits like Ek Pal Ka Jeena, O Sanam and Na Tum Jaano Na Hum. Ali, who is based out of Bengaluru, keeps himself busy with organic farming and is working towards creating a sustainable infrastructure for waste management.
We caught up with the musician backstage where he spoke about why it’s been 6 years since his last album release and what he thinks about today’s film music:
On performing for a young audience
I couldn’t see them. I can’t see them. I don’t know if they’re young or old. I just get a vibe. And then I’m just reacting to that vibe and that’s my performance.
On staying grounded despite success
I don’t really consider myself successful in that way. I consider myself to be loved. And for me that is success. That someone can smile at you and connect with you. My father (comic legend Mehmood) was very down-to-earth and he saw to it that I do the same. There were no favours that my father did for me. In fact, my father had written me off because he felt I was bekaar, that I was not doing anything. He was very disillusioned with me.
I have worked in different places in the world and with different kinds of people. Starting with our own people, then I went abroad. It’s how you try to balance it. If you go extreme to one side, you unbalance your ship. The waves teach you to stay in control because the wave is more powerful than you.
On difference between working for films vs. doing independent music
I don’t do many films. It’s not my space. What do I do there? It’s probably giving me some money. But apart from that, it’s not really helping me to grow.
On why he hasn’t released an album since 2011
Companies have changed. I don’t like to work with companies anymore. I think I was one of the first people to have worked with a company. I don’t like the idea of a company not doing its part for you.
On what he thinks of today’s film music
You can say they’ve all gone for a nice trip. The music is still here. Let them enjoy what they’re enjoying. They’ll learn and they’ll come back and they’ll understand that sab toh yahi hain.
On the importance of education in music
Study till it suits you. Most of it is work with yourself. There are certain things that are basic. And it’s from the basic that you have to build up. It’s what you put into it, that’s what comes out. Music is so free-flowing. There’s no strictly that or strictly this. For me, it’s a culmination of a whole lot of energies.
What he does in his spare time
I like to travel. I like solitude a lot. Farming helps me bring meaning to isolation. There’s this music project that we’ve done with Israel. I like seeing the children growing. I hope that I can inculcate good energies in their lives.