Singer Lucky Ali, known for his ballad-style singing, is back with his latest rendition, Intezaar, that evocatively chronicles the subject of relationships. This is his first release after his last song, Amaraya, with Israeli artiste Botzer, which came out in 2021. For his new track, the 63-year-old has joined forces with his brother-in-law, renowned composer and producer, Mikey McCleary. Together they will come up with a series of singles, releasing this year through a French independent digital music distribution and artiste services company.
In a conversation with the Free Press Journal, Lucky Ali opens up about making music during the pandemic, the music scene today, and more.
What’s the story behind the song?
We initially recorded this track a few years back in Mumbai. We didn’t have any words at that time so it was just like going from one space to another and discovering. Then we just left it on a hard drive for future like various other tracks. During the pandemic, my son and my nephew initiated the reworking of the song. When we got together for discussion, I felt I would be happy to sing it. We did to and fro of the files because we were working remotely and Mikey was in the United States. That’s how the track came about.
You have spoken about live shows affecting your mental well-being. Could you elucidate?
We were travelling a lot. One day we were in Assam and the other we were moving to the other end of the country. It was tiring for me and I started wondering if I will ever get a break from travelling. I wanted to go back to a recording studio because there were ideas I had worked on over the year and wanted to revisit them.
However, we had a packed schedule. Therefore, we decided to take one step at a time.You should never overdo anything and I was probably overdoing my gigs. It’s fun, but after a while you need to go back home... to understand where you came from and where you are going.
How can music heal the world in the post-pandemic era?
It can do wonders. It’s a good medium to communicate with each other, a great education and universal language that everyone understands. However, I feel it’s also about going beyond music at some point. By that I mean you don’t need a tool to be happy and accept each other.
What makes you happy when you look back at your journey?
The journey itself! Because there were several ups and downs. I am happy about being in the world during this exciting phase. Today, good music is being produced which is making people happy and bringing them peace. I am glad Mikey and I are a part of this energy and spreading positivity.
Has any new music released in India caught your attention?
I listen to a lot of independent artistes doing live performances.
Any words of wisdom for musicians and artistes?
It’s good to fail because if you don't fail, you don't pass.
There was a buzz that you were thinking of retiring from music. Is this true?
I have always lived a retired life because of the kind of work I do. I believe in following my own path and making music and that can happen when you are at peace. People have given me a lot of love and I feel blessed because of that. I try to do my work to the best of my ability and I am very grateful for everything that is happening. Nothing was planned, it just happened and I went along with the flow.
What Mickey McCleary says about the song: “The pandemic has changed everything, especially the way we work. However, one thing that has not changed is how we create music. Every song is like a road... there are twists and turns and then we reach the destination. That’s where we meet the song. Technology has been a game-change and there is a little reflection of that in the song too.”