When he strums, the only thing you do is sit up and take note of the melodious strains that come out of his sarod.
Ayaan Ali Khan is not just blessed with good looks but also an unparalleled talent that makes his audience break into an encore each time he performs. Metrolife indulges in a candid tete-a-tete with this sarod player and discovers his other side.
While confessing that it’s a fabulous period for classical music in India, he says, “The India classical music is going through a fabulous period. We do wrong when we compare it with Bollywood. It’s like comparing chess with cricket. Both games are famous and have their own charm but cannot be compared.” He adds, “There is nothing to worry about the increasing trend of rock and other contemporary genre of music as more often than not, my audience are young listeners.”
Ayaan represents the seventh generation of a musical lineage known as the Senia Bangash School. The younger son and disciple of sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, Ayaan stepped into the world of music under his father’s guidance. Ayaan says, “My parents have transmitted all the values in us and I am always mindful of that.”
Other than his own genre, Ayaan also listens to every kind of music and even loves Bollywood songs. “Bollywood music is fabulous. They have some amazing singers and great sound technologies. Among the musicians I love A R Rehman and Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy and among singers, I love Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan,” he shares.
Ayaan has won the hearts of music lovers both in India and around the globe. He made his UK debut in 1989 and the US debut in 1991 at the Asia Society in New York. Ayaan performed at St James Palace in July 1997 for the Temenos Academy.
Commenting on his tryst with television with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, he says, “Reality show like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa happened before the whole saas bahu saga happened. But, these days the reality shows are all scripted. I have got offers from Bigg Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi but that’s not my kind. I don’t want to do them at all. But, yes if anything interesting materialises I will definitely take it.”
So how was it being away from wife Neema on Valentine’s Day? Ayaan replies, “I was not there with her that day as I had a concert in Bhopal, yet we managed to exchange flowers. But love is everlasting. One should celebrate love every day and not only on one particular day.” And what about his female fan following? He laughs and says, “Female fans are only there because of my music and my wife supports it.”
On being bestowed with MTV’s Lycra Award for the ‘Most Stylish Person in Music’ in 2006, Ayaan says, “My style is comfortable and anything that feels easy.”
On his brother Amaan, Ayaan says, “We share a great bond and are best of friends. We get along extremely well with each other.” He adds, “We are coming out with our new album called Rang- Colours Of Sufism. It’s an amalgamation of qawwali and other traditional songs.”
And while expressing his love for Delhi, he says, “I grew up in Delhi. I have many friends and well-wishers here and I truly value the City. It’s an integral and intense part of my life.”
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