||Muhammad Atif Aslam
||2005 - Present
Atif Aslam (Urdu:
عاطف اسلم) is a
musician. He was born in Wazirabad, Gujranwala on March 12, 1983 and was
Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Atif’s kindergarten started in Model town Lahore at Kimberley Hall School.
His first stage manifestation was in a fancy dress show at his school when he
was in grade 1 where he performed as Imran Khan, the former captain of
Pakistan's national cricket team. Since then cricket was like a passion to
him. He was never tired of playing cricket for hours in his car porch whether
it is scorching sun outside or even raining. At that time he was not used to
listen any kind of songs. At the age of 9 in 1991 he was shifted to
Rawalpindi/Islamabad where he continued his studies in Saint Paul's School. He
started playing Basketball and he use to lead his school team for various
matches. Atif came back to Lahore in 1995 where he continued his studies in
Divisional Public School Model Town. For his immense passion for cricket he
was selected in his school team as a fast bowler. Atif cleared his 10th grade
in 14 years of age with a distinctive edge that he has always been the
youngest boy in the class because of his double promotions while he was in
Kimberley Hall. Atif started his HSc in PAF College Lahore. He was in his
college team as well where he presented his college in other cities. Beside
his studies he was putting his maximum time in practicing for the professional
cricket. During his college life he come across with some interest in music.
He attended Punjab Institute of Computer Science (PICS) to do his Bachelors in
Computer Science (BCS). Aslam's eldest brother owned a collection of more than
8,000 songs of almost all music genres, from which Atif absorbed a wide range
of music at home. As a good learner he quickly grasped the control of voice,
though at that time he was not interested in singing. Aslam's passion was
still to enter the Pakistani cricket team as a fast bowler and he was right on
track while practicing at the net at the Shapes Club Lahore where Imran Khan
used to come and give tips to him for bowling.
Start of Musical Career
The twist in the story comes when one day he was singing with his friends
at the college canteen. His friends insisted him to participate in the singing
on Independence Day celebrations at PAF College Lahore and Sargodha in 1998.
He performed there and won the competition. After HSc, Atif Joined Punjab
Institute of Computer Science Gulberg Campus. This time studies were much more
demanding as compared to the previous ones. He was forced to sacrifice his
time playing cricket in order to do well in school. However, his hobby of
singing continued when he entered in the singing competition of his college,
where there were a total of 8 participants. The media team entered Atif’s name
in the competition at the eleventh hour and he won the competition singing a
hit number of Pakistani band Strings' Duur.
Jal The Band
Aslam kept winning these competitions every semester until he announced
that he would not participate in future competitions so that someone else
could also win. He found Goher Mumtaz, a talented guitarist, at this time.
Together, they started doing mini concerts for their friends. Atif used to
primarily sing songs from Junoon and Strings song at these concerts. The size
of the audiences kept on increasing. They performed concerts for their
college, McDonalds and some other restaurants as well. Atif recorded the
legendary song Aadat at Mekal Hassan’s Studio. Mekal injected his
professionalism in the song to make it worth listening time after time. Atif
formed the band and named the band as Jal, which means water, the essence of
life. The song got popularity on the different musical websites on Pakistan. .
The song was also played on such Pakistani radio stations as FM100 and FM105.
The music video for Aadat was shot one day in a warehouse in Karachi.
Soon it came out to be a super hit, topping the Pakistani music charts. On the
base of this one song, “Jal” began their tour of Pakistan—such was the
strength of “Aadat”. However, whilst on tour, personal problems led to a
verbal bust-up resulting in an unannounced and indefinite hiatus, during which
Atif launched his solo career.
