Meet the Idols: Syed Sajid Abbas

Working as a writer for a creative unit of an advertising agency, Sajid cannot be ignorant of what makes something dazzle. He is probably the most down-to-earth competitor in this series of the Pakistan Idol – and certainly the most polite. He dusted off his old harmonium and started training his voice to the melodies he so effortlessly sings to and this effort may just have landed him the most coveted top spots on the show. Here’s what we think of Syed Sajid Abbas.

Follow @thekarwasach on Twitter to get your latest fix on Pakistan Idol contestants or read our in-depth analysis on participating contenders.

Nine out of the 24 competitors that made it to the top were from Karachi and one of them was Syed Sajid Abbas, a copywriter working for an advertising agency. I love to write but my passion certainly is music, he said before his auditions. His father helped muster up the natural singing talent he found in his son. That’s when he bought him his harmonium. Sitting on the harmonium, Sajid would play tunes to his family members. Little was he to know that once he had decided to go on the Idol stage, he’d become an instant hit amongst the masses.

Sajid’s personal favourites are Ustaad Amanat Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan and Lata Mangeshkar – and their’s are his go-to songs in the time of need. He feels most comfortable singing Ustaad Amanat Ali Khan’s song, which no man in his sane mind would dare to sing for their audition. For his auditions, however, he chose to sing Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan’s ‘Khairheyan De Naal’. Where Hadiqa saw his confidence and energy outstanding, Sajid was awe-struck and seemed as if he’d never thought of coming as far as he had – that’s no confidence at all. So down-to-earth was Sajid that he couldn’t believe he’d actually achieved the ‘golden ticket’ for himself.

Hey wait, what just happened here? Shouldn’t Hadiqa be able to recognise Sajid Abbas? For some reason, all this should be a déjà vu moment for Hadiqa. Sajid had previously (a moustache and a goatie ago) participated in a contest just like Pakistan Idol and guess who the judge was – it was none other than our own Hadiqa Kiani.

Oh, and we guess that we forgot to mention that the song Sajid sung for the audition was the same as the song he sang for that old competition. And I thought that only Sana Zulfiqar was an acquaintance of the show’s management.

Proving his mettle

Syed Sajid Abbas singing in his grandfather's lap
Sajid’s grandfather has severe bronchitis and is one of his greatest fans. “His love,” Sajid says, “pushes me to yearn for more, both in life and in music.”

When time came for the theatre rounds, he excelled in the solo rounds without a hitch. For the group singing, he was partnered up with Shamir Aziz Quidwai and Mohsin, and they were the first to sing on stage. The song they were given to sing was Shankar Mahadevan and Clinton Cerejo’s ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. And since Shankar Mahadevan was Sajid’s forte, he couldn’t have gone wrong anyway.

Sajid managed to actually make his fellow competitors in the trio sing in an effortless chorus, albeit with a few missed lines by Mohsin lending to his elimination. Shamir had been right in proclaiming that Sajid and him would make it through nevertheless. Their coordination (sans Mohsin) wowed the judges and both Shamir and Sajid progressed to sing the top 24’s.

Taking the stage

Singing for the top 24’s, Sajid chose Ustaad Amanat Ali Khan’s ‘Aa Mere Pyaar Ki Khushboo’. Penned by Qateel Shifai, this is perhaps the most difficult to have been sung on the stage that particular day. Although, the low notes in the song were the single factor that led Ali Azmat to believe the song was a bad choice.

He might have done well with a song he sang for another reality singing talent competition called the ‘LG Awaaz Banaey Star’ – Hadiqa really loved his performance there.

Ali Azmat couldn’t hear him utter words over the music that overwhelmed his low notes. “I don’t think you could sing well in the microphone as I was unable to hear words,” said Ali to the perplexed Sajid, who had already given his best. Bushra Ansari asked him to sing again but without the music, and his pristine rendition of the song won the hearts of the voting public. He was saved from the axe and chosen to proceed.

We can expect more from this classically trained singer. Do you reckon Sajid has what it takes to become the very first Pakistan Idol?



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