Raj and Pablo of the BBC Asian Network will be playing Adnan Sami tracks throughout the weekend to celebrate his upcoming birthday. They’ll also be airing an interview they did with him recently, so we’re sharing with you some of those snippets when Adnan talks about his weight loss and his experience working with Asha Bhosle and Amitabh Bachchan.
R&P: Last time we spoke to you we had a good hour, we spoke about lots, what’s changed since then, how have you been and how’s life?
Adnan: Alright which part of a 145 kilos that I lost did you miss? Yeah I met you guys many kilos ago. A lot has changed, first of all in my health, its been wonderful to do a U-turn on my health and I feel great for it and the energy level is insane. It’s wonderful, I feel great. I was very seriously fat.
Raj: How did you lose all that?
Adnan: It was a lot of hard work, I went on very strict diets and some people turned around and said ‘iss ne liposuction ki hai’ I mean do you realise the kind of weight I had?! If I decided to have liposuction I’d need a vacuum cleaner! I mean liposuction is meant for those people who are basically ok but need a bit of fine tuning, not meant for people who are morbidly obese which I was. So there were all kinds of stories but no it was hard work, high protein diet and will power.
Pablo: How has that changed your personality? Or had it?
Adnan: Actually, I don’t think it has in any way, I just feel more energetic but I’m still pretty much as mad as I was before.
Raj: Where did your will power come from?
Adnan: I had a check up and the doctor gave me a very very scary scenario that if I didn’t do it now they wouldn’t be surprised if….they gave me 6 months and that was pretty much an alarm so I decided to do it!
Pablo: In terms of where you started off from, when did it all change for you?
Adnan: I think it was my debut album Kabhi To Nazar Milao which started a kind of chain reaction really, that’s the one that gave me my break and was a milestone
Raj: We had the privilege of speaking to Asha ji a couple of months ago who described that song as one of her definitives, how did that all come about?
Adnan: Asha Ji is like a maternal figure for me, I met her for the first time when I was 10 years old, when she heard my music she said if I work hard one day I may turn out to be a music composer or director. Then when I composed and played it to her, she heard it and immediately fell in love with it and said she’d love to sing the song. For her to sing the song was an ultimate dream for me and I’m extremely grateful to her for giving me this wonderful gift. I always cherish an opportunity to work with her because she is an institution and an ultimate delight for a music composer. You compose one line and tune and she’ll give you twenty choices or variations back about how you want it sung. I’d love to work with her on another album.
[Psst… remember his favourite lyrics are also Kabhi To Nazar Milao?]
Pablo: Its not just Asha ji you’ve worked with – there are many other big names like Amitabh ji..how did that happen?
Adnan: Well like everyone else I grew up watching him and being completely in awe of him and it was always a dream of mine to work with him and it was lucky for me that he had a kind of interest in singing, which he had done in some films in the past. So I knew that he had that inclination, when this song came in ‘Kabhi Nahi’ I just decided to take a chance and call him up, though I didn’t tell him on the phone why I wanted to see him. I met up with him, did my usual thing which was to play him the music and wait for a good reaction and THEN depending on their reaction I will make my next move! So, I played him the track, he really liked it, and when I got that nod of appreciation then I felt confident and sort of said it would be amazing and a huge honour if you would agree to sing it. He just laughed and said he wasn’t a singer! I told him to take the track away and think about it, he got back to me after a few days and said ok I’ll sing it and give it a shot! And that’s how the song came about, one of the most amazing experiences of learning from a living legend.
Raj: Rumour has it he’s trying to get his dad’s poetry into song, would you do that for him?
Adnan: Oh it would be an absolute privilege to do that, I mean his father is an amazing accomplished poet. It would be an honour.