Retirement on Lucky Ali’s mind? ‘I have been thinking about it’
The 63-year-old feels that live performances have taken a toll on his physical and mental well-being, and Ali is contemplating if it’s high time that he takes a back seat as a live performer.
A conversation with singer-songwriter Lucky Ali leaves one with more questions than they had when they initially walked into a room with him. But it is seldom that one runs out of words to explain Ali’s complex-yet-beautiful approach to life, which is often reflected by his music that has inspired generations.
Our recent tête-à-tête with him is one such instance, when Ali confessed he has been mulling for sometime about stepping away from the recording studio and the road, to be able to see and do things, that he wants to do yet he hasn’t not done.
While the 63-year-old doesn’t say that his upcoming series of tracks, starting with Intezaar which will release on April 6, would be his swansong, he thought of stepping away much before the upcoming compilation, which is composed by Mikey McCleary, took shape.
“I have been thinking of it (retiring) for a long time. I think of it as more of a responsibility than anything else. When my kids started their music label, I thought I was on my way out. I was prepared for it,” he says.
As often is the case, Ali’s state of mind is reflected in his music as well. Ali confesses, he didn’t like the initial idea of the lyrics for Intezaar,written by IP Singh, which at the outset was about hoping that someone will return.“I was like what if I don’t want to come back? So I called IP and told him that it has to be about higher love, and that it is as muchabout ‘intezaar’ (wait) as much it is about tamanna (hope). He then came up with the right lyrics and I think his final lines, explained to me that he understood what I wanted from the words of the song,” Ali explains.
The pandemic helped him have some major realisations, says the singer, as he was happy that “no concerts were happening”. “I was like ‘Chalo, holiday’,” he laughs and explains further, “I was just happy for the fact that I don’t have to go anywhere. The last few years have been very tough. To be on the road constantly is not easy. You travel hundreds of miles and it takes a lot of energy from you.”
The singer, whose last album, Lemalla, marked his collaboration with Israeli musician Eliezer Cohen Botzer in 2019, goes on to highlight the impact live shows have had on his “physical and mental well-being”. “You go to a completely new place. Of course, all of it is nice and comfortable. But, it’s not home. My neck hurts because of the pillow, or the bed. I can’t sleep on new beds. So, [because of] all of these things, I think it (the wish to retire) is happening,” he signs off.