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About Junoon Ali Azmat

Male actress Junoon Ali Azmat from Pakistan, famous due to tv

Ali Azmat


Junoon Pop Groups Pictures Interview Biography

Junoon are back stage. Their fans want their favourite member of the band to come out and show himself. When he does there is an applauding roar and th everybody quietens down.en Ali commands attention at any live show. Because one never knows what he is going to do next. How does he manage to be so unpredictable? “ I never know what I am going to do next either,” he guffaws. Ali doesn’t think about eventualities. He just takes the waves as they come. That is how one keeps abreast of the ebb and flow of the tides of time.

In the 1990s Junoon crash landed on the local music scene like some leaded zeppelin from the sky. The Vital Signs got there first, but today Junoon are the undoubtedly the most successful band in Pakistan. And it is not so much the Junoon sound that has made them soar above the rest. It is their ability to entertain that has taken them places. It seems that when Junoon play live, lead singer Ali Azmat is their not so secret weapon. When it comes to shaking things up on stage, Ali is the one who has a thousand and one tricks up his sleeve. An inborn entertainer, he can make the crowd go wild. He says it’s because he is having as much fun as they are.

Ali Azmat is an enigma and an icon rolled into one bohemian package. He hails from Lahore and his Punjabi identity is stamped on him like a birthmark that can never be erased. The fact that he so obviously belongs to his land is what makes him such a hit with his fans. He is one of them, but he has it all – fame, money, the token chick on his arm and free tickets around the globe with the band. Ali dares to be different and that is something they all aspire to be. What differentiates Ali from them is that he went ahead and did it. Ali is proof that that if you grapple with destiny, you might even find yourself on top. All his problems are a breeze now. Life was so hard in the beginning that as he gets older, it is left with no option but to get softer by each Junoon album that is released.

Ali was born in Lahore in 1970. Growing up on the streets of the oldest cultural centre in Pakistan, he imbibed the streetwise and happy go lucky attitude that is still shield against the worls today. “I remember the Zia years,” he says. “Curfews, stoning, people dying. Society was really closed up then. Nothing used to happen. But then again thirteen years of Martial Law can mess any nation up,” he says as he exhales the cigarette he smokes out of his own free will. He has always been a malang doing when he wants, how he wants, where he wants. That is why he left home when he was eighteen-year-old to do his Bachelors in Australia. He never got the degree. He chased the sun and the warmth found him. Now life is a synonym for summertime and Ali is busy making hay with the rest of his colleagues.

There was a time when he wasn’t. A musician in our society is often called a mirasi. The only people willing who ventured into the field were people from gharaanas. Indeed Ali’s father was one artist whose creativity was aborted by tradition. “My father really wanted to be an actor. But his mother would have beaten him up if he ever took it up,” reveals Ali. Its not surprising that Ali has lived out his dream. His father, after having his ambition nipped in the bud backed his son in his pursuits. It paid off. Somewhere along the way Ali’s flights of fancy sprouted wings and took him along with them all the way to rock star glory. When a diamond in the dust realises that it is, in fact, a diamond, life has boundless possibilities.

Ali was humming songs as a child and all around him told him that he could sing. “As a kid, I used to sing the national anthem in school,” he says about his initial foray into music. In his first year of college he started playing drums for an amateur band called The Scoundrels. Such was life till his first public performance with the Jupiters at a show organised by the Jang Group. The Jupiters got the first prize. “It took us two years to come out with something original,” says Ali of his ex-band that has since then disbanded. "“All of them were scared of being accepted. I didn’t want to go to weddings and sing chart topping songs done by other artists,” he laments the absence of initiative that strikes potential musical talent dumb. “If you don’t have guts, you will never do anything,” he says of people unlike him. Gutless and aimless id something he has never been, pursuing his goal with the single-minded zeal of a man who has put his finger on what he wants to do and where he wants to go.

Ali has always felt at home away from home. “After I came back from Australia, I couldn’t live with my family any more. I liked living alone. Rohail Hyatt (Vital Signs keyboardist) and I were supposed to do an album together, but that didn’t work out. I met Salman (Ahmed) there who was being booted out of the band. We wrote ten songs, got in touch with Nusrat Hussain and made the first album,” he reminisces his route to pop stardom. For Talaash the second Junoon album, Salman Ahmad got in touch with his high school friend Brian O’Connell who flew down here and never went back. The rest as they say is history right up to the notorious ban on Junoon that continues to this day.

“There are all kinds of things in the environment that stop you. Bands are chewed up by corporate sponsorships. Some musicians are shot down by critics. Everybody has money problems. But if you really want to make music, who can stop you from it?” Ali scoffs at the brick bats and hurdles he has encountered. And music is what it is all about for him. He loves it even though he is the first to admit that he is not a trained singer. Though he did take lessons from one of Mehdi Hasan’s students. “Its terrible. My ustad was a good singer, but he was so much in awe of Mehdi Hasan that he could never do anything on his own,” says Ali about the experience. “I can never accept what I am told without questioning it first,” he says. And indeed, the only teacher Ali has had is life itself. And the only belief he has ever really had has been in him alone.

Living alone. Partying with friends. Jamming with his colleagues. Ali has come of age and has never stopped playing. If anything has paid off it’s the eclecticism that makes him more outlandish than Brian. And his munda sheher Lahore da attitude that makes him more Pakistani than Salman. Ali is not some raving intellectual. He is just quick on the uptake and coupled with his energy and appetite for life makes him do much more than just go on. Ali has not dealt with the odds. He has defied them. His bohemian sensibility seems to be the sign of times to come. When you listen to what you tell yourself to do. That’s when you stop leading life because it simply starts unfolding itself.

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