x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Ali Azmat and Atif Aslam make Dubai debut

Two of Pakistan's biggest rock stars are coming for a special concert together.

The Pakistani singer Atif Aslam released his first album in 2004. Mohammed Mahjoub / AFP
The Pakistani singer Atif Aslam released his first album in 2004. Mohammed Mahjoub / AFP

Two of Pakistan's biggest rock stars are coming together: Ali Azmat and Atif Aslam.

The former is one of the oldest names in the Pakistani pop/rock industry. When barely out of his teens, he formed the band Jupiter, who gave Pakistan one of its earliest modern pop hits: Yaaro Yehi Dosti Hai (This Is Friendship). At 21, he formed Junoon, who went on to become one of the biggest bands in Pakistan. As pioneers of Sufi rock, a blend of western music and classical eastern poetry, they achieved success during the early 1990s and released seven albums before parting ways in 2005.

Azmat released his first solo album, Social Circus, in 2005. It won 23 awards in Pakistan, including Best Album and Best Producer. His second album, Klashinfolk, was released in August 2008. Azmat made his Bollywood debut with the single Garaj Baras in Pooja Bhatt's film Paap, raking in nominations for Best Soundtrack and Best Song in India. Recently, he worked with Bhatt again for her highly controversial film Jism 2.

But the 42-year-old Azmat's 22-year musical career certainly doesn't eclipse the 29-year-old Alsam's eight-year career.

Aslam has worked with the likes of Strings, Hadiqa Kiani and Coke Studio in Pakistan, and Shreya Ghoshal, Alka Yagnik, Pritam, Alisha Chinoi and Sunidhi Chauhan in India.

He released his first album, Jal Pari (Mermaid), in 2004. Aadat (Habit) from the same album became a youth anthem and Aslam soared to instant stardom. His charisma, stage presence and powerful vocal ability made him one of the most sought-after live performers, playing to sell-out crowds in Pakistan and, soon after, the rest of the world. Also an actor, Aslam first appeared in the 2011 Pakistani movie Bol. He is currently one of two judges on the singing talent show Sur Kshetra.

Both forces to be reckoned with in their own right, the two have performed together on numerous occasions, but never in the UAE. Tonight, Dubai will witness the coming together of the two. The opening act for this show will be Dubai's own DJ Hani.

The concert starts at 10pm tonight at Dubai World Trade Center. Tickets cost from Dh100 to Dh500, from Little Hut Restaurants in Sharjah and Ghusais Karama, Dubai, and online at www.timeouttickets.com and www.dobazaar.com, or call 04 368 2368