Raafay Ali: The man living his childhood singing dream

Raafay Ali is a name anyone familiar with the current Pakistani pop scene and the band Imtezaj will be familiar with.

Raafay has travelled both internationally and locally as a singer.

Raafay's father was a retired army officer who went on to become the managing director of a pharmaceutical farm while his mother was a housewife. 

"I have three brothers and a sister, I am the youngest among them," Raafay said.

I first started singing when I was just 7 but did not pursue it as I wanted to continue my studies. 

I have graduated in the field of commerce and after that, I worked at a couple of different firms but since music was my passion, I ended up focusing on that completely and quit my job.

When I started doing music formally I was not part of any band and that's why I toured various cities and countries alone. 

I then had to quit music again due to some personal reasons but when I made my comeback two years ago I joined the band Imtezaj as their lead singer.

When asked how he knew at the young age of 7 that he could sing well, Raafay said that his mother was the one to first tell him he had a good voice. "In fact, she used to often say that even my first cry was very melodious when I was born," he said.

"The first song I sang at the age of 7 was 'Bolo Bolo Tum Ne Kia Dekha' by Sajjad Ali.

Raafay says that he has never trained formally. "I never got the chance to do it since I never had the time or the resources for it."

Raafay said that his family supports him completely. 'My family were the first people to praise me, the world saw and appreciated my talent much later."

He said he is the only one to be associated with music in his entire family.

When asked if music bands and singers in Pakistan can get instant fame, Raafay said that this is not the case and that all musicians in the country need to work really hard to prove their worth.

When asked if he prefers to sing with the band or perform solo, Raafay said that both have their charms while singing solo brings him a lot of joy he said: "The teamwork involved in singing with a band has a completely different feel and I enjoy that feeling too".

When discussing the pros and cons of social media as a singer, Raafay said that while becoming famous during olden times was purely based on talent, social media has given a lot of people a lot of access to easy fame now. "But the fact remains that you still need some sort of talent to even become famous on social channels"

When asked if music is his full-time profession now, Raafay said that now that he is established enough to be making money out of music, it has become his full-time profession and his sole means of earning. He also said that the field will also continue to remain his future profession since he is making a good living out of it. he, however, did mention that his goal is to make music worthy enough to be awarded state-level medals like Sitara-i-Imtiaz or Sitara-i-Husn-i-Qarkardagi for it.

Raafay also likes to play cricket, swim and skate, he said but showed an aversion to politics and said that he has no interest in it. "However, there is a lot of politics in my profession, people choose artists to back based on favouritism rather than merit.

He also said that had there been only merit-based growth in the country, he would have been an emerging rising star years ago but the lack of connections means that he is still a struggling musician.

Raafay also said that he has not only an interest in food but also loves to cook. He said that he spends most of his time in his music studio and some of his free time in the gym.