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So, who is this Ali Zafar guy?

June 19, 2010

I follow some Bollywood blogs to catch up on the news and look at Katrina Kaif pictures. However, I usually have nothing to add to those discussions; hence I refrain from adding a lot of Bollywood related news stories on this blog. However, since the following trailer came in our lives, I was itching to write something about the lead actor.

Tere Bin Laden seems to be a very interesting movie (which means it might turn out to be horrible as well), where a Pakistani journalist makes some fake Osama videos to become famous.  The main character in the movie is played by the Pakistani Pop singer Ali Zafar, and he’s making his debut in film acting with this movie. Now, most people in Pakistan know a lot about Ali Zafar and for them, this post would be redundant. However, I saw an opportunity to be finally useful in the Bollywood crowd (Please take me seriously, Bollywood bloggers! =P )

Anyways, this is my small attempt to introduce (and hopefully not a fanboy blabbering) who Ali Zafar is, to the Bollywood world!

In short, Ali Zafar is the reigning “Prince of Pop” of Pakistan, despite the fact that he shares the turf with the internationally acclaimed singer like Atif Aslam. And there is a good reason that he is the “Prince”, because he has managed to wow the audiences, repeatedly. I, personally, didn’t even want to like Ali Zafar when he started out, but over time he has won many hearts, including mine, with his talent. Why, you might ask? Well, for once, he’s the Jack of All Trades (Pun intended). He’s a model, actor, singer, composer, and even a video director (OK, he directed only one of his videos). Also, he can fly, but still prefers to travel on top of trains!

Also he makes the ladies go googoogaga (according to this, which is apparently one of the most expensive videos from Pakistan, ever!)

Plus, he has managed to establish himself as respected member of the musical fraternity as well, but more on that later.

Ali started out modeling and then acting, when he was in a very famous art school in Lahore. He started out with a few plays like Lunda Bazaar, and that brilliant Tariq Abro show (I believe it was called Kollege Jeans (sic)). Then he came into the limelight as one of the models of a hit Abrar-ul-Haq video

Soon he was branching out to music and he sang for a film by Sameena Peerzada, Shararat, which was released in 2003. Then, late in 2003, he released Channo! And he was an overnight sensation!

There was not a single wedding, where Channo was not being played, over the speakers. Also, it was a good time to enter the pop market, as the old stalwarts were in decline and the new breed of musicians, like Noori and eP, were not of everybody’s taste. This was also the time when Atif Aslam and came up in the market. So, there was this good looking boy, singing a catchy tune, and was having a hoot while doing so. Naturally, I despise all things glitzy and glam and hence Ali Zafar was more or less dismissed. However, when his album Huqa Pani was released, it became a guity pleasure of sorts. All of his videos were hit, because all of them were colourful and full of pizzazz. Ali released two videos:  Rangeen, and Chal Dil Mere (one of the first one-shot videos in Pakistan). He also directed the video of “Ek Pal”, which was kindaaaa interesting thematically, but also it featured a shirtless Ali Zafar

Over the next couple of years, Ali garnered more fan base, and when he released his second album “Masty”, he was really huge! And that was very evident when he made some grand videos for his second album.

Also, he evolved as a singer, and his music became much better. Also there was “Sajania” which has one of the sweetest openings.

“What is your behavior of choice, this evening?

Do I sound a little cheesy?


Also, other videos from the album included Dekha Jo, Aasman, and the dramatic, dramatic Aag (Something tells me has pretentions to be an action hero in the coming years).

However, he earned some serious street cred when he performed “Allah Hu Chambe Di Booti” on Coke Studio season 1, and he cemented that place with a couple of amazing tracks done for Coke Studio season 2. He also played some musical instruments on his own, with some of his composition.

And with Yaar Daddi, he won my heart! (The build up is till 2:27, and then it picks up! and wait till you get to 5:42)

Tere Bin Laden is out on July 16th, and I am terribly excited about it! I would like to wish Ali Zafar with the best of luck in his endeavors! Let’s just hope the movie, and Ali Zafar, is not crap in it! Btw, this video was posted by the makers of the film to basically say the same thing. I like to believe I was more meticulous.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2010 10:10 am

    nicely done! I hadn’t seen Ali Zafar’s performances for the Coke Studio (apparently Studio’s so big in Pakistan, and for good reason, that they might stone me for not watching the first two seasons!) so that was refreshing and ‘Tere bin Laden’ looks great!

    also, Ali Zafar seems to have a look-alike:


  2. July 13, 2010 7:23 am

    i didnt like chhanno so i also dismissed him a sa singer although he was a good model back in the time of NIDO pyari maan dua karo when he played shariq fatima’s pilot son.
    i believe you havent seen his paintings. he is a pretty decent painter too. so yeah, he is an all rounder. he can do everything and he looks good. something on the lines on farhan akhtar, farhan is a better director and ali looks better. farhan is wittier though.
    he did not have to direct aik pal’s video. ahsan rahim was supposed to direct it but ahsan couldnt reach the studio because of some personal stuff so ali had no choice but to direct it himself. but he got a lot og help from ali mohammad, the DOP for the shoot who also had directed a music video before that.
    sajania is not ali’s composition but shani haider’s of the kami/shani duo. the video is great.
    pakistani actors have mostly bombed at the indian box office. lets see how ali does. i hope its a good movie.

  3. July 13, 2010 8:05 am

    @vics: Haha! Well you should be stoned.. but then i looked at ur website, and then i got all confused! With all the biblical stuff, any calls to stone you might be construed as an act of a fundo! *need an Anjuman moment now*

    And oh man, i dont do look-a-likes, but i guess he doesn’t look like him.. i might be wrong 😛 HOW DID U FIND THIS GUY??

