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A look at Ali Azmat

Salman calls him Chota, the original mimic, for his unusual Lahore meets Australia meets Texas accent. He worked in a bank for a week, has acted in TV serials, writes poetry and music, but his deepest unfulfilled ambition is to play guitar, he makes do with the air guitar! Unbelievably, Ali has had no training in singing. The guy who said he would teach him guitar just handed him the mike!

On evolution as a singer: There are so many different kinds of music you listen to that you end up taking with you. You venture out this way or that way and there always will be ways. You do things that you haven't done before. You just go up there and do it, and try to reach that level. More than anything, you don't worry about doing this garari (you know, the a-a-a-a-a!); you just emote. It's all emotions. It's like acting. Every song is like a script and you just read that script accordingly and that is the more important thing. In "Sayonee", I don't think I'm singing perfectly. I'm always like, I should have done that note, taken it there. You look at your work critically, but the emotion is there. That's what reaches the people more.

A song you'd like everyone to know: Any song from Dave Mathews. The music is so so positive. It's happy and sad at the same time. Musically it's so much there. Lyrics, composition, voice, guitars, drum, bass.

On singing a capella in any place in the world: The bathroom. Great echo! I go to a friend's place, it has a staircase that has the greatest echo in the world and I go there and try to sing as loud as I can. It's great.

A song that symbolises you: I said my head is a closet/ I am stuck inside/ Can't see the light/ I and my head is in a nice house in the sky/ Got central heating/ And I'm around/We've been standing here for a long long time/I find sometimes it's easy to be myself/And sometimes easy to be somebody else. It's one of my favourite songs. I think it explains a lot of things.

Teenage idol: Pearl Jam, Freddie Mercury, Steven Tyler, A-ha, Robert Plant.

Guitarists: Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani.

On Pakistan: The thing I both love and hate about Pakistan is the people. The reason I am there is that I love the simplicity of the people, the kind of people

who live there. At the same time, I am a very non-conformist person and I hate that the people their fake values and their lousy traditions

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