New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Adeel, the latest singing sensation to emerge from Pakistan, has come a long way. From studying dentistry to cutting a Sufi album, he now says he is not averse to acting in Bollywood either.
Adeel's music is a contemporary blend of Sufi and dance floor beats. He has set the popular number 'Bulla ki jana main kaun', a ballad by Sufi poet Baba Bulleh Shah, to the techno beats of 'Disco Bulla'.
'I always wanted to be a musician, I simply had no other dream,' says the 23-year-old singer who is in India right now to promote his solo debut album 'Koi Chehra', released internationally by Tips Industries. It will hit India this month.
So what took Adeel nearly four years to come up with the 'Koi Chehra' on which he began working in 2004? The fact that his parents did not believe their son could live on music alone.
'I was forced to study medicine at the King Edwards Medical College. You see, people in our country believe unless you are a doctor, engineer or an MBA, there is no future. So I began work in 2004 and completed the album last year,' Adeel told IANS.
Adeel's songs have the influence of soulful Sufi music, sung by minstrels at shrines and holy fairs as an ode to Allah. It has its origins in the poetry of 13th century Persian poet-saint Jalauddin Muhammed Rumi and is equally popular in India.
'I am a firm believer in the Sufiana tradition. When I sing Sufi songs, I feel that I can interact with god,' says the young musician. It is rooted in neither rock nor pop, soul nor reggae.
'My music is straight from the heart - soft ballads with Sufi influences,' the musician says.
'You could say my songs in a way represent the essence of Sufi mysticism, they depict my love for god's creation and indirectly my love for god,' explains Adeel.
Like the god he seeks so desperately through his music, Adeel gambled his life for his passion and won.
'I would pass by a cliff and want to jump off it like Amitabh Bachchan in Bollywood,' says Adeel, explaining how he gave up his comfortable career in modelling for the rough and tumble of music.
Like in India, new bands and solo acts have become the order of the day in Pakistan and new musicians are taking to the stage, making the kind of music that was unheard of even until five years ago.
For Adeel, whose musical odyssey began as a toddler in Class II when his 'dad bought him a keyboard', education was a burden.
'I dropped out of BDS (dental science) like Microsoft boss Bill Gates after I was spotted by Pepsi in 2003 and became its Pakistan brand ambassador. I needed money to fund my albums,' recalls Adeel.
The Pepsi assignment eventually brought him to Bollywood - Adeel's city of dreams. He has lent his voice as a playback singer to the Bollywood film 'Jugad' starring Manoj Bajpai.
A prolific live performer, his last two big concerts were in Washington and at Delhi's Siri Fort Auditorium last year.
Adeel loves Indian music, his role models being A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Sonu Nigam. 'I would love to work with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,' says the singer.
But he has a problem with the kind of music he hears around him in Mumbai. 'Indipop is so Bollywood oriented, the film industry overshadows everything,' Adeel notes.
The medium-height singer with streaked hair and a sharp face is not averse to acting. 'I have several offers in Bollywood, but I am looking for the right script - something like 'Jab We Met'. Therefore, it is music for the time being.
His future endeavours include a 'Koi Chehra' remix and another 'Disco Bulla'-type Sufi album.