    @Sami: WOah! You clearly know much, much more than me! It was supposed to be an introductory piece of shit, and wasnt supposed to be all well researched and everything. And that I did! Thanks for all the extra information.
    As for the Pakistani Actors, yes you are right! There have been instances that their movies performed really well, but they couldn’t sustain their careers! Salma Agha scored a hit with her debut, and that hit song “Dil Ke Armaan”, and she also sang that famous song “Dance Dance”. Also Henna apparently was a hit! But there are so many misses. Mohsin Khan, some random girl who’s name im forgetting, and Meera! So lets see, fingers crossed!

    • vics permalink
      July 13, 2010 1:33 pm

      Holy Shit!!! That’s not my website!

      This is my website:

      I think God tried to get back at me for my atheism! (Notice the fallacy there *wink, wink* 😛 )

      are you kidding me? 😮
      They look same-same to me… but, then again, I have super weak eyesight!

  4. July 13, 2010 8:16 am

    it was anita ayoub in pyar ka tarana.
    salma agha sang after nikah in a few movies.
    meera is forgettable. moammar rana has done two movies. who cares.
    javed sheikh was in om shanti om lol. big hit, no?
    mohsin khan scored a double century at lords in 1982 when we won. that sounds better than what he did in saathi and another shitty movie with dharmendar and vinod khanna.
    zeba bakhtiar is pretty. or is it WAS PRETTY?
    i’m gonna try your sabri brother’s song from sadiyan and it better be good.

    • vics permalink
      July 13, 2010 1:39 pm

      Javed Sheikh was also in Namastay London (remember? when he told super ugly Upen Patel to mind his “Sense, Nonsense” and did chest bumps with Rishi Kapoor), another big hit! and then, that nice Salman-Preity-Akshay starrer Jaan-e Mann… he’s been the most successful Pakistani there, by far, I think

  5. July 17, 2010 1:19 pm

    Dude. Alif Allah by Ali Zafar was hateful. Whatever made you quote it in a post that claims Ali Zafar’s the greatest?!

    • July 17, 2010 5:22 pm

      Well, I appreciate what you are trying to say and I see your point. Haha, Im NOT saying Ali Zafar is the greatest, in ANY way. I only said that I began to regard him more than a model wannabe-singer after watching that video. As i said, it was supposed to be an intro piece to many people who don’t know what he’s about.

  6. Barooq permalink
    July 17, 2010 1:48 pm

    And he absolutely disgraced “Yar Dadi”… Come on.
    His quivering voice couldn’t hold a single low note and shivered around the high ones.

    Have you ever actually listened to original “Hoo” and “Yar Dadi” ?

    I guess even if you have, you are not fluent in Punjabi or Sariaki or you would have hated Ali Zafar’s renditions. For me, trying to replace “Bahay” with “Aatish” is a crime in iteslef when Aatish has to follow anyway…

    • July 17, 2010 5:33 pm

      OK. well first of all Ive listened to the original Pathanay Khan version a lot, and its an all time classic! You CAN NOT compare Pathanay Khan (a legend with a rendition which is considered a folk classic) with an upcomer like Ali Zafar (who I had no regards to before I heard his version, so he exceded expectations in that sense). Now, what took me by surprise was the whole package musically. I do understand Punjabi (not Saraiki that much), and he made the song more Punjabi rather than Saraiki. But I liked the treatment of the song, musically and usually am not hung up over minute details in the lyrics.

      I was just saying that, lets not compare it to the original, and look it as a separate piece of music. But at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinions. Thanks for the comment, though

  7. July 19, 2010 8:30 am

  8. July 19, 2010 8:45 am

    M and Badar, stop bullying the guy ok? otherwise i will send atif aslam lovers to Yemen.
    hey dishoom you can like ali as much as you want and you can listen to the pathanay khan version of yaar dadi. (please don’t say ali did well with it or else even i won’t stand by your side.)
    on the positive side, the reviews of tere bin laden are pretty good. i’m out of KSA on 25th so im gonna watch it on 26th and inception on 27th. i heard TBL is banned in pakistan!

    • July 19, 2010 10:26 am


      Sami we’re not bullying him, acha! Just setting the record straight.

      Tum underdog lawyer kab ban gaye?

  9. July 19, 2010 11:08 am

    not lawyer… ARMY!
    hey dishooom (is this your name? i’m calling you dishoom? what the hell?)
    yeah i will sort this husband wife duo. you go ahead with patahany jumman.

    • July 19, 2010 1:49 pm

      Sami, considering this is not a dejavu from the yesteryears, your looks aren’t going to save you from losing this time, hah. No young female judge is going to let you get away with an undeserved first prize this time!!

      Pathanay and Jumman – BIG difference.

  10. July 19, 2010 2:12 pm

    Hoye Hoye! Sorry Jee! My bad! I knew replying to posts at 3am was not a good idea! I know its Ustad Jumman (Pathanay Khan was stuck in my head because was listening to him earlier in the day). My bad! Bhai, larai larai maa’f karo!

  11. July 19, 2010 2:55 pm

    @ M… lol don’t jealous. you never won whenver i was there 😛
    and see, is ka koi qusoor nahin hai. pathanay khan was stuck in his head.

  12. July 20, 2010 11:19 am

    Jealous! This is an outcry!


    Jao. Ma’af kia. 😀

  13. Sami Saayer permalink
    July 20, 2010 1:21 pm

    we can close the deal by my admitting that you were good but we were totally different schools of public speaking. par kisi aur ke blog pe larnay se faida? wo to bechara ali zafar ke liye likh raha tha?

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