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    Atif Aslam

    Atif Aslam, an exceptional talent whose music transcends any language, is’ one of the most popular musicians in both India and Pakistan today. To go with his voice, he has guitar skills that rival any other artist in the business, American or international.

    Growing up in Lahore, Pakistan, Atif Aslam became a top student and avid cricket player. In fact, he had little involvement in music for much of his younger years, spending his time as an athlete and student. His older brother had a collection of some 7000 songs, so in his most formative years he unknowingly became well rounded in music and developed a good ear for it. However, it wasn’t until he was in college that he realized his unique talent.

    Aslam’ discovered his voice while singing for a group of friends, and they insisted that’ he take part’ in a singing competition his university was hosting. As luck would have it, he won. He continued to enter other competitions and won every time he performed. It got to a point where he stopped competing, in order to let someone else have the chance to win.

    It was also around this time he met another musician, Goher, who had a singing voice and played the guitar much like Atif. They quickly came together, practicing for hours each day, eventually performing in small, mini-concerts for friends. This group of young musicians called themselves Jal, meaning water.

    Eventually, their studio time produced great results, namely the song ‘Aadat’ in Feb. 2003. This song became huge in Pakistan before crossing the border into India. The song was a top hit on the radio for week after week, bringing Jal to the ears of millions of people.

    Unfortunately, success couldn’t keep the group together, as there was a huge dispute between Goher and Atif, where they ultimately went separate ways in late 2004. After Atif went solo, he remade many of the songs that Jal had previously recorded, citing that they were as much his as anyone else’s. In either case, his voice and guitar melodies rival any current artist’s.

    Aslam’s’ first hit, ‘Aadat,’ is a melodic song that is powered by’ his vocals, but followed by some strong instrumentals. Of all of his songs, with or without Jal, this is the one that has the best and most complete sound. In many ways, it’s flawless, if only for his singing.

    Another great song is ‘Ik Din Aaye Ga,’ which he recorded for the victims of the devastating Pakistan earthquake of 2005. Its simple message in the title, ‘keep moving,’ is a strong and meaningful ballad, even for someone who may not understand the rest of the song, myself included. It does have a long continuation, and like some of his other songs, he stretches his voice more than he should. Ultimately, it has a great and peaceful sound that I think anyone can appreciate in some way.

    ‘Bikara Hoon Mein’ is another notable song that follows much the same model as the other songs mentioned, a slow and calming beginning before the guitar and accompanying drums really kick in and make the song what it truly is. It has a great electric guitar rip weaved in, and is a perfect example of why he is such a talent.

    Finally, his song ‘Bheegi Yaadein (Woh Lamhay)’ gives the audience one more refrain that shows his incredible voice. However, the guitar here is used somewhat differently, and at one point, it’ sounded to’ me like’ an Iron Maiden sound.’ Like all of his songs, it is certainly worth a look.

    I found that Atif Aslam is a great artist to begin listening to if you have little background in music from this region, like myself. I found myself listening to his songs over and over again, because he has talent that goes beyond any language barriers.

    You can find songs from Atif Aslam at www.soundclick.com by searching for’ his name. Do yourself a favor and listen to Pakistan’s best musical talent today.

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