I have met Ali Noor in person twice; once at the Lux Style Awards in 2016, where he looked perfectly out of place in his t-shirt jeans and messy hair, and spent his time around the red carpet thoroughly testing out the hors d’oeuvres.
The second time was at the Pond’s Miracle Gala earlier this year, and I observed him and Ali Hamza graciously taking selfies with a huge crowd of women of all ages, with a genuine smile and look of surprise at all the attention and love they were receiving. It’s safe to say I became a bigger fan of the person Ali Noor is, as I already have been a die-hard lover of their brilliant music.
Noori happens to be one of the only bands from the early 2000s that is still on top of their game, and charts too! Their youthful music back in the day had everyone hooked; we all remember how Gana No. 1 actually became gana number one! It may be because two of the three band members are brothers that they’re still going solid, but one cannot discredit their amazing work over a span of nearly two decades. And they have very successfully been able to consistently expand their already huge fan base.
Coming back to Ali, the rock star is venturing into a new territory by introducing a vlog called This is Ali Noor, which has his fans super excited. The videos feature the artist spontaneously filming himself, from getting a makeover by shaving off his signature beard, to celebrating Pakistan’s ICC win on the streets of Lahore, celebrating Eid with his family and so on. In signature Ali Noor style, the videos are raw, amusing and simply fun to watch, each leaving me laughing at the end seeing this crazy side of him.
I reached out to speak to the man himself, about what brought this on, after all these years and what does he hope to achieve with this new venture. “It’s an interesting format to communicate with the world and our fans, I’ve tried Facebook and Instagram and I can’t handle those. I don’t even know how to tweet!” he said, adding, “This isn’t fake, it doesn’t have to have a logic, I can swear and I can just be myself. I can’t have a dual life, and this is who I am, just like the vlog is called ‘This is Ali Noor.’”
I asked the rock star about his journey over the course of 15 years, and why he felt the need for this interaction with his fans now. “I’m 40 man! You can’t look at yourself as a rock star after all these years that would just be f***ed up, you’ll miss out on everything if you think that way. I feel it’s very important to engage with your fans, they get to know you and they become your friends that way.”
Ali’s vlog also features some very endearing moments with his wife, children and parents, and I was curious to know his opinion on keeping a celebrity’s personal life private. “I don’t believe in that concept, I’m not a private person and for me there are very few things in life that are meant to be private. I’m not a star, I feel no one really knows me and after doing these videos my comfort level has increased. It has to mean something!”
He also disclosed that he eventually wants his vlog to feature their work in progress, which he wants to share with his fans and followers to gain their input. “The whole process of a song can’t be recorded in a five minutes long BTS video,” he said, “The journey is so much more, and I hope to get some feedback while we’re producing our work and this can be a means to connect.”
At the end of his first vlog, we hear Ali narrate that he wants to find a purpose in life, and a bigger reason to live. When asked what he meant by that, Ali pondered and said, “The biggest issue is that our lives are directionless. Back in the day I thought I could change the world, which was illogical… People avoid talking about things like God or basically anything that is intangible, but happiness can be tangible, and at the end of the day we all just want to be happy, right?”
Along with playing a villain in a children’s animation, Ali Noor will also be appearing in a television play called Chinar Ghati this year, along with Anoushay Ashraf and Dino Ali. I asked him if trying his hand at acting is a part of his journey of self-discovery, “Well when Ghazanfar sahab (director of the play) asked me, I couldn’t say no. I like the (television) format but I don’t think I’ll be doing more of that, but let’s see, maybe at some point when we can add the Ali Noor-ness to it!”
I was also curious to know what Ali Hamza’s part in this vlog was, to which Ali responded with a hearty laugh, “He’s told us to keep him far away from this! Ali Hamza and I work like Yin and Yang; he’s more serious too. At the moment he’s working on some songs with Zehra apa, who is Anwar Maqsood’s sister, so he’s focusing on that. He probably won’t actively be part of the vlog, but he’ll be around.”