A sensation in the genre of pop all over the Middle East and UAE, Mr. Adel Farooq is quite the dashing rockstar! He has the eyes and the voice of a soulful being, his music so expressive and full of emotion! He has also made his acting debut recently in one of the acclaimed shows of Zee TV Middle East – as the negative lead in Parwaaz (which translates to “taking flight”). Style Aria had the honor to pick his brain, and to our utter delight, he gave open and honest replies! Read on to find out about this rising star in the genre of Sufi Pop.
1. In the way of a small introduction to our readers, please tell us about yourself and your music.
Mr. Farooq – Well I am a native Arab from Dubai. What they call an Emirati in UAE. And I got hooked to Bollywood music thanks to the likes of Kishore Kumar, Lata ji and many legends. Used to watch a lot of Hindi Movies. So gradually got more and more pulled towards the movies and songs. Thanks to all those fabulous actors we see on screen and the legends who have sung songs and the ever brilliant composers like SD and RD Burman, OP Nayyar and many more. Always had a knack for singing songs and carried on singing as a hobby for a very long time humming those songs of old. A few years later recorded a cd for family and friends, people liked what I did so cut an album and released it in the middle east and world wide on digital media like iTunes etc. Album was called Daastaan. Did really well so started singing professionally. And here I am
2. Who Are Your Musical Influences?
Mr. Farooq – First and foremost Kishore Kumar. It doesn’t ever get any better than that. A legend and I consider him my Guru. There will never be any one who I was more impressed with. Versatile in every sense and no learnings as a singer – just pure raw talent and a rare breed. Have been a great fan of some of the legends like, Elvis, MJ, BB King, Clapton, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and of the new lot of singers. I love listening to Sonu Nigam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.
3. What are your fondest musical memories?
Mr. Farooq – Every live performance, every studio recording is a fond memory because every moment is a different moment that I can cherish. No two performances have ever been the same, or no two recordings have ever been the same. What makes it all worthwhile is that I have always had the honor and privilege to have a lovely audience. I have also been lucky to share the stage with some of the top musicians over time like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, KK, Strings, Kailash Kher and many more.
There is however one moment in my life that stands out and that is going to Pyarelal ji’s house once and spending time with him. Had the highest honor of listening to him play the piano and sing songs for him that he and Laxmikant ji had composed over the years.
4. How do you handle mistakes or lapses during a live performance?
Mr. Farooq – Well its all about confidence. we all make mistakes. you have to either carry on or just be very witty and convert that mistake into a giggle or a laughter for the audience. Or just carry on singing with confidence as if nothing ever happened. You have to always be respectful to the audience especially at a live gig and don’t worry about mistakes because if you are singing from your heart and soul the audience never minds a mistake here or there. In fact they appreciate the fact that we are all human and we all make mistakes.
5. How do you counter nerves before going on stage?
Mr. Farooq – There are many different ways you can do that by maybe initially talking to the audience and breaking the ice, or start singing from behind the stage, get the initial butterflies shrugged off. I tend to do both, depends on the audience and my mood. Also depends on what song I am starting with. Over time the butterflies or the nerves have decreased but they never totally vanish. They are always there and its good because it makes you work hard and appreciate the audience as will the audience appreciate you.
6. If not a singer, what would you have been professionally?
Mr. Farooq – a Cricketer of course as I have represented my UAE National team and was the vice captain for few years too. That’s one game that I absolutely love and will always appreciate what it has taught me about life – about never giving up and about fighting the odds. It’s all about getting up every time you fall and always making a stronger comeback.
7. If a genie gave you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Mr. Farooq – a live performance with Kishore Kumar on the same stage, Sanjay Dutt’s freedom and end of terrorism in the world.
8. Who’s your Bollywood crush?
Mr. Farooq – Oh boy! Well, I’d love to take Deepika Padukone and Chitrangada Singh on a date together. They are truly gorgeous.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mr. Farooq – I live my life one day at a time. Yes, I have aspirations and dreams but many times life doesn’t work out the way you want it to. At the end of the day if I put my head on the pillow to sleep and can manage a smile and thank God for the lovely day then that means the day has been fantastic and tomorrow is another day to fight it out and come out a winner, many days you have scars and bruises to show but that’s all good because we all fight our demons on a daily basis. The important thing is to never let them win.
10. Have you got Bollywood aspirations? Can we expect Adel Farooq’s Bollywood debut some time soon?
Mr. Farooq – I certainly hope so! My biggest idol in Bollywood has been Sanjay Dutt, the original rockstar and another utmost favorite of mine is Salman Khan. I have had the honor to meet both of them. Sanjay Dutt I have been lucky to spend some time with and I must say he is the most amazing human being. I love the guy. So yes to answer your question, i would love to maybe work with Salman or Sanjay Dutt or even sing for them in their movies. Another wish that I have is to sing for Mahesh Bhatt saab, the only filmmaker who has been on the ball, constantly re-inventing himself with changing cinema. He seems like a person who gives new comers a chance always so hope I do get the opportunity to sing for him, maybe in Aashiqui 3