Lucky Ali, the name itself conjures up images of an artiste who defies convention and marches to the beat of his own drum. What sets Lucky Ali apart is not just his musical talent, but also his unmistakable aura. His deep, gravelly voice resonates with a raw honesty that captivates audiences and transports them to another realm. He seems to effortlessly navigate between different realms, blending elements of folk, rock, and Sufi music into a seamless tapestry that is uniquely his own. But it is not just his voice that makes Lucky Ali an intriguing figure. His persona exudes an air of enigma, with an inscrutable charm that is evident even in our Zoom conversation from his farmhouse. “I prefer to let my music speak for itself,” he said. Despite his widespread acclaim, the singer was refreshingly grounded. This air of humility only adds to the allure of his persona.
Lucky Ali's illustrious career spans several decades, and yet he continues to be an artiste who eludes categorisation. He defies expectations and embraces his own artistic vision, never compromising on his authenticity. He surprised us earlier this month with 'Virtuality', a poignant English single that marks a significant departure from his Hindi discography. “It was great singing an entire song in English. Music should have no barriers of language, after all,” said the seasoned singer, who teamed up with Eliezer Botzer – a stellar musician from Israel – for this. The song is part of the Eli Ali Project begun years ago as a collaboration between Lucky Ali and Botzer. Not only does it showcase their individual musical talents, it also highlights the power of cross-cultural exchange.
What makes this collaboration particularly fascinating is the meeting of two rich musical heritages. Lucky Ali's soulful voice, tinged with a hint of melancholy, merges seamlessly with Eliezer Botzer's folk-inspired melodies. The combination of these two artistic forces elevates 'Virtuality' into a thought-provoking exploration of our modern human condition. The production of the video began in Ukraine, before the war broke out, over a year ago and it was filmed, graphically designed and completed during the ongoing war by Ukrainian artistes, actors and animators. The seeds of this thought-provoking rendition were however sown a few years ago, on a full moon night in front of the dead sea in Israel.
Said Eliezer in a Zoom call from his home in Israel, “We coined the term ‘virtuality’ to express the state of consciousness when virtual reality becomes reality. The state of ‘virtuality, is where nothing is as it seems’, where the connection between human consciousness and truth has been supplanted by artificial intelligence and falsehood. This is potentially fatal to society, a technological pandemic… we have responded by urging humanity to be grounded (‘touch the ground again’) to seek the light of truth and to stop objectifying our existence at the hands of technology.”
'Virtuality' introduces us to a world where the digital realm intertwines with our everyday lives, where screens and virtual connections dominate our interactions. It captures the complexities and contradictions of this new reality, exploring the impact of technology on human connection and the longing for genuine human experiences in an increasingly virtual world. Both the artistes brought their unique perspectives and artistic sensibilities to the table, blending their distinct musical styles and creating something entirely new. The result is a mesmerising fusion of Indian and Israeli influences, where East meets West, creating a sonic tapestry that is both familiar and refreshingly novel.
In an era dominated by digital noise and transient connections, 'Virtuality' serves as a reminder of the importance of genuine human connection and the desire for authentic experiences. Through their collaboration, Lucky Ali and Eliezer Botzer have created a musical conversation that resonates with listeners across cultures, inviting us to reflect on the profound impact of technology on our lives and our longing for meaningful connections.
Lucky Ali's foray into English music, guided by the creative partnership with Eliezer Botzer, showcases his artistic versatility and willingness to explore new horizons. 'Virtuality' stands as a testament to the boundless possibilities that emerge when artistes break free from the confines of their comfort zones. It is a testament to the universality of music and its ability to transcend linguistic and cultural barriers, reminding us that heartfelt melodies and sincere lyrics have the power to touch souls, no matter where they originate from.