KEEPING IT REAL
Weekends are for sleeping in and tucking into my favourite dishes either cooked at home or delivered by one of my favourite joints in Lahore. I also love getting together with my closest friends. We have a great time singing karaoke and chatting. They don’t treat me like a celebrity, so it’s refreshing to be myself with them.
My latest splurge is my new car. I wanted to experience driving one with a hybrid engine and play my role in environment protection, so I decided to buy it.
Coming from a family of musicians, I’ve never had to look outside home for musical influences. My earliest memory is of my grandfather, Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan, teaching me a composition as a three-year-old. My father, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, was a legend and my brother, Asad Amanat Ali Khan, is someone I looked up to.
UNITY IN DIVERSITY
The best part about visiting Dubai is that I get to perform in front of both Indian and Pakistani fans and see them together united in their love for music. You always want to sing a studio-recorded song live to see audience reactions in real time.
Issey Miyake’s L’Eau d’Issey is my fragrance of choice. It’s a lemony calming perfume that’s refreshing, just like weekends should be.
I enjoy listening to all genres of music – classical, pop, Sufi, ghazals, light rock or Bollywood – as long as its good. My all-time favourite song is Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi by Kishore Kumar, who’s also my favourite Bollywood singer. Of the songs I’ve sung, Mitwa from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is closest to my heart.
HUNGER FOR BOOKS
When I was young, I used to read a lot. I’d either be hooked to a newspaper, book or a comic. The first books I read are also perennial favourites: The Merchant of Venice and A Tale of Two Cities.
WHEN IN ROME
Apart from music, travel is a passion that fuels me. My ideal weekend getaway is Rome. When I first saw the city, I fell in love with how artistically it’s built, its beautiful weather, warm people and sensational food. I’d like to take my son, Saadat Ali, along with me the next time I visit.
I’m not a great cook, but I make decent pasta. But for me, comfort food is biryani saag. It’s only available in Lahore, and even a lot of Lahoris don’t know it. It’s mutton biryani eaten with spinach, cooked separately. I like it so much that I store it in my fridge so I can eat it whenever I want.