When did you start singing?
I had learnt classical singing from my father. But first I started producing and writing TV serials, doing music and now I’ve got into singing. I’ve been successful in every field. As I’m trained in music, it was the logical step.
You’re said to have compared yourself with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan?
No, I didn’t. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sang in a high-pitched voice for 30 years. No one said he sang in a nasal tone. I was attacked with the word ‘nasal’, not high-pitched. So I asked why nobody pointed this out in his case, why me?
Your stubble-and-cap look is getting rather predictable, isn’t it?
And yet, why are you popular?
Because God wants me to be.
So, the secret of your success is...
A.R. Rahman says you provide what Nadeem did earlier to Bollywood?
Which contemporary singer do you like?
Are you just a passing flavour?
From my first song to my 28th hit, from Tere Naam, the largest-selling album in the last 10 years, to all the jury and popular awards, from the pure classical raag-based film album Benares to the semi-classical Tere Naam or the rocking young tracks in Aashique Banaya Aapne, Aksar, China Town, Tom, Dick and Harry, Phir Hera Pheri, Humraaz, Aitraaz, Janaabe Aali, Niqamma, Mohabbat Hai Mirchi—I’m being called a passing flavour?
So, what are you?
A passing flavour, perhaps.