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Experimenting always, in style.....

While in school he was called `fast pace'. Today this ghazal singer is on the fast track of music having made a name for himself. TALAT AZIZ talks about his career to K.KANNAN...

``Keep up with the times, but do not loose your roots'' has been the guiding principle for Talat Aziz, the Hyderabad-born ghazal singer, who in his career 22 years has done more than 40 albums. Slotted as a ghazal singer, he has however experimented with various styles of music but never lost his moorings.

``If you have strong foundations, you can build your edifice,'' argues this self-made singer, who in his recently launched album ``Khubsoorat'' has begun the long journey towards fulfilling his dream of doing world music. ``The music is, however, pure,'' he asserts.

While in school, he aspired to become a cricketer. ``I was one of the fastest bowlers of my school and I even played for my State. My nickname was fast pace,'' reveals Talat, who went on to release his maiden album in March 1979 with ``Jagjit Singh presents Talat Aziz''.

More known for his ever-green ghazals in films like ``Umrao Jaan'', ``Bazaar'' and ``Daddy'' which have become all-time hits, Talat says films are not the ultimate in life. ``I have sung a pure classical ghazal for a new film ``Shararat'' in which Abhishek Bachchan plays the lead role.''

Trained by renowned ghazal maestro, Mehdi Hassan, Talat, has his own identity today unlike many other singers who, he laments, are plastic clones. ``New singers are like blind people groping in the dark. Ninety per cent of today's singers do not have any knowledge or basic grounding in music,'' he says.

As early as 1987, Talat launched his first ghazal video, ``Tasavvur'' which was extensively aired on the national network. Another video ``Irshad'' had impromptu improvisational flourishes with specially composed `shers' (couplets) by Nusrat Badr, son of the well-known poet, Bashir Badr. ``My new album, `Khubsoorat', is also a landmark in that it is the first non-film album of Anand Bakshi,'' he says.

Having given music for a large number of television serials like ``Deewar'', ``Baaz'', ``Adhikaar'' and ``Noorjahan'' , Talat is pained by the clutter in television, especially in the field of music. Yet, he has endeavoured to explore another facet of his personality by acting in several serials. ``I am playing the role of the owner of a music company in a new serial `Apni Kushiyan Apni Gham' being telecast on Doordarshan''.

Talat has given a large number of live performances, including one with Mehdi Hasan, all over North America in 1986. He is now aspiring to sing for some famous international composers. ``I have worked with David Gibson, a Hollywood composer in 1993. We recorded a song ``So Happy Tonight'' in his studios. Gibson wrote, composed and produced the song himself. It was however not released.''

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