Lucky Ali recreates ‘90s magic with his latest track ‘Intezaar’


The balladeer collaborates with producer and composer Mikey McMcleary for the video single ‘Intezaar’

The balladeer collaborates with producer and composer Mikey McMcleary for the video single ‘Intezaar’

His music releases may be few and far between but his fans never cease waiting in anticipation. Lucky Ali, who pioneered a wave of independent music in the ‘90s with his soulful ballad-like renditions, is back with ‘Intezaar’ the first of a series of video singles. The song not only bears Lucky’s signature but offers visuals that bring alive the simplicity and earthiness of Goa through a much-in-love boy and a girl — metaphors for intezaar and tamannah (expectation and desire).

This single also unites Lucky Ali with his brother-in-law and composer-producer Mikey McCleary. A week after the single was launched, Lucky and Mikey speak to us over a video call about ‘Intezaar’ and the distinct expertise they bring to the table in their collaborations.”

From the video ‘Intezaar’
| Photo Credit: By arrangement

“’Intezaar’ was not planned, it just happened at the right time,” says Lucky adding “The pandemic gave us an opportunity to revisit our earlier compositions and see which tracks we can bring back. Mikey chose this one and when I heard the song and the lyrics, I wanted it to be a bit more telling. Mikey invited lyricist I P Singh to write the lyrics. It is a love story of ‘ intezaar’ and ‘ tammannah’ — two emotions moving together, sometimes away from each other but seeking to be together.“

Team building

Lucky Ali with Mikey McCleary

Lucky Ali with Mikey McCleary
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

McCleary’s association with Lucky Ali goes back to the ‘90s when he produced the hugely successful album Sunoh. He worked with most of the leading Indian artistes including A R Rahman and Priyanka Chopra for Quantico. His original score for Margarita with a Straw won him the Best Composer at the 2015 Asian film Awards. He has composed music for several Indian productions as well as leading advertising campaigns. He describes his collaborations with Lucky as “unique”.

“The way we work is different. We don’t work to a brief. With Lucky, there are bumps and we don’t exactly see the things the same way. That’s part of the process. This time around, a lot of work happened remotely through the pandemic. People have heard Lucky’s unique and soulful voice and feel connected even now. His music retains its timelessness and we are not trying to create music for tik tok or trying to keep up with the current trend, we are doing what we want.”

Lucky’s songs of the ‘90s are strongly etched in the minds of that generation that has particularly liked and appreciated his genre-neutral music. Hence McCleary knew that they need not write for specific genres. He says, “Lot of music of the ‘80s and ‘90s has the stamp of what was going on in society at that time but we did not have that on our minds. We felt our music doesn’t necessarily sound like the ‘80s or ‘90s and doesn’t necessarily stick to a specific genre either.”

Cherishing the diversity

Lucky acknowledges McCleary’s multiplicity of methods in his work and describes the moments spent in the studio with him as ‘soulful’. “Mikey’s career has been a separate one from the stuff that we have been doing. So for him and me, it is like coming back to an idea we both commonly share. He’s had a spate of years in production and ads where he works on briefs. For me, I follow the live route. For ‘Intezaar’, Mikey trained the band and started developing the music on top of what was already there. We worked to the best of our ability.”

Despite being the son of the legendary actor Mehmood, Lucky never aspired for a career in Bollywood. “I wanted to sing everywhere, sing to people who don’t even understand the language. Whenever I have an opportunity to talk when someone has an issue I do and can bring order out of that chaos. That’s what I do through my work, through music, and my communication with people. My ambitions as a musician have been fulfilled. I feel responsible for that success.”

Commenting on the communally volatile situation in Karnataka, Lucky says, “There’s no dialogue and there’s a lot of anger. Bangalore is where I grew up, people here are innocent just like my compatriots in different states. When people don’t communicate with each other, you start seeing demons. People need to communicate, sort out the differences and educate themselves. You have only one life. You can either live it well or live it in a state of confusion, anger and distrust… that’s your choice.”

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