Trust Atif Aslam to never let his fans down. Just when the Pakistani music icon’s worst critics had begun to think that he was becoming repetitive — what with his many Bollywood-inspired melodies — Aslam drops a video that is sure to herald a new chapter in his glorious career.
By his own admission, ‘Ajnabi,’ out now, has “a very contemporary sound” — something he hasn’t attempted before.
Adding to the Glory of Atif
The cherry on the top is actress Mahira Khan’s appearance in the video. Interestingly, Aslam and Khan reunite on the screen after a gap of almost 10 years. They last came together on Shoaib Mansoor’s 2011 blockbuster, ‘Bol’.
For Atif Aslam, ‘Ajnabi’ is a little milestone in his journey towards reinventing himself. Last year, he won over his fans when he recited ‘Azaan’ (the Islamic call to prayer) amid the pandemic, as a way to seek God’s forgiveness and blessings.
He followed it up with ‘Asma-ul-Hasana,’ which was produced by composer Xulfi for music series Coke Studio. As of September 2021, his rendition of ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ for Coke Studio’s season 8 has crossed 325 million views on YouTube.
One of the country’s youngest recipients of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan government’s fourth highest civilian honour, Atif Aslam was also awarded a star on the Dubai Walk of Fame in 2019.
Atif Aslam upcoming
For his next project, Aslam is returning to acting. Again, he looks at it as part of the process of self-exploration. Titled ‘Sang e Mah’, the TV drama is a sequel to 2016’s Pashtun family saga, ‘Sang e Mar Mar’. He pairs him with Kubra Khan and Hania Aamir.
Atif on Ajnabi
‘Ajnabi’ has a very contemporary sound. It’s not filmi; it’s very pop. In that sense, yes, it’s quite a new sound for me. But then I’ve always liked to experiment with my music. I’m always looking out for fresher sounds.
The lyrics are also very unlike my regular songs. Consider this: ‘Main ghar se jo nikla dukaan se khwabon ko lenay, toh band thi/Lag rahi mujhe thand thi’ [I left home to shop for my dreams, but it was shut and I was cold]. It’s basically a narration. The lyrics are by me, while Ahsan Pervez Mehdi and I co-wrote the composition. Asim Reza has directed the video. Atif Aslam put up some great-looking sets. He shot it in Karachi.