JULY 2001- Contents
Travel & Adventure
the-south-asian.com July 2001
- the Indipop Hit
With a career ranging from classical to jazz to modern pop-rock, Adnan has played it all and not just for the masses. As a classical pianist, he gives solo royal command performances before kings and heads of state. As a popular artist he has the MTV generation in raptures over his first Indipop album, Kabhi To Nazar MilaoÖ
Finally Adnan Samiís 'Lift karadey' prayers have been answered. God has lifted him up the charts with such speed that it has left the music industry breathless and the entire Indian audience in raptures.Adnan Samiís album, Kabhi To Nazar Milao released by Magnasound has taken India by storm. A sleeper hit in the depression times of Indipop music.
Educated in Britain at the prestigious Rugby School and a graduate of the University of London, Adnan is no novice in the world of music. He began playing the piano at the age of five and was first acknowledged by the world at age of nine, when BBC introduced him as a child prodigy.
At that age, he admired Miles Davis, Bee Gees, BB King and Pink Floyd. But as he grew older, he was drawn towards classical music. As fond as he was of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, Adnan was more influenced by the Indian classical legends like Bade Ghulam Ali khan, Pandit Bhim Sen Joshi and Ustaad Amir Khan and he tried to perform cover versions of the music produced by these maestros on the electric piano.
Though this was not much appreciated by many ardent classical music fans, Adnan was nonetheless declared Keyboard Discovery of the 90s by a popular American magazine Keyboard after they reviewed one of his solo piano performances in UK.
The Swedish Radio and Television Broadcasting declared him the fastest keyboard player in the world and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Great Britain featured him in a documentary on "People who influenced Asian culture in UK for the last fifty years".
With a career ranging from classical to jazz to modern pop-rock, Adnan has played it all and not just for the masses. As a classical concert pianist, he has had the honour of giving solo royal command performances before such royalty as the King of Sweden and King Hussein of Jordan. He has also performed before various Heads of States including the Presidents of France, India, UAE, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Khirgistan.
However success in India did not come as easily as he had anticipated. Adnan's first album in India, an instrumental duet with Ustad Zakir Hussain called The One and Only released by Magnasound was appreciated in the classical field but did not do well commercially.
Not one to give up, he committed himself to experimenting with new styles and formulas and thus was born Kabhi To Nazar Milao. With his second venture, Adnan has been able to create that level of quality music in the popular genre, which is a very rare commodity these days. And he's scored a bull's-eye as the songs have become chart-toppers from the word go.
Says he," Music is a form of self-expression and I do not feel satisfied until my compositions do not come from within the depths of my imagination. To create pleasing melodies, one has to conquer all inhibitions and bring out one's most intimate inner feelings."
And he is certainly true to his words. Kabhi To Nazar Milao is an album straight from the heart. The romantic, lighthearted and catchy tunes are an intelligent combination of the "traditional" and the "contemporary", some in the pure forms and others through fusion to create one of the finest collection of songs to be put together in one album in recent years.
" For me music is a vision whose melody needs to be unfolded in the form of a story," says Adnan who trained under Shiv Kumar Sharma in Mumbai and can play the violin and the tabla with the air of a maestro. In fact he specializes in playing Indian classical music on western instruments.
In Kabhi To Nazar Milao Asha Bhonsle's vocal genius lends passion to the poignant lyrics. Says Adnan, "Asha's rich vocal tonality and natural grace has done wonders for my album. The vibes of her voice are enough to touch even the coldest depths of one's heart."
It is not for nothing he calls her a deity of music whose melodies have made her a living legend. " When she agreed to sing for my album with me, I was over the moon," he confesses.
With the songs ready and Asha Bhonsle giving him the green signal, Adnan did not waste any time and rushed to London to record the album and released it in India soon afterwards to a great response.
And a bit of gimmickry has helped him tremendously. Though the video of the song Barsaat had a beautiful model and Adnan playing on the piano, violin and the tabla, the video of Lift Karadey had Govinda lip-synching to his melodious voice.
So what are the future plans for this multiple International Award winner? Hmmm. . . . Adnan is thoughtful as he thinks over this one. " I am working on two more music albums and I have been approached by some producers to compose music for movies. My albums should be out for release sometime soon."
If his first popular album is anything to
go by, they would certainly be worth the wait. The 'big' music man is surely
on a song!
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