Atif Aslam, after leaving Jal, released a new solo album, Jal Pari (meaning
"Mermaid") which was a big hit. Other than Aadat, 'Dil Harey', 'Woh Lamhey', 'Yakeen'
became favourites of Pakistani music fans. Though his songs were liked by
many, his first solo music video of 'Mahi ve' did not received much praise. On
the other hand Jal, with their album "Aadat" and hit music video "Woh Lamhay"
emerged as one of the top bands of Pakistan. As both the Jal, “Aadat”, and
Atif’s album, Jalpari, shared certain tracks (such as “Aadat”, “Wo
Lamhey”, “Dil Harey”) an unofficial war over rights began which resulted in
both sides claiming to possess hard proof to support their respective claims
(that, they alone owned the concerned songs). The hype this feud gave to both
Atif and the new Jal was extraordinary and split the musical nation with the
fans of each side backing their respective favourite.
Across The Border
Whilst the drama of lyrics & composition ownership continued in Pakistan,
Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt called Atif Aslam to seek his consent to
include "Woh Lamhey" in the soundtrack of his new motion picture, Zeher
(2005). The song (especially the remix version) became a hit & dominated
airplay on almost all major FM stations throughout India for a period of 6-8
months. This pattern of a slow playback song by Atif in the movie,
supplemented by a remix version released for radio airplay was to become
standard procedure with Atif’s songs on the Indian market.
He recorded a song for the movie Kalyug (2005), entitled Juda Hokey Bhi
- a slight variation of the ever famous Aadat song. Like with “Wo
Lamhey / Bheegi Yaadein”, a slow version became the theme for the movie and
part of the official soundtrack, whilst a remixed version was released to hit
the radio stations and desi clubs worldwide.
After recording for Kalyug, an Irani director in Hollywood contacted
Atif and within very little time, Atif recorded three songs for that same
director’s Hollywood movie, Man Push Cart and was rewarded with a small cameo
role in the movie.
Atif re-emerged in the subcontinent with a new track, “Tere Bin”
(translation: [Without You]) for the Bollywood Movie, Bas Ek Pal (2006). The
song "Tere Bin" became a hit in India and Pakistan.
In December 2006, Atif Aslam released his much anticipated album called
"Doorie" along with the video of the title song "Doorie" in India and
Pakistan. Some of the songs in the album include "Hum kis galli", "Maula", "O
re piya". The album was produced in collaboration with Indian lyricists and
composers. A month later the video of "Hum kis galli" was released. Like the
video of "Doorie", it was shot in India. The album is a huge hit in both
countries, especially India.
The Bollywood style of music and videos in "Doorie" has diappointed many of
Atif's fans in Pakistan who had been liking Atif for his "Jal Pari" style
songs. About this Atif said "Touring internationally made me think that I
should take my music global by releasing it worldwide. I collaborated with a
lot of people and thought up a plan for a commercial album, which is not my
type of music; which is not ATIF. I just wanted to explore that side of the
music. When I composed and wrote these songs for Doorie, I kept in mind that
this album has to be commercial". He also told that he would soon be releasing
an album named "Hangami Halaat" which would be an original 'atif style' album.
Regarding his videos he says "I think that was a requirement because the
Indian audience can never accept my 'stupid' 'Mahi Vey' video or my 'stupid' 'Rangoun
Mein' video. They have a different concept about a pop or a rock icon. He has
to be a heart throb. Girls here can't sit on motor bikes, in India girls ride
them. It's a different culture altogether. They (my Indian videos) are for an
Controversies began surrounding Atif from the beginning of his solo career.
Many of Atif's critics accused him of stealing songs from former band mate
Gohar Mumtaz. Both Atif and Gohar laid claim on songs like "Aadat", "Dil Harey",
"Woh Lamhey" and "Zindagi". Still noone knows whose creations actually these
Best song, Best Composition, Best Lyrics "Aadat"- 2nd Jazz Indus Music
Best playback singer, Best debut singer - Sahara Sangeet Awards (India)
Best Song Best Lyricist Best Composition - ARY Music Awards (Pakistan)
Most Wanted Male - The Musik Awards (Pakistan)
- Jal Pari (July 2004)
- Doorie (December 2006)