LAHORE-Popular singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a household name. Nephew of legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and son of Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan and also the grandson of Qawwali singer Fateh Ali Khan he has to his credit lot of super hit songs that will remain evergreen classics for years to come. In addition to Qawwali ghazals and other light music he is a popular playback singer for Indian and Pakistani film industry. Rahat has appeared for multiple times in the popular musical show Coke Studio. He appeared for the first time in season 1, where he collaborated with singer Ali Azmat for the track Garaj Baras. He then appeared in season 8 with Abida Parveen. Rahat is also a part of Coke studio's season 9. In an exclusive interview with The Nation he talks about his experience of working in Coke Studio and his projects in pipeline. Following are excerpts of the interview:

How has been the experience of working in Coke Studio? Do you think you have gained anything from this experience? 

It is always good to be part of Coke Studio. From the inception till date Coke Studio has come a long way and has a huge following now.

Who is your favorite artist in coke studio?

I hope you know the answer, it is ME..........(laughingly.......)

What are your views about giving new fusion and modern instrumental music to old songs? 

ANS: As they say, "OLD IS GOLD". At times it can sound nice and if you in the recent CS9, Afreen Afreen has being given a new flavour which is loved by the people as per the reaction and digital numbers. 

Do you think Coke studio is good platform for young music aspirants?

Of course it is great for everyone in fact be it young or any of the seniors it is great to be part of CS.

How it felt after you sang hit of your uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? You come from a family of qawals. To what extent your uncle NusratFateh Ali Khan was you inspiration in the field of music as well as in your personal life?

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and my late father FarrakhFateh Ali Khan till date are my inspiration and whatever I am today is only because of them, the prayers of my mother and blessings of Allah.  

You have performed at various platforms across the world. Is the crowd response the same everywhere or it varies from place to place?

It varies from city to city or may I say territory to territory.  

What is future of Pakistani music? Are we going in the right direction? If not what steps should be taken to revive the music industry in Pakistan? 

Of course we are in the right direction. The platform of CS is a prime example of this and FYI it is a song from Pakistan, Zaroori Tha part of my album, Back2Love that is approaching 115,000,000 yes 115 million official views on youtube. As a non-film song this number has never been achieved either in Pakistan or India.

Your favorite Qawaali and song?

Many but namely, TumheDillagi, HalkaHalkaSuroor, Sasoon Ki Maala.

Is there anything you are doing to help promote the budding qawals, to ensure that this genre of music survives?

Yes I am in the process of launching my music academy, locally and internationally.

Do like Western music? If yes, then who is your favorite singer and favorite song?

I listen to it but cannot say I have favourites as such. As an icon and as performer, Michael Jackson was phenomenal and voice of Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton are amazing as well.

How far has your professional life affected your personal life?

One has to find a balance and as much as I try and do this at times it is difficult due to a hectic and an enjoyable schedule. I have an amazing and a very supportive wife. She is my pillar.

Any message for your upcoming artistes?

Believe in yourself and do what your heart says as mind has to think where as anything from the heart comes from the heart itself. Respect your seniors and elders and never give up and practice for as long and as far as you can. God bless......